Day 11 without sports.

The coronavirus has made its way into Grand Traverse county and this should be a wake-up call for everyone.

It hits particularly close to home for me because the case announced Sunday involves a young man in his 20s.

It should hit a little different for all the high school students and 20-somethings — we are susceptible to COVID-19 as well.

It should be glaringly obvious to everyone in the community at this point that each of us have a responsibility to distance ourselves from others.

That means no pickup games, no movie nights, no birthday parties, no “quarantine and chill” with a group of couples.

We all have to make sacrifices right now and I, nor you, are exceptions.

Thankfully, technology has the ability to keep up closer than ever before when we are forced to be away from each other.

Group FaceTime or Skype calls, live video streaming, online Netflix watch parties, online gaming, social media or a simple phone call can make you feel like your friends and family are in the same room.

Utilize this. Teach grandma how to make those video calls and watch the smile beam from her face on your first call. There’s a chance you can make even more human connection than normal because everyone has something in common. Call that friend you haven’t heard from in a while or shoot a text to your old coworkers to see how life has changed.

Social media and technology can be a beautiful thing.

However, it has also allowed me to keep tabs on all those people who are not taking this thing seriously. I can’t tell you how many people I saw on social media still in mass gatherings for St. Patrick’s Day.

The point of all of this social distancing is to limit your contact to those in your immediate family and circle — meaning the people you live with — and little else. This has to happen now or this pandemic could last much longer than any of us want it to.

Stay inside and use technology to the fullest. Just please leave your social gatherings off the internet. I wouldn’t want anyone else getting the wrong idea.

Follow Jake on Twitter @JakeAtnip

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