Dear Editor:

The number of COVID-19 cases in New Jersey will climb as more individuals are tested and confirmed. This creates a new normal that requires each of us to make adjustments in our daily lives. Taking steps to stay healthy through physical distancing and self-quarantine are major safety measures that we all must follow for the sake of public health and to flatten the curve of the virus’ impact. 

Federal, state and local leaders had to take a strong position in telling people to stay home to reduce the exposure of coronavirus.  The limitations on individual mobility, we hope, is temporary to get a handle on and not overwhelm our healthcare pathways such as hospitals and physicians. This was necessary to curb the potential loss of life due to coronavirus. 

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We need each individual to continue to do their part, including social distancing.  Connecting through the use of technology and innovation is key to adapt to this new reality that limits our gatherings. 

Yes, it truly defies the laws of human nature and culture to limit interaction with each other.  It is the exact opposite of how we communicate and show love to one another. For the safety of our communities, the protection of our elderly, and medically vulnerable, we will have to revert back to making a telephone call or schedule a video chat with family and friends.  Take that long walk in your community with safe physical distance from another person. Wave to them. Use this time for mindfulness and finding meaning now and when we finally come through this crisis.

Most important, stay healthy and encouraged. Our collective efforts to make good choices to stay at home is the only proven method in reducing the spread and combating COVID-19. We are all in this together.


Shavonda Sumter


Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter represents the 35th Legislative District, including parts of Bergen and Passaic County, in the New Jersey General Assembly