We wait for the inevitable arrival of the coronavirus like a slow-moving tidal wave, certain only that it will be terrible when it comes.

The only thing to fear, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt once eloquently observed, is fear itself.

Fear makes rational people irrational. It encourages selfishness, invites suspicion, turns neighbor against neighbor.

And it accomplishes nothing.

This will end. Even in our uncertainty and physical isolation from each other, community is possible and necessary.

Email an old friend, call an elderly acquaintance, offer to pick up groceries for a shut-in. Bake bread, cook a fabulous dinner, with wine and candlelight. Get going on garden cleanup, split firewood for next year.

When inclined to worry about what other people are doing, listen to music, walk outdoors or take some deep, cleansing breaths. Then allow the emerging daffodils to cheer you.

If you can, volunteer.

And pause to think for a minute about those who cannot work — the house cleaners and wait staff and retail workers — and those who must: health care workers, emergency service personnel, grocers and food distributors.

We are in this together.