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July 4, 1776. This is the date on which the Continental Congress, representing the 13 original colonies officially declared its independence from Great Britain thus giving birth to a new nation. Traditionally, we call this day “Independence Day”. In the era of COVID-19, I propose we give it a new name. I suggest we instead call it “Interdependence Day”.

Collectively, if we are to remain healthy and well and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, we need to rely on each other. When in public, we need to stay at least six feet away from one other and wear proper face coverings to keep from spreading the virus to our friends, neighbors and other fellow citizens. When we have symptoms, we need to stay home and contact our healthcare provider for further instructions. And we need to frequently wash our hands with soap and water. If neither is available, hand sanitizer is the next best option.

If we all do our part, we can beat COVID-19. It is only through effective interdependence that we can truly become independent and free of this virus. So this 4th of July, consider greeting each other with “Happy Interdependence Day!” If you get a funny look in reply, after reading this column, you should be able to explain why.