It’s been a tumultuous week for Nacogdoches County, as the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was announced.

That can seem discouraging, but our community is filled with beacons of hope, the largest of which was this weeks’ opening of the Nacogdoches Coronavirus Call Center.

The call center is a venture between the city, county, SFA and major health providers, that have joined together to provide hope and treatment for our community in this trying time.

If you have flu-like symptoms, don’t hesitate. Call the center at 936-468-4787 anytime between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday though Friday. Do not rush to the emergency room; don’t show up in your doctors’ waiting room.

If you are sick and qualify, the center will offer you a test. If you do not qualify for the test — and few outside the very ill or highly at-risk do — do not despair. Follow the directions they give you and for the sake of all of us, stay home.

Everyone should be practicing social distancing, throughly washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and regularly using hand sanitizer.

Last week, in this space, we referenced Albert Camus’ masterpiece “The Plague,” which chronicles a small town fight against an illness in the 1940s.

Today we offer another bit of advice from the novel’s protagonist Dr. Bernard Rieux.

“All I maintain is that on this earth there are pestilences and there are victims, and it’s up to us, so far as possible, not to join forces with the pestilences.”

Joining forces with pestilence is easy, while being on the right side and remaining appropriately socially distanced is far more difficult.

We urge you to take up the fight against coronavirus and take this fight seriously.

This is an unseen enemy, but it can and will be beaten.

The rules and suggestions put in place are not an effort to control you or your daily activities. They are instead to stop the spread of our common enemy.

Take up the cause and join us in this fight. The life you save could be your own.

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