MASON CITY, Iowa - The key to slowing down the spread of coronavirus is to minimize human contact.
On a weekday at midday on North Federal Avenue, what is a normally busy street is all but quiet, as more people are working and staying at home.
Duane Tesch sees that as evidence people are getting the message.
"In the last week, I've seen the public cooperating. They realize this is serious."
CG Public Health Director Brian Hanft, though, is seeing far too many of us still being out and about. While he understands the legitimacy to having services like grocery stores and gas stations providing essential services and remaining open, he feels we are going beyond that.
"The idea is social distancing and to keep people home and that's what I want to emphasize in our response. The only way we're going to control that escalation, and ultimately our primary objective is to try and minimize our impact on that medical system, on that hospital, is that people have got to stay home."
If you are hungry for human interaction, he suggests digital contact, including Skype and Zoom.
"People are hosting social hour nights where they get on, basically have communications with their friends, rather than going out to a restaurant or a bar."
As the weather warms and you itch to stretch your legs, Hanft says to do it away from others.
"Finding a quiet place to relax is certainly allowable because people are adhering to those social distancing guidelines."
Tesch says he's been adjusting, and remains optimistic that life will return to normal soon.
"It's tough to be under this kind of stress, but we're all in the same boat. We're going to get through this one day at a time."