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From The Chief Editor's Desk

Around the globe, countries are slowly and cautiously starting to "reopen" from the coronavirus pandemic "lockdown." Businesses are opening back up, albeit with extra precautions to help prevent a second wave of infections racing through the population. People are going back to work ... well at least those whose businesses were shuttered during the lockdown.

Even at the hospital where I work, restrictions are slowly being lifted on visitors (one visitor per patient per day, who must successfully pass the screening process at the hospital entrance, coupled with drastically reduced visiting hours). Outpatient procedures and elective surgeries/procedures are slowly being added to the schedule. There does seem to be some reluctance by some patients to even consider coming to the hospital, and who can blame them. After all, who wants to walk into a denizen of sick people during a pandemic?

By now, most of the people around my part of this ball of mud have divided themselves into two camps. In the first camp are those who are fearful that the relaxation of the lockdown will cause a resurgence of the coronavirus. In the second camp are those who think the whole thing with the pandemic is overblown, and they are almost overzealous to get things back to "normal." Both camps have both validity and pitfalls to their reasoning. Due to limited testing, we don't know the true mortality rate of COVID-19. Experts predict it to be far lower than what we currently see. But then public health experts were recently surprised to discover that the incidence of asymptomatic coronavirus victims to be far higher than previously thought. If that is the case, then that produces a very real and tangible fear from relaxing our guard.

I said it a couple of months ago, and I'll say it again. What we perceived as "normal" back when all of this started is gone, replaced by a new "normal." This pandemic will leave an indelible mark on humankind. Wearing masks in public was never the "norm" in western cultures. Asian cultures are far more accepting of wearing masks in public. Even the "social distancing" guideline of six feet (~2 meters) has been proven by one study to be inadequate, finding that more than twice that (13 feet) was necessary to help minimize the spread of the virus.

To say that our knowledge of and our response to the coronavirus is fluid would be an understatement. Early recommendations have been reversed and/or revised, sometimes at break-neck speed. Stay inside. Go outside. Don't wear masks. Wear masks in public. Be cautious of virus contaminated surfaces. The virus isn't primarily spread by contact with contaminated surfaces. Take this medicine. Don't take this medicine. It definitely makes it difficult for people to know exactly what to do or what's expected of them to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus. What was "proper" two weeks ago has totally changed or evolved. In fact, it has left many people throwing their hands up in frustration in a "oh, what the h*ll" fashion.

What I'm most in awe of, though, is how my young kids have adapted to the situation. They took to wearing masks in public like a duck takes to water. Aside from Halloween, they had never worn a mask. We wear masks when we go out in public. Some places we go are worse than others. Walmart is the absolute worst. No one maintains social distancing, and considerably less than half of the shoppers wear masks. I'm just as surprised by which portion of the population that doesn't follow the mask guidelines: those over the age of 50, who are at the greatest risk!

I hope each of you are taking appropriate precautions, as recommended by your local public health officials ... even as confusing as those recommendations can sometimes be. We'd hate to lose even one PCLinuxOS family member to this "curse."

About the cover: June is Aquarium Month, so we decided to have a little fun with that theme. Meemaw created the cover image to commemorate Aquarium Month. So, if you have an aquarium, dress it up to give your little fishies some new scenery. Or, June would be a good time to start your own aquarium. I know my five cats would love an aquarium, but I honestly don't know just where I'd put it (I seriously need to get rid of some stuff!).

Until next month, I bid you peace, happiness, serenity, prosperity and good health!

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