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As frightening as the specter of COVID-19 is, we should remember the following:

It is within our power to dramatically alter the virus’s effects by our actions. Appropriate hygiene efforts, distancing, and common sense will flatten the curve of the coronavirus and positively affect our world. Those who ignore these efforts and flaunt their so-called invincibility must reassess their reprehensible behaviors, and ask whether this is who they really are.

Further, constant reporting of the number of new cases is a reflection of increased testing, not necessarily increasing virulence. The numbers that matter are hospitalizations and deaths. When one considers the number of undiagnosed cases, the mortality rate is probably much lower than we think, and the prognosis for people who would test positive is better.

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In addition to treating one another more humanely, we should use this time to reassess our values, strengthen our family bonds, and look within to know ourselves better.

To quote David Bowie: “So I turned myself to face me.” Make sure you like what you see.

The choice is ours.

Paul A. Fugazzotto

Berkley