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Peter 'Fish' Case: Let's work together for the common good and do what's necessary

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Every day I wake up refreshed and ready to tackle another day inside a COVID-19 world. By day's end I'm taking deep breaths and shaking my head at the astounding ignorance of the human race. My wife and I are working diligently to try and just stay home and not come in contact with others, as we've been told by experts is the only way to flatten the curve. I have left my house for supplies and when I do, I witness behavior that dooms us. I watched two people run into one another at the Brattleboro Food Co-op and hug! My muscle memory is also to hug, but for now, that ship has sailed.

I hate where we are, I have no idea how long it will take to get through it and, worst things worst, you can't see anything until it's too late. It's terrifying. Yet, by now I assume we've seen the kid on TV who's partying in Florida who says something to the effect "at the end of the day, if I get corona, I get corona, it's not going to stop me from partying." Well, if it kills you, that's exactly what it will do. I don't blame the kid; at that age I'm hard pressed to wonder if that might have been me. I would hope not. I would hope that my parents raised me better, with more respect for my fellow human. If I thought I would be the only one to suffer that would be different, but that's not the case. This thing doesn't spread when you have symptoms, it spreads when you feel well enough to hug an old friend at the Co-op.

Arguments are lobed around it being a flu. Yes, that's exactly what it is and like a normal flu it affects everyone differently. As of this moment (Tuesday, March 24) we have 75 cases in Vermont, with five deaths. New Hampshire has 101 cases, with one death. However, another state we share a border with, New York, has turned into ground zero for this pandemic with 23,230 cases and 183 deaths. Those are factual numbers and even though they feel small in comparison with the population, according to another chart I saw about flattening the curve, it suggests that we're on a trajectory to double that number every two and a half days. This is not to instill panic, this is not to scare, unless you're hugging people in the streets when you see them and not staying 6 feet apart.

It's pretty simple: the faster we adhere to the guidelines of what the CDC says the faster we're through this and can begin to rebuild. Our grandparents were called to fight world wars; we're being called on to sit on the couch and wash our hands. I would hope that we're capable of doing that. If you need more motivation or have it put into perspective, there's a meme that I've been circulating around. It speaks to the three percent death rate of the coronavirus and how little people respect that number. Here's that language: If I gave you 100 M&Ms and told you that three of them would kill you, you would avoid all M&Ms.

For those of us that have been through 9/11 and Irene, for those that help out whenever tragedy strikes, you understand one thing: Unity for Community is what brings us to the other side of things. Working together for the common good and doing what's necessary is what is necessary. Fighting the urge to break that 6-foot barrier and washing your hand 20 times a day is for the common good. Asymptomatic is when this virus does most of its damage, and that's when we have to do everything the experts are telling us to do. It's hard, it's inconvenient and frankly, it sucks. But it's for the greater good. If you can't respect any of this, then please simply respect that others respect it. Be well, be safe, be smart and soon we will all be free.

Peter "Fish" Case is a man with an opinion. He offers up a weekly podcast discussion that can be heard at Questions, compliments and complaints can be sent to him at The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brattleboro Reformer.



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