The coronavirus is not gone. The virus that causes COVID-19 has not been eradicated, it is still very much virulent in this country and around the world. New cases are being reporrted every day, even here in Oregon.

It is vital to re-open and salvage our economy. States across the nation have re-opened, many, like Oregon, are opening in phases. Some counties in our state are ready to enter Phase Two of Gov. Kate Brown’s re-opening strategy. 

While it is paramount to get the economy rolling again, it is more important to safeguard the public. Social distancing and the wearing of face masks are key to stopping the spread of coronavirus. Some may think that the pandemic is over because society is slowly re-opening, but the protocols are still in place and they need to be followed.

Experts who warn of a second wave of COVID-19 cases should be heeded. Where we are seeing a spike in cases is where we see large gatherings of people not social distancing and fewer people wearing masks.

Some retailers require customers to wear masks before they enter their stores; many businesses have floor markings to assure distancing and have erected barriers between customers and employees to protect both. We should expect these safety protocols to be in place for quite some time. We should follow them, if for no other reason than it protects the health of ourselves and others.

Scientists around the world are working furiously to develop a vaccine and to find a path to eradication. Until those things happen it is our responibility as citizens of the world to do our part to assure we’re not helping it spread.