Oh the Coronavirus. It seems to be all anyone is talking about lately. For some people, this sounds like a bunch of hype. For others, they are terrified and anxious.

Mad panic is never a good idea in any situation, as it tends to interfere with calmly making reasonable decisions for the good of ourselves, our families, and our communities. At the same time, this is something we need to take seriously. You have, no doubt, read many insightful articles thus far as to why, so we won't repeat that info here.

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However, there may be one thing some of us may not fully understand. The call to try and stay home as much as is possible isn't simply about trying to avoid contracting the virus. It's about protecting the vulnerable we may come across in our outings.

Research suggests that more people may have it already than we know. We don't fully know who and how many may have it because testing is not widely available. The research also shows that some people may not even manifest the symptoms of COVID-19 and so won't be aware they have it. Here's why this is so important:

There are certain segments of our populations that are more susceptible to this virus and for them it can be quite serious, indeed. From what we understand, the elderly, the very young, and those whose immune systems are compromised are most at risk.

So let's say you have the virus, God forbid, but you are in an age or health bracket which makes you less likely to exhibit symptoms. Then, not knowing you have it, you brazenly ignore the warnings and go wherever you want, shaking hands and kissing babies. Although you may be okay, you may infect a more vulnerable friend or family member. So, this is not just about you and I making sure that we stay healthy. This is about looking out for other members in our society who need the most protection.

So, please. If you can, avoid public places and stay home if you can. If you aren't able to do so, please take every precaution you can for your own health and the health of others.

If you'd like to read more from the CDC about the people most at risk and the best practices during this challenging time, begin here.