The World Health Organization has declared the COVID-19 outbreak to be a pandemic — official recognition that the virus respects no borders and now affects masses of people in countries all over the world. And there is no denying the world is changing, in painful ways. We see it in financial markets, where prices are plunging — and in supermarkets, where customers are stripping shelves bare. All driven by fear, as the number of virus cases grows with each passing day.COVID-19: New York’s health care system contingency plansInside an American coronavirus containment zoneWhile we may feel powerless over this threat, we are not. There are important things we can and must do — and right now. To borrow a phrase from the war on terror, the coronavirus only has to be right once to infect us. We have to be right every time to prevent it. So, every time you cough or sneeze, use a tissue or the crook of your arm. Every time you think of it, wash your hands — as frequently as you can. Every time you can, practice “social distancing” — stay away from others during this outbreak. Social distancing is now being enforced throughout our society.

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