There’s no other way to fight the virus


Gov. Eric Holcomb’s newest executive order issued Monday places even more restrictions on social gatherings and businesses in the state in an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19.

We endorse these new restrictions, because as we have looked around our communities, a few people seemed to be ignoring previous attempts at limiting unnecessary interactions between people, thus increasing the likelihood of person-to-person transmission of the virus. The goal of all Hoosiers should be to practice social distancing so the virus pandemic will abate and work, shopping, education, worship and socialization can return to normal as soon as possible.

“IT’S HARD TO REALIZE what’s in store for us over the next two weeks — drastic times call for drastic measures,” Holcomb said. “The truth of the matter is that this coronavirus, COVID-19, does not discriminate; it does not care what crowd you’re in. … This disease will prey upon large gatherings. We have it within us to prevent that.”

The governor is absolutely right. That is why we were concerned that members of some conservative churches met last Sunday. With Good Friday and Easter on our doorstep, it is very tempting for the faithful to gather Friday and Sunday to recognize Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and his resurrection. We believe that in this rare and exceptional instance, the best way to worship is at home and with family members who can be protected by staying isolated.

The coronavirus has killed more than 10,000 Americans so far and infected at least 357,000. And it is now known that people who do not show symptoms can, and do, infect others. Medical experts, and common sense, tell us that the virus does not hesitate to find a host whenever it can. Its goal is to reproduce inside human bodies and then move to a new host to survive. The virus does not care if the host is a Christian, non-Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddist or Jewish.

So, it is time to end all religious gatherings, just as it is time to end all other social gatherings. It should be noted that the governor’s previous actions of restricting gatherings to 10 people or less were not biased against religion because they applied to all activities. Neither are the new restrictions of limiting activities to “essential activities.” Those include activities needed for sustenance, necessities of life, health, education, or employment, and as necessary to take care of others while applying social distancing requirements, according to a state news release.

The new restrictions on essential businesses also make sense. Essential businesses, such as groceries and hardware stores, must limit the number of people in their stores at any one time and set up separate times to serve older customers, who are most vulnerable to the virus. Again, the goal is to put a lot of distance between people.

The order also places strict restrictions on who should be making purchases in such stores.

“All individuals in the state should postpone making in-person purchases of goods and services unless and until such items are needed for sustenance, health, education or employment, “Holcomb’s order states.

In other words, people who are off work shouldn’t plan on going into a hardware store to buy items to renovate their bathroom to occupy their time.

Consumers also are urged to call in orders to stores and use curbside pickup services when they are available. And don’t take the entire family to the store to break up the boredom. The order states shopping trips should be limited to the minimum number necessary.

As all of these orders have, the new directives will make Hoosiers uncomfortable and add to our burdens. However, the only effective way to combat this pandemic and limit the loss of life and reduce the strain on the health care system is to use social distancing.

Let’s all do that.

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