I arrived home March 18 during the early afternoon.

Since that Wednesday, I have not officially been back in the Redwood Gazette office.

Yes, I have been in the building, even on official capacity, but, for all intents and purposes, my official place of work right now is Underwood Township.

My home is doubling as my office, and as of earlier this week more of my work time in 2020 has taken place in the living room of my home than it has in my home away from home.

Who could have ever guessed when the clock struck midnight on the first day of this year just how much life would change for everything and everyone?

Kids are studying at dining room tables, front doors of businesses are locked during regular hours of operation, people are not shaking hands with each other, people are praying corporately miles away from each other and yet face to face and the most popular items in the grocery store are being used to sanitize.

Naturally, the obvious answer is no one could have envisioned what has happened, and had anyone painted this grim picture no one would have believed them anyway.

The good news is we are now in the sixth month of this year. (Yes that means in just a few weeks more of 2020 will be behind than ahead of us.)

Good riddance, some of you might be saying under your breath right now, but, as I was once told, there is a danger in wishing your life away.

I will admit I am an eternal pessimist. I will always see the glass as half empty, but I realize right now that pessimistic view is not going to help any of us get to the other side of COVID-19.

So, then, how do we get there?

How do we move beyond what has become the rule of the day for today?

I don’t know.

I’m not sure anyone knows.

Some will tell you it is about getting people back to work. Others will argue it is about flattening the curve and getting past the still coming peaks.

Whatever it is, the task ahead is not a one person or one organization job.

We can’t rely on the government to get us through this. We can’t expect local businesses to help us float back to the top, especially when they are trying to find their own way to come up for that much needed air. We can’t even think that people shopping, getting their hair done, going to the dentist and supporting their local Main Street in other ways is going to make the difference by itself.

It has to be all of these things working together once again like that “well-oiled machine” we took for granted not that many months ago.

You know, the good old days, right?

Honestly, it may be a long time before we fully recover from the impact that the coronavirus has had on our economy, and some may never achieve that.

We are going to need to be patient and considerate of each other as we move forward in the coming months.

No, we are not out of the woods yet. Please do not let your guard down even for that brief moment.

Being vigilant is what will save us.

So, take a deep breath, grab the hand of the person next to you and start swimming for the surface.