Here we are, another week of working from and sheltering at home, home-schooling, at-home recreation and such. That is, at least, for a good many of us.

Some people are still able and even willing to go to work, so long as they are taking all the necessary precautions. Still, whether the work routine hasn’t really changed it remains a different world during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the risk of being a bit repetitive, however, we do want to extend a thumbs up to all who have been behaving, so to speak. If you have kept your travels and shopping to a minimum, good for you. If you have taking precautions on the job, such as wearing a mask as and when appropriate, regularly washing your hands, being even more cautious about getting into the personal space of others around you, again good for you.

Doing your part, being responsible and helping keep those numbers down when it comes to how many people are testing positive, getting sick or, worse, potentially dying, is certainly expected but also worthy of an accolade in the form of the thumbs up.

But the larger thumbs up goes out to those we often label as the front line in this pandemic war.

While so many of us can change our lifestyles to fit the new normal and its accompanying needs, not everyone can. They can wear protective clothing in many cases, but for a good number of folks, it’s business as usual. And that business puts them at higher risk for contracting the novel coronavirus.

This includes all in the medical arena and law enforcement. Hospital workers, EMTs, firefighters – the list is fairly extensive. Imagine what must go through their minds as they try to do their jobs the best they can. Each minute they are on the job they are putting themselves and, yes, potentially others at risk.

So yes, we agree that first responders and those whose jobs put them in contact with potentially higher-risk people deserve a few accolades. We’re not alone. Grocery stores and restaurants, for example, have been kind enough to treat some of these folks to free food and meals.

If you’re doing the right thing in what we sometimes refer to as these COVID Days, please continue doing so. And don’t take unnecessary risks when the day comes that the rules and regs are more relaxed. There is no magic date when the coronavirus will simply disappear.

And if you are among those serving on the front lines, we wish you well. Be safe, be vigilant in protecting yourselves and your families. When all is said and done, we hope you get a much-needed stress-free break.

— The Index Journal, Greenwood