Brace yourself, Boyd Countians. There may be more.

The inevitable announcement came on Sunday afternoon, when Boyd County Emergency Management released cringeworthy information that the novel coronavirus had hit our corner of northeastern Kentucky.

We knew it was coming, but four cases in one day is tough to absorb.

As you’ve likely noticed, we’ve been publishing an updated total, including a county-by-county breakdown every day. Jefferson and Fayette are the most populated, therefore they are atop the list, by far. Boyd County, with its significant jump on Sunday, is now scratching the surface of the “top 10.”

Our natural reaction: Panic.

However, we can’t be alarmed. We shouldn’t even be shocked. We knew it was here this whole time; it was just a matter of receiving positive test results in a process that can take almost a week.

Gov. Andy Beshear and leaders across the country are preparing their states for “surges” over the next two weeks. Some states have already experienced or are right in the thick of the wave right now.

Let’s make a goal here in northeastern Kentucky to keep our cases to a minimum. Fortunately, as of Monday afternoon, Greenup County and Carter County both had zero cases and the four Boyd County patients possessing the virus were self-isolated in their respective homes.

Let’s be sure to heed all the warnings, and don’t succumb to the temptation of gathering at a popular store (that should be utilized only for essential needs) or getting a bunch of people together on a nice day.

Although our patience may be wearing thin, we can let our uneasiness trump health.

That’s not to say these first four in Boyd County did anything wrong. Much of this is simply out of our control. As we’ve learned, a person may possess the virus without even knowing and proceed to infect others, many of whom may have a more difficult time recovering. That’s the danger of COVID-19.

We at the newspaper first of all want to express our hopes and wishes that these initial four diagnosed in Boyd County get better without a hitch.

Although HIPAA laws prevent their names from being publicly known, we think we can speak for the whole area when we say we wish each of them a smooth recovery.

Let’s make a goal right now to do all we can to keep the number low in northeastern Kentucky.

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