The suggestions have given way to strong suggestions, which have given way to directives. Our local public health officials are taking things pretty seriously ... we all need to take the hint and do all we can to minimize our risks of being infected by the new coronavirus.

Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu issued a directive that takes place at midnight tonight: residents are to remain at home except to engage in essential activities. 

She noted in today’s story that there remain no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Yuba-Sutter, but points out our proximity to Sacramento which has had positive tests.

She made it clear this was just one step. The directive isn’t very toothy ... you likely won’t be cited if you’re congregating needlessly ... maybe a scolding. But the next step would be an “order” issued by the counties. An order could bring about stricter enforcement.

Officials at the local level have re-set the bar. They live in our communities and they surely realize the impact this directive, and possible orders, will have on local citizens, local businesses, the local culture and economy. We, as citizens, should take seriously what they’re doing. We can remain skeptical, if we please, and we can question decisions, if we must, but we should be obeying the directives they’re approving.

We’re hearing more and more detail about how limiting exposure really can help “flatten the curve.” What that means is that we may not be able to stop the virus from infecting a lot of people, but we can slow down the delivery of the virus from person to person. If a lot of us get sick all at the same time, it crashes our medical delivery system; if we slow down the spread, our medical system can keep up and comfort more of us and save more lives.

This virus is a heartbreaker. That’s for sure. It’s pretty apparent by now that we’re going to have to bear the burden and do our best. Participating willingly in this directive might ease the burden down the road.

Our View editorials represent the opinion of the Appeal-Democrat and its editorial board and are edited by the publisher and/or editor. Members of the editorial board include: Publisher Glenn Stifflemire and Editor Steve Miller.

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