The coronavirus COVID-19 has horrified and humbled every person on Earth, with few exceptions, since it struck with lightning speed. Now that it has demonstrated its sickening killing power, we must figure out how to blunt its blows and live with it until we can eliminate it.

More than 600,000 Americans have tested positive. It has killed 28,593 to date.

In Idaho alone, it has sickened 1,587 people and killed 41 as of Wednesday evening. These are only cases confirmed by tests, which are still restricted to those with serious symptoms and denied to others.

Healthcare workers are waging day-by-day and minute-by-minute heroic battles against coronavirus in every state in the nation. They are doing it without the tests and equipment they need.

While the battles continue, the rest of us must use our time on the sidelines to re-imagine life ahead.

Life as we knew it will never be the same. No one alive today will emerge from the crisis unmarked. Life will never return to what we once called “normal.”

We will join generations that came before us who learned that lightning can strike at any time and that decisions have consequences. Like them, we will have to feel our way along dim and unknown paths into an unknown future.

Before coronavirus, the word “slow” was not part of our vocabulary. It must be now.

On Wednesday, Idaho Gov. Brad Little wisely extended the state’s stay at home order while allowing some businesses that can deliver goods curbside to reopen. He still did not close construction sites nor impose safety rules on any business, which is a mistake. He left counties and cities to fill the gap.

The city of New York has ordered people to wear masks in public. Other cities should, too.

Health experts insist that social distancing must continue to keep COVID-19 cases from spiking so high that they outstrip the ability of hospitals to care for patients. We must listen to them.

While the world waits for a vaccine, mistakes will be made and more people will die. Yet, we cannot stay immobilized forever. Together we must adapt, be patient and cautiously move forward into the unknown.

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