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I know you scared, you should ask us if we scared, too
If you was there, then we just knew you’d care, too

– Chance the Rapper, Paranoia

It’s okay to be scared right now.

I know what you’re feeling.

Most of the country does.

In the past two weeks, I’ve written my first two LebTown editorials. I felt there were important points to be made about how waivers work and a need for more transparency from the state government generally.

I hope it wasn’t lost in those editorials that I remain deeply grateful for the service that all our leaders are performing at this time. Yes, I mean from the top down. (Yes, for those hecklers in the back, the tippity top.) I reject the insinuation that some public officials might care less about human life than others. We’re all just trying to figure it out. I don’t have room in my heart for the callousness needed to suggest otherwise.

For my part, I see LebTown’s key role as letting you know if our ability to perform journalism is impeded. That means that typically we won’t write an editorial to celebrate or inspire; usually it will be to communicate a specific policy request.

Today’s different. Today I think we could all use a little inspiration. But I don’t want to be glib here. I can’t tell you in good faith that everything is going to turn out alright. People you know and love are likely to die before this is over. It’s the simple truth. I trust our scientists and epidemiologists. I believe the stories we’re hearing from frontline health care workers.

COVID-19 ravages the body. Like all creation one can’t help but appreciate the horrible beauty of the coronavirus. A killing machine if there ever were one. A stick in the gears of the clockwork god.

I know you’ve been hearing about coronavirus for weeks. You might be tempted to think that Pennsylvania has escaped the worst of it. I regret to inform you that no evidence suggests to me that is the case. The virus is here, and the worst is yet to come.

With the state still facing delays in testing and Lebanon County registering the two highest single-day jumps in confirmed cases this past weekend, we can say confidently that the situation is worse than it appears.

This week matters, a lot.

“This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment. Only, it’s not going to be localized, it’s going to be happening all over the country. And I want America to understand that,” said Surgeon General Jerome Adams to Chris Wallace this weekend.

Or consider the words of Dr. Deborah Birx, the Central PA prodigy coordinating the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus.

“This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe,” said Birx at a briefing Saturday.

Do it for yourself, sure. Self-preservation is not just the bedrock of evolution but of the American economy as well. That should be enough.

But do it for others, too. Do it for the nurses, doctors, and support staff at our area hospitals. Do it for the first responders. Do it for the essential employees who are bravely keeping our grocery stores and pharmacies open. Do whatever you can to reduce your movement through the community.

We as Americans don’t like to be restricted. It goes against our very nature. But the stakes right now couldn’t be higher. We must do everything we can to bring the viral spread to a screeching halt. This too shall pass, but for now we must all do our part.

Please, I implore you: Stay home this week and you will save lives next.

Read all of LebTown’s COVID-19 coverage here.

Is there a story you think LebTown should report? Let our newsroom know using the form below.

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Davis Shaver

Davis Shaver is the publisher of LebTown. He grew up in Lebanon and currently lives outside of Hershey, PA.


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