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Pitch In, Fellow West Virginians

Are you part of the 40%? If so, you need to start doing your part. Your failure is putting lives at risk — those of your fellow West Virginians.

That messages comes from Gov. Jim Justice — and it may be the most important thing he has said in his entire life.

Justice spoke Saturday night in a televised and live-streamed address to the people of our state. He had considered drastic action, Justice said, but decided to hold off on it. His delay was based on recognition of the devastation such action would mean for many businesses and working people.

Instead, Justice asked that Mountain State residents become more conscientious about obeying common-sense precautions against COVID-19. They include social distancing and strict personal hygiene.

“Probably 60% of you are really bearing down” on those precautions, Justice said. That leaves 40% who are not taking the outbreak seriously.

Because of our large percentage of older people, West Virginia may be the most at-risk state in the nation. If we — each and every one of us — do not act, the consequences may be truly terrible.

So if you are among the 40%, change your ways now — or be prepared to wonder later how many people died needlessly because you did not.

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