Though we have all taken different paths in life, we share many basic rules of the road.

A communicable virus that is highly contagious and easily transmissible requires all of us to respect our shared destinies now more than ever.

The COVID-19 pandemic cuts across class and political allegiances. Like passengers on a plane, we have a common interest in the pilot landing successfully. None of us should care who Dr. Fauci votes for.

As we were raised, we grew up adapting to certain fundamental and unwritten rules.

You yield the right of way to cars that got to the intersection first.

You give up your seat on a crowded bus to an elderly patron.

You wait on line at the supermarket. You take a number in the bakery.

Respect for others is a fundamental premise of our lives. A civilized country requires we compromise for the common good.

You just do certain things without asking. It’s how we all get along.

Some things, we just know.

Try not to sneeze into someone else’s coffee.

Don’t cough into someone else’s face.

Don’t spit on the floor in front of your grandmother.

Though it has heightened our consciousness immensely, we did not need a pandemic to have a healthy respect for hygiene.

We have known to wash our hands since we were little kids.

Must of us stopped drinking water from faucets long before the pandemic started. And almost all of us hate ever having to use a public toilet.

In the new age of COVID-19, let me add a new set of Norm’s unwritten rules. They are simple and easy to follow.

I wear a mask to protect you. You wear one to protect me. That’s not asking too much, is it? Just keep your microscopic viral droplets to yourselves. I will be okay with that.

A pandemic has stolen a 115,000 American lives in less than six months, and yet a vast number of our citizens think we are producing a new episode of Toy Story. I don’t think so. The newspaper obits and admissions to the Broward General ICU say otherwise. So do the exponentially rising rates of COVID-19 in South Florida. Review the attached chart.

We have grown up in a world full of germs and during our lives, and have dealt with a variety of flus, illnesses and viruses. The gay community knows this more than most. Germs are everywhere, not just in the White House.

We can be grateful that our bodies develop an immune system to ward most of these invisible invaders off. So far, COVID-19 is not buying into the playbook though. That means, caution, not carelessness, has to remain the rule, not the exception. Hold off on that Muscle Beach Party for July 4.

Every generation faces its unique battles with disease. From polio crippling the 1950s to AIDS invading the 1980s, America has faced challenges with sickness and health. Until Donald Trump took over the White House, we had science and reason on our side.

It’s been an exhausting few months, but try not to become a victim of quarantine fatigue. Just because you close the door on reality does not mean it won’t sneak in through the window. Opening up our restaurants and bars may jump start our economy and reduce catastrophic unemployment numbers. It won’t stop an invisible virus from getting you sick, sometimes seriously so.

We take risks with our lives every time we step out of the door in the morning, but just remember COVID-19 did not abide by the President’s Easter deadline. Nothing about the pathogen’s power has changed since it silently landed upon our shores.

Go to work, but please don’t be fooled by a discounted Sunday buffet at your local grill. There is still no cure and no vaccine, only many trials and lots of experiments.

Because we are more aware, there are more ICU beds available if we need them; more skilled nurses and better prepared hospitals. There are also civilian doctors who have witnessed more deaths in the past 15 weeks then soldiers in a war zone.

You learn as a little kid not to play with fire, because it burns. This virus kills, and pretty quickly for seniors — too many of whom were World War II veterans, spending their last days in shared, assisted living facilities. It was not fair. Neither is life always so.

Unfortunately, wherever crowds gather in closed quarters, there have been many victims of the virus. We have seen that with the Winter Party, convalescence centers and now, prisons. Next month, the coronavirus is likely to claim victims from protest rallies and political conventions.

The present administration has delivered a lethal circuit of lies. Don’t fall for its deception or deceit. The corners are marked and the roads are lit. The numbers are real. There is truth at every intersection.

Read your local paper. Focus on the facts. Fox News is as bad as the plague, unless you want to hear that Hillary’s emails started the fire.
Be spiritually connected and socially distant. Hug less. Wave more. Practice safe talk. Walk your dogs. Love your friends. Be safe, not sorry. Basic rules. Live them and stay healthy.