This isn’t the March Madness we anticipated or desired.

By now you have been affected by the coronavirus known as COVID-19. You may have had to postpone a vacation, told to stay away from your campus, watched your 401K dissolve. You may be missing out on a long-anticipated show or your favorite sporting events. You likely have visited every store in the county looking for a bottle of hand sanitizer or pack of toilet paper.

By now, hopefully, you haven’t been infected or told to sit in isolation for a 14-day quarantine.

This isn’t the madness we anticipated or desired, but it is the one we now must live with for the foreseeable future.

Community colleges, public schools, houses of worship, entertainment venues and various businesses and organizations are listening to health experts and making decisions to close their doors, postpone events or change the way they do business.

The Cullman Times is working to inform the public about the local impact with reports about steps being taken by community leaders, schools, businesses, churches, sports teams and other organizations. We’ve listed postponements and safety tips.

We have created a landing page going forward for readers to find all this information at www.cullmantimes.com/covid-19/.

We thank you for recognizing and supporting community journalism. While pieces of information may be obtained from various sources, a general news organization such as The Cullman Times is your best source for a wide range of local, state and national verified information.

While most content on our website is exclusive to our readers, we have lifted the fee for coronavirus reports that are posted as News Alerts. This won’t cover all coronavirus stories, but it will cover those that have the greatest effect on public health and have the largest impact.

We know it is difficult to escape fear when a national emergency is declared, continents are closed off, the stock market crashes and some of our most treasured events are canceled, but we urge everyone to avoid panic and remain calm.

There is no need to hoard goods from grocery stores, only to deny our neighbors.

Some may question why drastic precautions are being taken in states such as Alabama with only handfuls of confirmed cases. But that is the point.

We live in a small world, connected by business, academic and leisure travelers. The goal of limiting contact is to prevent the spread and allow health-care workers to treat smaller numbers of patients that do become infected.

We urge you to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

This isn’t the March Madness we anticipated or desired, but we can make the best of it.

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