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Most unusual circumstance is changing things

This isn’t just a “stay-at-home-because-you’re sick-but-come-back-to-work-tomorrow” situation. It’s a true lockdown of sorts.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday issued a statewide stay-at-home order to curb the spread of the coronavirus, exempting essential workers.

The order took effect at 12:01 today and will last for at least three weeks, allowing “essential” employees to continue going to work to sustain life.

It remains to be seen how this will play out.

There are many questions: Who should be able to work? How will they be paid if they can’t work?

How will this be enforced?

Some states already have instituted such orders, including New York.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was on CNN Monday to discuss how it could be handled.

His advice? “Don’t be reactive. Be productive. Be proactive.”

Cuomo acknowledged the difficulty of the situation, stressing that people shouldn’t underestimate the pain of isolation. After all, humans like to be with other humans, for the most part.

However, he called for people to be “socially distanced but spiritually connected.”

The Michigan order allows people to remain at least six feet from other people when outside their households. They can, however, leave to engage in outdoor activities such as walking or cycling, plus they can travel to a hospital, gasoline station or grocery store.

Some people might wonder if this latest Michigan order is overreacting.

Consider the ramifications, though, if not reacting this way. Many people might contract COVID-19, but most won’t die.

But what about the people who are severely affected? What about the strain being put on hospitals?

Now is when actions such as the stay-at-home order should take place to prevent the spread of coronavirus as much as possible before it gets out of hand, and we hope it hasn’t gotten out of hand.

We realize the burden this will place on many people, especially small businesses.

Regardless of how long the stay-at-home order is in effect, a few things must be kept in mind. People should follow the order as much as possible, practice healthy habits and prepare for what’s ahead when the order is lifted — and it has to be lifted at some point.

The economy would be too severely damaged otherwise.

So, how did we get to this point? Maybe the more important question is to ask: Where do we go from here?

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