Whether you’re a democrat or a republican should make no difference when it comes to the health of this nation, and this is certainly not the time to attempt to make unwarranted political attacks against each other.

There have been nearly 200,000 coronavirus cases worldwide and nearly 7,000 deaths. As of Monday the U.S. has experienced approximately 4,000 cases and 69 deaths. That is a small number considering the population of the U.S., but those numbers could easily explode if we don’t use a little common sense.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging a nationwide halt to gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks. According to the CDC, large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, and other types of assemblies. 

Here are some basic common sense health habits you can take to protect yourself against COVID-19:

- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

- Older adults are at higher risk of getting severely sick from the disease and are advised to avoid crowds of people, travel and practice keeping space between themselves and others. 

- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.

This is also not the time to panic. Grocers have advised there are plenty of supplies for everyone, so please don’t rush to the grocery store and fear-buy more than you need. One of the most important things we can do right now is stay calm and again use a little common sense.

The absolute best thing we can do is pray for the continued health of our country and for protection against disease.

-Jamie Gardner