We’ve called off schools, canceled events and taken our worship services online.

But if people don’t take social distancing seriously, the inconveniences we’re dealing with will be for naught. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, Tennessee had 98 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Most cases remain in Davidson and Williamson counties in Middle Tennessee, but there are scattered cases around the state.

While social distancing isn’t meant to keep us from getting COVID-19, it’s meant to slow how quickly this virus spreads through our community. Slowing the spread means we can better care for those who become ill and ensure resources are available to serve individuals in need of more advanced care.

High-risk individuals should limit their contact with other people by staying home. Others are asked to reduce their risk of spreading the illness by avoiding public places, like large gatherings or restaurants. 

You can still enjoy a meal from your favorite restaurant. Just get it to go. Many restaurants are launching online ordering and paying, and curbside pickup, so you don’t have to leave your car. 

There are also delivery services available locally that will leave your food on your doorstep. 

You can get your food, transfer it to your own plates, throw away the containers and wash your hands before sitting down to eat. 

If you have loved ones in the hospital or a nursing facility, it’s best not to visit them right now because they are at the greatest risk of severe illness. But technology can help you stay in touch. Phone calls, video calls and texting all help keep you connected to those important people without worrying that you’re exposing them to a serious illness.

Stores are offering specific shopping hours for our neighbors who are older. By allowing them first entry to the store each morning, they have a better selection of items they need along with fewer people possibly sharing germs. 

Check on your neighbors. If you have elderly neighbors, see if they have what they need.

Remember to keep washing your hands, cover your cough and, if you are sick, stay home.

When this crisis has passed, we may wonder if we were too cautious, but we hope we aren’t left wondering if we could have done more to help our neighbors.