As COVID-19 cases continue to spike across the state and even here at home, it’s time to step back and consider how easily the virus is spread and ask ourselves, “Have I been a part of the problem?”

As of Wednesday morning, confirmed cases in Lawrence County had jumped to 77 as compared to 66 last week. The Alabama Department of Public Health reported 26,524 confirmed cases and 779 deaths for the state last Wednesday, and those numbers had grown to 30,670 confirmed cases and 854 deaths in the last seven days.

A few things we know about this virus, according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention and the ADPH, some individuals infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, which means they are carrying it and passing it along without showing any signs or symptoms. You could have the virus, be contagious, and have no clue you’re carrying the pathogen with you every where you go.

While many who contract the virus have mild or even no symptoms at all, there is a percentage of us that suffer greater consequences. Are they paying because we are not heeding the warnings?

Several weeks ago, Gov. Kay Ivey said she could not force us to wear masks or face coverings everywhere we go. She began the process of reopening our state’s economy a little more than a month ago, because we do live in a free country where we have the power and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Someone once said, “With great power comes great responsibility,” and it is up to us to live responsibly as we live freely. If you go out in public, it is up to you to decide whether you need a mask, and it is up to you to maintain the six-foot social distancing rule. If you are sick, it’s up to you to stay home for the protection of your neighbors. We all play a part in slowing the spread.

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