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B.J. DRYE COLUMN: We have to work together

Over the last several weeks, The Stanly News & Press has reported on how many residents and businesses are handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have covered hospitals, schools, colleges, town and county governments, restaurants, health organizations and funeral homes, as well as talked to community members who were just trying to provide a little good feeling during this trying time.

We have many more stories left to tell.

But this week, the worldwide war hit home in several ways for Stanly County.

At the first of the week, we learned of County Commission Chairman Matthew Swain’s battle with the virus. Shortness of breath was his major concern, he said.

Later in the week, Swain gave an update that he was doing better.

On Thursday, the Stanly County Health Department reported the first death in the county related to the virus.

Swain said something like it doesn’t hit you until it impacts someone you know.

While the number of confirmed cases was 11 by Friday, which is relatively low compared to some of our neighboring counties, one case is too many — and one death is certainly too many.

It certainly is a different time in the county, the country and the world. Now is a time of year where we are supposed to be enjoying things like March Madness, The Masters, Wrestlemania, Easter egg hunts, local sporting events, Beach Blast, Outdoorsman Bonanza, music festivals, auctions, family reunions, proms, senior trips, Spring Break and plans for graduation.

But until everyone gets on board with social distancing, hand washing and not being out playing around and congregating in large groups, we will continue to be living life as cast members in the largest production of “Big Brother” ever.

We need to stay together — apart.

B.J. Drye is editor of The Stanly News & Press. Call 704-982-2123, or follow bjdrye1 on Twitter.