With the first coronavirus fatality recorded here in the United States, there is a heightened alarm around what may lie ahead for all of us. In truth, there is no telling what damage this force of nature may leave in its wake. But that is not to say that there is nothing we can do to weaken its impact.

Protecting ourselves from the virus is a collective responsibility that requires action from each of us to varying degrees.

First, we must consider how each of us responds personally to the threat of an outbreak. There are basic handwashing and hygiene techniques than can limit our chances of infection and help us prevent the spread of the disease if we are unknowingly infected. We can avoid large crowds, wash our hands regularly, cover our mouths when we cough or sneeze and start preparing our homes for the possibility that we’ll fall ill and need to stay home while sick.

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Originally published on Fox News Opinion (February 29, 2020)