Somewhere in the political games that get played in our society, we lost sight of the facts surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. So let’s cut through the noise, agendas and conspiracy theories that plague too much of the discussion and look at some facts:

• COVID-19 cases are rising at an alarming rate. As of 3 p.m. Friday, there were 505 confirmed cases in Glynn County. That is nearly 200 more than we had on Monday.

• The best way to stop the spread of the disease includes washing your hands often, cleaning surfaces daily and following social distance guidelines (staying six feet away from people) and wearing a face covering when out in public.

• Not enough people in Glynn County are following the guidelines. One only needs to go to the Pier Village on St. Simons Island to see that. It was also disheartening that hardly anyone at Thursday’s summit to discuss how downtown Brunswick businesses are faring in the wake of the pandemic seemed to be following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines.

Too many people have been lulled into a false sense of security regarding the pandemic, rationalizing that the jump is attributed only to more testing. More testing is taking place, but all it means is we have confirmation that the virus is here in greater numbers than previously known.

We have been fortunate in Glynn County that our death toll has not been higher. Three lives lost is three too many.

If we as a county continue to ignore the guidelines, the number of cases will continue to grow. Eventually, so will the number of deaths.

We know that some of the guidelines are annoying. It’s hot outside so wearing a mask might not be that comfortable, but we do a lot of things that we don’t like for the sake of our health and the health of our friends, families and neighbors. It is part of the social contract that comes with being a part of a society.

It is incumbent upon all of us to follow the guidelines and slow the spread of this virus. If doing it for your fellow citizens isn’t enough of an incentive, then remember this: we will get to enjoy the normal things that we have missed out on the last few months — like attending sporting events, going to a movie or seeing that favorite band in person — sooner if we do what we know works to slow the spread of the virus.

It’s not that hard. Follow the guidelines and help keep everyone safe.

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