EDITORIAL: Stay home. Just stay home

York Dispatch Editorial Board
WellSpan York Hospital begins COVID-19 coronavirus outdoor screening, Thursday, March 12, 2020.

Stay home.

This is the advice coming from every direction and every agency, from York City to the Pennsylvania Department of Health to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the World Health Organization.

That's the best thing all of us can do right now to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Pennsylvania saw the number of confirmed cases jump by 52 to a total of 185 on Thursday, just a day after York County confirmed its first two cases and the state recorded its first death from COVID-19.

More:York City ramps up enforcement of Wolf's restaurant, bar order

More:'Being a senior citizen pays off': Stores offer older Yorkers early hours

More:COVID-19 testing to begin at York Expo Center

More:Known coronavirus cases jump to 185 in Pa.

“Our notable increase in cases over the last few days and our first death in Pennsylvania indicate we need everyone to take COVID-19 seriously,” state Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in a new release.

“Pennsylvanians have a very important job right now: stay calm, stay home and stay safe. We have seen case counts continue to increase, and the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home.”

York City Mayor Michael Helfrich demonstrates a method  to cover a cough during a press conference announcing a declaration of disaster emergency due to the COVID-19 virus Thursday, March 12, 2020. He also announced that York's Saint Patrick's Day parade was cancelled due to the Coronavirus threat. Bill Kalina photo

We couldn't agree more.

Schools are closed. Restaurants and bars are closed. All nonessential businesses are "strongly urged" to close. York City is using the fire department and permits bureau to enforce new rules against a gathering with more than 50 people. Movie theaters, live theaters and concert venues are all closed. Even churches are closed.

More:Information on coronavirus and COVID-19 from the CDC

Most people are taking the hint. Look around — cars are staying parked. Neighbors are speaking to each other but keeping their distance. Lots of dogs are taking lots of walks.

It's all good.

Yes, we're all in for a hard time economically. Businesses suddenly closing is rough on everyone in every community. 

But if we can all decide to put our neighbors' need to stay virus free ahead of our need to sit in a crowded restaurant or go to a party, we can beat this.

So do your part. Stay home. Cook your own food. Get your kids to teach you how to play their favorite video games. Teach them to play cards. Clean out the basement. 

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has asked all nonessential businesses in Pennsylvania to close.

If you have to go to the grocery store, do it after the first hour they're open, when many places are letting seniors in to avoid crowds and get their supplies while shelves are stocked and freshly cleaned. 

Buy what you need, and leave some for everyone else. No, you don't need 50 packs of toilet paper or all the disinfectant wipes a store has. Get enough to get through a couple of weeks, and let other people have a chance at the goods.

Once you've bought what you need, go home. Wash your hands. A lot. Disinfect doorknobs and keys and light switches and anything else people touch often. Don't touch your face. 

And with that taken care of, follow everyone's advice. Stay home. For your own sake and for everyone else's.