The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic is a serious situation requiring serious action. It is a unique situation in most of our lives. Red River Valley residents may be able to see in it parallels to the flood situation. In spring the more moisture and the more sudden the runoff toward the rivers, the greater the risk the capacity of the rivers is exceeded and flooding occurs. We are at the mercy of the weather for the melt and runoff rate, but imagine if we could influence how fast the snow melted.

It is like that with the coronavirus in that we can have an effect on the transmission rate of the disease. Through social distancing and limiting contact we can at least slow the spread and possibly decrease the number of people who will get sick. Taking these steps may seem extreme now, but they will soften the blow. As the rivers can only hold so much water at once, our health care system can only handle so many patients at once. Our choices and actions may determine the difference between our hospitals either being able to keep up or getting overwhelmed.

For flooding there are levees, dikes, sandbagging, road closures. But we do not wait until the river is overflowing its banks before doing those things because by then it would be too late. We proactively take actions. Much better to have done too much too soon than later to regret having done too little.

Dealing with coronavirus will be hard and disruptive. Besides the health effects, shuttering businesses and halting activities will adversely impact many people. Yet the alternative path leads to the disease running more rampant and being much worse in all ways. Rather than teaming together like in sandbagging brigades we need more to team apart for a while by minimizing contact so we slow down the disease. Later we will pull back together and work our way through the related hardships.

History will remember this moment in time. We must all do our part to be as great as we like to say we are.