Not out of the woods

First lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump both recently tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/Tribune News Service

Americans woke up Friday morning to the horrible news that Donald and Melania Trump have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

First and foremost, this is tragic for the two of them personally. Developing symptoms of COVID-19 is a frightening thought for any individual. We join everyone else across the country and around the world in wishing the best for the president and first lady; we hope they make a full and quick recovery.

Word that they tested positive came a few hours after White House officials announced that Hope Hicks, a senior adviser to the president, tested positive for the coronavirus. We don’t yet know — and perhaps we never will — who infected whom or if they contracted the virus from separate sources.

It would be easy to point fingers at Mr. Trump for allowing himself to be exposed to people with the coronavirus. He has often acted in a careless manner and admitted to downplaying the virus’s lethality.

At this moment, however, assessing blame is not appropriate. There will be time in the weeks ahead to see how Mr. and Mrs. Trump fare with the coronavirus and comment on how this will affect the Nov. 3 general election.

What’s most important now is for all of us to understand how easily this virus can spread. All it takes for any one of us to become infected is sufficient exposure to one person who carries it.

No one is fully immune from this dreadful condition, not even the president of the United States. We all must continue to adhere to the recommended safety protocols: Wear a mask when around other people; remain at least 6 feet away from them; keep surfaces as clean as possible; wash our hands frequently; and isolate ourselves if we become infected.

We have a very long journey ahead of us to make it through this pandemic. News that Mr. and Mrs. Trump have become infected is very concerning, and we’re pulling for them to recover soon. Let’s use this as a lesson on the importance of protecting ourselves and others by observing commonsense measures.

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