Keep it up, Oregon. Our social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing is working. 

It is good to see people distancing themselves from others when they have to go out to the store or the pharmacy. 

As of early this week the state had a total of 690 novel coronavirus cases and 18 deaths. One death from COVID-19 is too many, but so far Oregon has been spared the devastating number of cases and deaths experienced in other parts of the country such as New York.

We are all facing hardships. Schools are closed, probably until fall. The Oregon Department of Education is instructing school districts to implement distant learning for all students. This week Salem-Keiezr Public Schools was passing out Chromebooks for all students to connect to online classes. Students of any age can borrow a Chromebook for free. 

It remains to be seen how schools will address college-bound seniors, especially those who may still need credits. 

Every school of higher learning across the country must work in partnership with school districts to formulate plans for high school seniors to stay on course for receving diplomas.

Every household with younger children is challenged to find ways to keep their kids occupied during the shelter-in-place, stay home orders. Parents, many who are also staying home, are becoming activity directors, home schoolers and keepers of the calm.

This week, President Trump said the United States might see as many as 240,000 COVID-19-related deaths. Medical experts are reporting that practicing social distancing seems to be having a positive effect. 

Until we start hearing reports of decreased coronavirus cases, we all need to keep adhering to the rules living in a time of this pandemic. We may get bored staying home but boredom is a much better result than exposing ourselves to the virus. When we go out we can protect ourselves by assuming everyone else is infected and every surface we touch has coronavirus.

Though ordered to stay home, we should not forget our neighbors, especially those who are older and those who are shut-ins. A telephone call or email to check on family and friends is important. Uncertain times result in frightened people.

We don’t know when this pandemic will run its course. No one has the answer. We could be hunked down for months to come. Life as we know it has already changed and it will undoubtedly change more as we move forward.

What we could end up with is a society that is more diligent about personal hygiene (washing hands more often), a society that demands its governments be better prepared for disasters, both natural and medical and a society that becomes more connected and much less partisan.

Lives depend on it now and in the future. As for Oregon, keep up the good work of following the protocols during this difficult time.

— LAZ