There are any number of places where we do not want to “see” you, but two in particular.

We don’t want to see you among the statistics shared in the right-hand corner of 1A each day and we most definitely do not want to see you among those listed on page 4A each day.

But some of you have been there. Some of you are there today. And some of you will be there in the days, weeks and likely months to come.

If you are not one of those numbers on 1A and not one of those whose final chapter is written in the annals of history among the daily obituaries, chances are great that you know someone who is. It could be a family member, a fellow church member, someone you do business with, a friend.

Much like cancer, COVID-19 seems to touch every one of us in one way or another. It did not miraculously disappear with the arrival of Easter this past spring. Summer’s high temperatures did not burn it out of existence. And now, we are seeing a nationwide spike in the fall and as we head into the holiday seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Some people might take the approach that no matter what they do, they too are bound to get the virus. That might seem logical, but consider the fact that the impact COVID-19 has on people varies from person to person. Some are certainly more susceptible and apt to have worse symptoms than others. Some are certainly more at risk of dying.

So it only makes sense to do all you can to not only protect yourself but others who you come in contact with. Protect the vulnerable ones you know, protect those whose vulnerability you don’t know.

Please don’t live in a fantasy world in which you believe yourself to be at low risk and therefore have no real duty or obligation to protect others around you.

Maybe we do sound like we are preaching, but really it’s because we care about our fellow human beings. We care enough that we truly do think it only makes sense and is minimally sacrificial to mask up, wash hands well, practice physical distancing and do our level best to keep others from joining the seemingly ever-growing statistics.

And at the end of the day, they are not just statistics; they are people. They are you, they are us, they are people we know, people we don’t know. But we care.