Follow farmers’ lead in COVID-19 response

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As Americans begin dealing with the spread of COVID-19, they can learn a lot from the example set by our nation’s farmers.

For years, livestock farmers in North Carolina and beyond have been following strict biosecurity measures to protect the health of our animals and preserve our livelihoods.

We restrict visitors to our farms. Wear protective clothing. Disinfect our footwear. Meticulously clean our equipment. Continuously wash our hands. Limit our travel when we’re feeling sick.

As a hog farmer, I know we are often criticized for controlling access to our farms. Some of us put up “no trespassing” signs. People accuse us of “hiding something.” In reality, we’re simply taking the prudent steps that all Americans are now being asked to follow.

These measures have helped farmers keep pigs and other animals safe from contagious diseases, and I’m confident that these same actions can keep our communities safe, too.

Are we being a bit too drastic in our response to COVID-19? My heart wants to think so, but my knowledge of how an outbreak in animals can spread tells me maybe not.

So, follow the lead of our farmers and we’ll all be OK. Wash your hands, limit your contact with people and stay home if you have a fever.

Morris Murphy