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Upheaval

Success lies in our ability to separate

Gov. Jim Justice was absolutely correct Saturday in describing how the upheaval of COVID-19 is affecting many West Virginians.

“It’s like we’re all lost in a movie that we can’t relate to in any way,” Justice noted.

We Americans have been very lucky for more than a century and a half. Though the world has been wracked by two world wars and numerous smaller but still bloody conflicts, our homeland has not been invaded. The enemy has always been abroad.

Now the enemy is among us and only a tiny percentage of Americans, mostly health care workers, can go on offense as we fight back.

But what Justice has been saying for a week now cannot be over-emphasized. It is that all of us have a powerful defensive weapon: separation. “The power is just this — our ability to stay apart,” has the governor put it.

Other than careful personal hygiene, maintaining distance adequate to keep transmitting the virus to others — or contracting it from them — is all we can do. But in terms of battling an epidemic, it is supremely powerful.

Justice is right: If we use that powerful weapon, we can be a model in stopping COVID-19. The more we do that, the sooner we can get back to the new normal.

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