So a couple of months ago, when I first became aware of the Coronavirus threat, I took heed but remained agnostic as to whether it would be the big deal it was being purported to be. After all, certain media outlets tend to sensationalize issues to make them more alluring to viewers. Like the "boy who cried wolf," we aren't always sure if there's even a wolf there at all.

Then, as time went on and more and more cases were being reported abroad, and then here, the threat became more real. Then it became alarming. All of a sudden our government--on both a national and state level--began to warn and then mandate closures. Everyday citizens began to look at one another like "what on earth is happening? Is this real?" For a population who has spent a good portion of time binge-watching shows like The Walking Dead, Outbreak, and other pandemic-oriented fodder, it almost felt like an elaborate ruse. That is, until people started to become sick and in some cases, die.

Now our local leaders are also asking for us to please stay home whenever possible. Yes, of course, not everyone can stay home, it's true. And for all of those who work in our hospitals, businesses, and within the institutions that keep us safe, thank you so much for your work.

Yet, this is all the more reason for those of us who *can* stay home, to please do so. This is an extremely communicable virus and the fewer people out, the better.

I was on a video chat with a few friends from California earlier today, and I was taken aback at how committed they are to sheltering in place and not leaving unless there's an emergency. It's not that many Texans aren't taking this seriously, but, from what we can see on social media, it's evident not everyone is.

Some political leaders have any suggested that maybe we just get back to work and that they might be willing to give their life to the Coronavirus to make sure the economy is strong. The debate around that issue is beyond the scope of this post.

I'll just say this: yes, of course we want to do all we can to support our East Texas businesses and to find every possible way to safely do so. At the same time, if we don't minimize the impact of this virus, and it gets out of hand like we've seen happen elsewhere, the impact on the economy, could be worse long-term.

If it feels like while you wait it out at home that this is all feeling a bit anti-climactic and you feel fine--EXCELLENT. That's exactly we want it to feel like. That means it's working.

So, please dear ones: Stay home if you can. Use caution when you must go out. And yes, let's do all we can to support our East Texas businesses safely. Let me invite you to check out our Open for Business tab. That's a great place to start.