This is the most frustrating time during this pandemic, because now is the time we as individuals have to start making decisions.

It’s going to be the individual that determines how this story ends.

Everyone has been limited in some form or fashion for a little over month now. Couple the restrictions placed on our movements because of COVID-19 with the normal spring fever most people experience this time of year and you have the makings of a volcanic eruption.

There’s a collective urge to rush out of our homes and try to get back to the way things used to be as quickly as possible.

What makes it so frustrating is on one hand you have the state slowly opening back up. It makes you think everything is OK or that it’s getting better.

But on the other hand, you see the numbers of confirmed cases climbing and you have to ask are things really getting better?

According to a New York Times story, we’re going to be battling this virus for the next two or three years.

It’s hard to predict the future, but what that does tell me is this virus probably isn’t going away next month.

That said, a prolonged lockdown like we’ve had isn’t sustainable, but the more people move about, regardless of how careful they are, the more COVID-19 will spread.

It’s hard to know what to do. It’s hard to tell how quickly you should try to return to normal.

There’s no roadmap and each one of us is left with nothing more than our best guess.

When we’re faced with decisions like this, which in some cases could be the difference between living and dying, most people are going to seek a second opinion.

They’re going to ask their leaders – city leaders, state leaders, the federal government. They are going to look for them for a measure of protection and guidance.

And, for the most part, the guidance has been pretty good. You can sit around and second guess it all day, but considering there wasn’t exactly a playbook available, the response in Madison County has been pretty good.

The problem is none of those entities are equipped or designed to give the answers you or I really need. They’re built to govern and make decisions based on the greater population as a whole, to protect and advise en masse and not individually.

So when you start to get into situations that are specific like living with a loved one who is immunocompromised, being told to return to work and having to decide how to keep you and your loved one protected if you do return to work, then it’s hard to find the answer to that question.

What’s going to make the difference going forward as we try to recover from this pandemic is going to the individual choices of each person.

The choices like wearing a mask in public and being more cautious and staying away from the general population if you feel sick.

It’s going to take a level of personal responsibility and sacrifice that we haven’t seen in the country in a long, long time to keep others safe.

What it boils down to is people thinking about others first and choosing the selfless choices instead of the selfish ones.

If we can get enough people to do that, we’ll be all right.

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