Perspective, calm will help us all weather coronavirus threat

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Inhale.
Pause.
Exhale.
Try to just breathe deep and relax.
That’s getting harder to do these days as our society is being forced to gear down in a way that feels foreign to us all.
It’s been an incredible, surreal week in our world, a time we’ll look back on decades from now and remember how we felt about the angst, uncertainty and major disruptions sparked by the growing coronavirus spread of 2020. For now, we’re at ground zero, trying to embrace a “new normal,” though it seems that the concept of “normal” keeps changing by the day.
As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, and deaths, continues to rise around the globe, so too has the level of impact we’re all starting to feel on a personal level. As of this writing early Monday morning, local schools have been cancelled for at least a week, health care facilities are prohibiting visitors outside of immediate family and in general we are all watching the news trying to stay calm, yet be up to date and aware of the latest safety protocol.
Toward that end, the News-Register is focused and committed more than ever on providing timely information by all available means. We are working with health care, school and emergency preparedness officials, as well as community leaders in hopes of sharing the absolute latest local information regarding the coronavirus threat. You can find that information on multiple platforms, including our website, Facebook and Twitter accounts, with weekly recaps and broader reports in our printed edition.
Looking back on how drastically things changed in a matter of days, it’s unsettling to think how much tighter the safety restrictions and protocol might become before we reach the bottom of this pandemic threat. Will the local business world be told to work from home, for example, and how exactly does that concept work across the board? Right now, there are far more questions than answers, but it’s important that we not be consumed by the “what if’s” and focus instead on what we know, and what we can do to properly react and prepare, today.
So many activities that drive our daily lives have been cancelled in the past week. The Nebraska boys state basketball championships seemed to be the one lone survivor of ALL athletic competitions, giving us some form of normalcy and relaxation, as well as unprecedented memories for the few who experienced that environment first hand. That could be the last major event we’ll see for a while. Indeed, Sunday’s CDC advisory that no groups of 50 or more gather for the next eight weeks is a significant tightening of the belt.
At this point, let’s hunker down, stay tuned and try hard to maintain our sense of Nebraska calm.
Kurt Johnson

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