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EDITORIAL: Covid will keep getting worse unless we all do our part 

EDITORIAL: Covid will keep getting worse unless we all do our part 

Many still aren't taking it seriously enough, and it's showing in the rising number of cases
EDITORIAL: Covid will keep getting worse unless we all do our part 
Nurses and doctors test patients outside Ellis Hospital in Schenectady.
Photographer: Erica Miller/Staff Photographer

Let’s face the harsh reality here. 

This isn’t going away by itself.

It wasn’t true the first time President Trump said it in February.  And it’s not true today, no matter how many times he repeats this lie. 

We’re not living in a Disney song. Just because you believe in a wish doesn’t mean it will come true.

The coronavirus is an extremely dangerous disease that will infect millions more people and kill thousands more until there is either a cure or a vaccine. And right now, and for the foreseeable future, we have neither.

If we want a repeat of the winter quarantine where we’re not allowed to leave our homes; if we want our businesses to continue to suffer; if we want to see a resurgence of cases that overwhelm our health services and put vulnerable sick and elderly people in grave danger again; if we want to continue missing out on the things we love like going to bars and restaurants and concerts and sporting events and lectures; if we want schools to remain closed while our children’s social and educational development declines, then let’s keep pretending this isn’t as bad as it is.

Go ahead, demonstrate your independence by declaring your unwillingness to wear a mask. 

Stand up for your constitutional right and curse out anyone who tries to tell you different.

Go into a store with your kids and pretend like your germs aren’t as dangerous as someone else’s. Be selfish. Be stupid. Don’t inconvenience yourself for the common good.

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Just keep behaving like the only one in the world who matters is you, and to hell with anyone else.

Go into large crowds. Don’t social distance. Don’t wash your hands. Go on pleasure trips to places where the virus is out of control, and then come back and spread it to your friends and neighbors in your own community.

Do all that, and we’ll be right back where we were a couple of months ago. 

Sick, dying, isolated, frustrated and financially devastated.

The proof of vigilance is demonstrated by New York’s much-maligned crackdown, which resulted in a significant drop in cases and deaths, and which puts our state in the unique position right now of having among the lowest rates of infection in the country.

Most of us didn’t like the imposition, but it turns out it was the right thing to do.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo most recently imposed a quarantine on people entering New York from states with high infection rates.

Some of us scoffed.

Then Warren County identified at least three county residents infected with the virus after they returned from a trip to Florida, which is one of the nation’s hot spots for infection spikes. 

More sick travelers are likely to be identified, returning to their home counties with the virus. 

The proof of ignorance is demonstrated in the states that didn’t take the virus seriously, that thought it was a big-city problem, and allowed people to go about their business.

Those states are now seeing what New York saw at the outset -- rapidly rising infections, overwhelmed health systems, businesses being forced to step back and shut down to stop the spread, and more restrictions on public gatherings.

Had they taken this outbreak as seriously as other places did, like those in the Northeast, they might have averted this setback.

As of Saturday, the U.S. had more than 2.8 million confirmed cases of covid and nearly 129,500 deaths.

A day ago, the U.S. set a single-day record for new cases at 55,000, and 40 of the 50 states have now seen an increase in cases.

Florida broke a single-day record Saturday with nearly 11,500 new cases, a 13% increase from the day before. 

Some local counties in our state are seeing new spikes.

As more people get exposed, as more people get sick, more people will be hospitalized and more people will die.

Kids, young people, older people, people with pre-existing conditions like asthma, COPD and diabetes.

We need to get this under control again.

Stay out of situations in which you are likely to be standing close to someone else.

Stop traveling to places where covid is out of control and from where you can bring the virus back to your local community.

It doesn’t take many new infected people to quickly turn a situation from being under control to a renewed health crisis.

Just look at any of the European countries that thought they’d conquered this.

Look at those states that mocked the states that cracked down hard and are now seeing their cases jump exponentially every day.

If you don’t care about your own health, think about how your actions or inactions affect others.

You might be young and only get a mild case, but the person you pass the virus to might not be so lucky.  

Stop being selfish.

Stop being careless.

Stop hiding behind some phony constitutional right to justify going into a building without a mask.

Past actions have proven we can at least slow the spread of this virus.

It’s on each one of us, as participants in humanity, to do our part.

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