Remember the “I Want You’’ posters which showed an imposing Uncle Sam pointing at his audience and urging volunteers to join the U.S. Army to fight World War I and World War II?

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker doesn’t look anything like Uncle Sam, but he made the same basic plea over the weekend when he put out a call for retired health care workers and volunteers in general to help stem the rising tide created by the COVID-19 crisis.

Those experienced in the health care field are desperately needed as it becomes apparent the situation will get worse before it gets better. More people are being diagnosed with coronavirus with each passing day.

It has taken a greater toll on the elderly, and for that reason, Pritzker said older retirees would be kept away from COVID-19 patients and would focus on patients with other needs instead.

Pritzker also called on the public in general to volunteer, a choice which would seem risky as we are being urged to practice social distancing. But opportunities of various kinds still exist, and can be found on the website Organizations such as the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and food banks still can use hands-on help, but other options are available which maintain social distancing guidelines. They include checking on family, friends and neighbors through phone call or text, completing the U.S. Census form and making monetary donations to the needy via the internet.

President Donald Trump has described the coronavirus crisis as a “war,’’ and it has surely become a life or death battle. In this particular fight, the soldiers are members of the public who take some sort of action to help stop the enemy.

Uncle Sam (or Pritzker) wants you. Humankind needs you. Will you step up?

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