When I was a young boy growing up in western North Dakota, I learned one lesson quickly when it came to chores – when something needed to be done, you rolled up your sleeves and did it.

I was reminded of this lesson Thursday as I listened to Governor Doug Burgum, reminding us that we are one of the few states in the country that has not issued a stay-at-home directive.

I believe we can stay this way by taking it upon ourselves to follow the guidelines of the public health professionals to the strictest degree and hold ourselves accountable. This means staying home, especially if you or someone in your household feels sick. This means staying six feet away from each other and avoiding groups of people. It means replacing contact sports like basketball with a walk or hike. It means waving hello instead of handshakes and hugs and visits through windows and video chat.

It means washing hands for 20 seconds frequently and carrying hand sanitizer in the rare case you need to leave the house.

And, it means limiting trips to the grocery store to one person and getting in and out as quickly as possible.It also means being kind to each other. And reaching out and connecting with friends, families and long-lost acquaintances.

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It means learning something new or grabbing takeout from a restaurant you’ve never visited before.

It means finding new ways to do old things like filling out the census online,working from home or decorating your house with paper hearts.

And it also means remembering to call 2-1-1 if you need a local resources and a little extra support to get through this time. I believe we can do this by using our famous North Dakota work ethic, common sense and remembering our actions are not just for ourselves but also for our community.

Please join me in committing to following these rules and stopping the spread together. Because we are#InThisTogetherND.

During this time in our lives I know it’s difficult, but it is the right thing to do for our community, our state,and our friends and loved ones.