Editor’s Note: This commentary is written by Gregory J. Lamoureux, Publisher of the County Courier.

We’ve all heard it. People brushing off the added measures that health officials have recommended to the public in order to reduce the transmission rate of the coronavirus to the general population.

Wash your hands, social distancing, avoid large crowds, etc.

This morning I was in a local business, and I overheard an older lady talking about the pandemic. She was upset about the new protocols put in place and how it is affecting everyday life.

“I’m over 60, and I work at a nursing home,” she told the clerk, “And I think this is all stupid.”

Sadly, I did not stand up to her beliefs, and sadly, she needed that the most.

Next time I’ll use positive peer pressure to set the record straight. I should have today, and I’ve decided to correct the next person who is disregarding the public health threat. Just because they think it’s “stupid.” 

Do you know what’s stupid? Assuming that government officials are playing Russian Roulette with our economy and people’s every day lives over a hoax; assuming that it’s getting blown way out of proportion by keeping kids at home instead of sending them to school.

No politician in their right mind would be asking, and in some cases ordering, their citizens to shelter in place unless the threat was actually serious. Even if you think there are leaders in the world that are on a power trip or taking this pandemic as an opportunity to overpower their citizens, I’d like you to consider this. The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to kill more people in the next few months alone, than all eight years of World War II combined, if people continue to ignore the precautions prescribed by our Governor, President, Allies, and World Health Organization. 

It will take society as a whole to get through this crisis with as few fatalities as possible.  That means we all have to stand up to those that refuse to trust the experts- the scientists.

When one of us hears someone spewing untruths about this virus, the measures put in place, and the changes we all face day-to-day, it’s everyone’s responsibility to set them straight.

And for the youthful people in the world that don’t think this will affect them- or want to shake it off as the “Boomer Remover,” take your favorite six people in your life who are over 80 years old. Maybe it’s your grandmother, maybe it’s your grand uncle, or maybe it’s just someone you look up to for their wisdom. Now think about how your life will be different if one of those valiant members of society, of your life, dies from this illness. Maybe then you’ll put it into perspective as to why it’s important for your favorite coffee shop to prevent you from bringing in your own cup, or your favorite restaurant to go to takeout only.