Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we as a society must understand and follow the necessary guidelines to keep us safe from this illness. Consider that we do this until a vaccine is available and is effective in eradicating this virus.

The guidelines of 6-foot distancing, washing your hands throughout the day and wearing a mask outside in public places may well be our new norm.

Stores we have access to now may set up their own way of operating for public access. They may do this to not only protect you, but to also protect the employees of the store.

Offering a thank-you for their efforts would be something to consider.

Many of us will understand and do what we feel is the right thing to not only protect ourselves, but also to protect others. We must also educate our children about this new norm, letting them know how important it really is.

It is also important that parents be the correct role model for this new way of everyday life. Let your children know we are all working together to keep ourselves safe during this unique time in our lives.

Provide them with guidance.

Unfortunate situations will take place when some people feel they do not need to follow these safety guidelines. Possible suggestions would be to avoid these individuals and do not confront them on this issue.

Be aware that they may want to make derogatory comments about your precautions, and if they do, just walk away because they themselves may already be infected with the virus.

Going forward with this health-safety situation, it may be many months for us to continue what is needed to stay safe.

Your workplace may also have new instructions on how you perform your work in a safe manner. You might be asked to wear a mask and gloves, disinfect your work area or take other safety-related precautions.

Be prepared to do this and/or make safety suggestions to your employer. Let us all give thanks to our professional medical responders.

People of the world, please understand and recognize the new normal for 2020 is real, necessary and for you and others to stay alive in this pandemic.

Thomas E. Carter

Rio Rancho