Social distancing is the phrase of the day.

As our community and the entire world react to the threat of the coronavirus, the effort is on to protect the most vulnerable among us by limiting the spread of the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and other experts tell us the best way to do that is to avoid social interaction as much as possible for an as-yet-undetermined amount of time.

We all have more questions than answers as we face this brave new world we’re living in and in every way possible, both in print and online, those of us at your local newspaper are working to keep you informed. We’re here today, and we’ll be here tomorrow.

It may be vital to limit our physical contact with our friends and neighbors for the time being, but we must not withdraw from each other. Today’s technology offers plenty of ways for us to reach out and touch someone – in a virtual sense. We all need to make an effort to pick up the phone and check on those we love and care about. In these trying times, a kind word, an encouraging message, or an uplifting text message could make all the difference.

We also need to remember our local businesses. They are the heartbeat of our community, and we can’t let them die in these days of uncertainty. Order online from those retailers that offer that service. Order takeout from one of your favorite restaurants, many of which have announced plans to offer curbside pickup, so you don’t even have to get out of your car.

And yes, I’d ask you to remember your local newspaper. Keep on subscribing, keep on reading and whenever and wherever possible, keep on advertising. We’re here for you in a way no other source of news will ever be.

We’re all in this situation together, and though it may get darker before the dawn finally comes, I believe with all my heart it will come. The question will be, what kind of community will we have when it’s over. If we all work together and remember to care for and love each other through these uncharted waters, we’ll be able to look back on it all with a sense of pride and the comfort of knowing we did what we could for each other. That’s the best we can hope for, and all we can ask as we face an uncertain future.

Brant Sappington is a longtime member of the Daily Corinthian news team. He currently serves as managing editor of the Daily Corinthian’s sister newspaper, the Banner-Independent, in Booneville and assistant editor of the Daily Corinthian. He makes his home in Booneville with his wife, twin boys and one slightly neurotic tuxedo cat.

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