It's not like you have a choice, so make the most of the hand you were dealt.

We are living in an unusual, perhaps historic time. The entire civilized world has been ground to a near halt.

We're being told to stay home unless otherwise needed to leave for provisions. Our children are now without schools. Our taverns, restaurants, concert halls, sporting venues, casinos, and even churches are turning people away.

The fastest way out of this is to comply. If the virus dies off in those remaining with it, the threat is reduced back to a containable and controllable problem. Mass testing and the vaccine for this COVID-19 coronavirus are many weeks, if not months, away.

Our area is showing a very small caseload of those who have tested positive for carrying the pathogen. That's good news. Our area also has stubborn and ignorant legions of nonconformists who may not wish to comply at all. That's the bad news.

If most of us do what is necessary, but some don't, this will all be in vain. According to the best information that we are allowed to know, we have a two-week period of opportunity to contain this disease.

If it gets beyond containment, we are looking at the potential of some three million deaths in our nation of 340 million. Most will be the elderly and frail, others with weaker immune systems like those Down syndrome, cancer patients, and transplant recipients who likely otherwise would have lived their lives out.

Until you have been cleared, limit exposing these people to your direct contact. This does not mean you can't communicate or look after them effectively. Common sense prevails here.

The important thing to do is to (somehow) convince the young, 20-somethings that, while they won't likely fall to this, they as carriers, and will surely kill others if they recklessly and selfishly choose to ignore protocols by the Center for Disease Control.

So in a word, this sucks.

To quote Coach Bill Belichick, "It is what it is."

So now what? Kids are bored, you failed to get 16 years of toilet paper and are for some reason concerned about that. Maybe you're not earning income and worrying about your family's ability to stay healthy and nourished.

This is an opportunity to find new disciplines in our lives. This challenge can force us to budget better, to learn how to do some home repairs, beautify our property, deepen our family relationships, and perhaps that with our Creator and other positives.

We have a choice. This is a generational challenge that will define us in history. Do we sink or do we swim?

It is possible things could get worse with our food, medicinal, and utility supplies. This is another aspect of this challenge.

Power generators – if you can find and afford one – are smart buys right now. Long-lasting bulk foods such as big bags of dried rice, beans, canned and other non-perishable supplies are wise to think about. Also, learn how to make sanitizing and disinfectant solutions and getting supplies for them shouldn't be thought of last.

Let the others make a run on bottled water and toilet paper. Both of those should be of little concern to you. Tap water is not really "roughing it" in this scenario, compared to other things.

Formulate a plan for your families and for yourselves. Since we have no choice, why not make the most of the opportunity handed to you?

Be safe.

Ken Pittman is the host of The Ken Pittman Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact him at ken.pittman@townsquaremedia.com. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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