It has arrived.

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 from Athens County was announced yesterday; today, tomorrow, next week – more will come. It's a guarantee more than a prediction. We are no longer on the brink of the outbreak, but rather in the midst of the pandemic.

Now is the time to heed the orders of the CDC and the state of Ohio. Stay at home. Only go in public for necessary reasons, and when you do, abide by social distancing rules. Stay six feet away from others.

We've heard these rules constantly since they were released, but they are important now more than ever if we want to reduce the number of people who will come into contact with the virus. 

However, the stay-at-home order does not mean stay inside. Please, go outside if you are able.

Breathe in the fresh air. Smell the blooming flowers around you. Be amazed at the blanket of color that is also descending on the area. The drabness of winter is being replaced with vibrant life. 

Enjoy the weather while social distancing. Go for a walk or bike ride, take photos of the tulips in your garden. Cast away your worldly worries for a moment to instead dwell upon the rebirth happening around Athens County.

Yes, COVID-19 has arrived, but against all odds, so has spring. 

As always, you can reach me at kthorne@athensmessenger.com.

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