The false sense of security some of us had before Thursday is now gone.

On that day, local health and government officials gathered for a news conference to announce Kankakee County has its first confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus.

No longer will local residents be able to downplay the situation because it is not in their midst. To some, the knowledge that the virus had not surfaced here was joined by the misguided belief it couldn’t happen here. They believed life could be conducted as if everything remained normal.

But these are clearly not normal times. Will County residents found that out earlier in the week when that county confirmed its first case. As of this writing, Iroquois County does not have a confirmed case, but it’s only a matter of time.

We agree with the advice given by several officials at the aforementioned news conference. People should not panic. At the same time, this devil-may-care attitude still being displayed by some must end.

No, we don’t have the blatant examples of defiance such as the scenes that have developed in Florida, where college students have gathered by the thousands for spring break despite stern warnings to avoid large crowds. But we do see lesser examples as some people never took this crisis seriously in the first place, and continue to disregard it even as the need for increased caution increases.

We, humans, enjoy each other’s company and something is missing when we can’t experience such enjoyment. But it’s something that’s going to have to remain missing for the immediate future. Virtual human contact can be achieved through the wonders of modern technology, and that’s going to have to suffice for now.

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