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Please comply with request to limit exposure

U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell both made similar requests to United States citizens and residents on Monday to help curtail the spread of COVID-19.

Trump and Grennell both asked people to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people and for people to avoid gatherings of 10 people or more.

Along with that request, Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell asked local businesses and restaurants to voluntarily close their doors or to limit their in-house patrons to 10 or fewer individuals at one time and to encourage take-out or delivery services for food and merchandise.

So far many businesses and organizations have complied with those requests, and we applaud them for making those difficult adjustments.

At first blush those requests might seem extreme but these are extreme times.

We know from the way COVID-19 has behaved in other nations that were exposed to the virus earlier than the United States how to slow the transmission of the disease.

By taking these steps now, it could spare us from the fates of Italy and France who had to forcefully close down everything after many people had been exposed to the virus and died.

By taking these steps now to limit people’s social gatherings and interactions, we hopefully not only can head off more drastic measures later but also save lives.

We urge all people and businesses that have not already gotten on board with the president’s and the mayor’s requests to do so immediately.

We know these are tough economic decisions but the steps we take today can save us all in the long run, and remember that Congress and state lawmakers are working to come up with economic packages to help individuals and businesses offset the losses.

Have faith and stay well.