As Pennsylvania’s coronavirus case numbers continue to rise, it appears that the threatened fall resurgence of COVID-19 is coming to pass.

Fayette and Greene counties have both been fortunate to lose very few of their residents to the novel coronavirus: 10 deaths have been reported in Fayette since March, and there has been only one in Greene.

Concerning, however, is that six of Fayette’s deaths have been recorded since August, and half of those have come since Oct. 6.

Cases in both continue to tick upwards, though thankfully not at the rapid rate that other counties in our area have seen.

But it’s more important now than ever that we all band together to try and keep it that way. The only way to do that, absent a cure, is through continued community vigilance.

And let’s be honest – a lot of people have become a bit lackadaisical about that.

The shock of COVID-19 has worn off; the words, “global pandemic,” so oft said in television news broadcasts, don’t really land the emotional blow that they once did.

We’ve become numb, and partially because of that, some people have stopped wearing masks, are less careful about washing or sanitizing their hands, and are willing to gather with as many as they see fit as often as they’d like.

Political views have also contributed to the devil-may-care attitude some exhibit toward the precautions public health experts have recommended.

Whatever the reason, folks need to snap out of it.

Remember what March, April and May were like?

No school for our children, shuttered businesses, uncertainty about what was to come.

If nothing else, we gathered the gift of knowledge from the past seven months, and each of us must use that to do our little part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

For those who do not have a health condition that precludes it, is wearing a mask that difficult? Is carrying around hand sanitizer that much of a burden? Is limiting gatherings that much of a sacrifice?

They are all such small things.

For many, the difficulties of job loss, illness or other pandemic-related difficulties persist, while others weathered the early months of 2020 and came out unscathed on the other side.

None of us want to go back to the uncertainty that comes with a dramatic spikes in cases.

Our children need consistency in education. Our workforce wants to remain in place. Our older and at-risk residents do not want to go back to staying at home because the risk of going out is too great.

While there is no way to control what will come, we each bear a responsibility to those around us to try to minimize our part in worsening it.

Please consider your actions (or inactions), and their potential for impact on others as we head into fall, and recognize that the small annoyances like mask wearing could very well save lives.

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