Now is not the time to let down our guard, take off our face masks or congregate. Computer modeling shows the number of cases in Virginia peaking later this week, and state and federal officials have said they want to see a two-week decline in the number of cases before we all can start a phased-in return to normal – or rather some new form of normal.

Twenty-four more Virginians lost their lives Monday to COVID-19. As of Tuesday morning, our state's virus-related death toll was 324. After a three-day decline in the number of positive cases, the numbers spiked Tuesday, with 640 new cases reported.

That brings the total number of people who have tested positive in Virginia to 9,630. Of those, 1,581 have been hospitalized.

In just a few months, our lives have drastically changed. Many people have lost their jobs, schools are closed, friends and families are separated, our health care system is in distress and we all feel the loss of control in our daily lives.

Forced to live so abnormally grows more painful each day but for all our sakes we need a measured approach to resuming our lives.

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