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Hope for the best, prepare for anything else

Credible news can be backed up with facts, not hearsay or simple opinion.

In the same way, information about such threats as coronavirus (COVID-19) that is accurate can be backed up with facts from credible sources, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Mississippi Department of Health. Just because something is posted on a social media site — though it may come from a well-intentioned person — doesn’t mean it’s true.

So we suggest checking reputable sources.

The COVID-19 strain of the coronavirus does appear to be very contagious and has the potential to infect and affect a lot of people in the United States as it has already done in other parts of the world since its discovery in mainland China Dec. 31.

Plenty of up-to-date information can be found at the CDC website — cdc.gov — or the MSDH website — msdh.ms.gov.

Make sure you are taking steps to minimize the chances you will be exposed to this or any virus. Wash your hands often. Cover your face if you sneeze or cough. Avoid shaking hands. Just be smart.

In words that have been shared in many ways by many people at many times for many centuries, we urge our readers to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst — or anything else.