- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 27, 2020

As every parent knows (or soon enough learns), daycare centers, schools and recreational facilities are germ factories.

One sneezy, snot-nosed child or teacher easily leads to another and another, creating the need for such must-haves as disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and Kleenex in classrooms — as necessary as crayons, textbooks and laptops.

Enter the cold-and-flu season, and expect the worst.

Add COVID-19, or the coronavirus, and expect a reset.

Do not panic, though. Use common sense.

For sure, be concerned. The coronavirus is a contagion to be reckoned with, as the CDC, WHO and other health officials are warning.

Wall Street has the jitters, death tolls rise daily and every continent but Antarctica has been hit.

We’re at the beginning of the Lenten season and at the brink of spring break.

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo might be cancelled, and Saudi Arabia announced Thursday it has temporarily banned foreigners from entering Mecca and Medina, two of Islam’s holiest and most-popular pilgrimage sites.

Yet, what are some Democrats doing? Well, they plopped their buttocks onto their default button to blame President Trump.

For what? Naming Vice President Mike Pence to lead the nation’s coronavirus messaging.

The jackasses, for their part, had a leading mouthpiece, too. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “He is not a medical doctor. He is not a health expert. He is not qualified nor positioned in any way to protect our public health.”

Well, Joe Biden wasn’t either, but that didn’t stop him from being elected on the 2008 and 2012 Democratic tickets.

See, to a measurable degree, the government cannot “protect our public health” from every virus and bacteria, snotty nose, natural allergen and germy doorknob.

We must take many precautions upon ourselves.

And therein lies the political fault line.

Instead of wasting precious time amid this potential pandemic, instead of using Mr. Pence as a whipping boy, Miss Ocasio-Cortez and our other elected leaders should be punching the buttons on prevention measures.

Wash your hands with soap and water.

Cover your coughs and sneezes.

Use tissues and toilet paper to wipe your eyes, ears and noses.

If you, your child or spouse is sick, stay home.

Remember, viruses (like bad politics) love to spread. So don’t tempt them.

Do your part, let the scientists do theirs, and in the meantime, pray that governmental yakety-yaks get out of the way.

We need to do to COVID-19 what we did to the measles.

Common sense among parents and other adults was key then, too.

⦁ Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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