Coahoma County was deemed a COVID-19 hot spot this week and Governor Tate Reeves has declared our county one of 10 that should delay the start of school.
And when we called local school superintendents yesterday to find out their views on the governor’s plans, we discovered they were ready to delay and would transition just fine.
Let’s face it folks, the spike in testing that saw Coahoma County go from 200 cases in early July to 600-plus cases the first week of August has spooked people around here.
Setting priorities and giving workers, students, teachers and our community a sense that there is a plan in these uncertain times is critical right now.
All summer people have wondered when and if schools would reopen.
Those with no children in school seemed to fret on when the NFL, college sports and local football would kick off. The focus of some people always amuses me.
I was glad to hear our schools were ready for the governor’s announcement. But I do have concerns.
It seems the Mississippi Association of Educators wants schools to start sometime after Labor Day. And since teachers would continue to get a check during that time, I have to wonder if their focus is on educating our students or pandering to a base that has enjoyed a five month vacation.
I hope city officials will consider implementing the curfew.
Clarksdale did that in March and I was even pulled over by a policeman who demanded identification and wanted to know why I was working so late.
A curfew gives parents a reason to keep their kids at home. There is not a doubt in my mind it reduces crime. And I think it would go a long way toward stopping people from riding or walking the streets spreading germs.
Is the focus on stopping COVID-19 or worrying about how city residents will vote next spring?
The county hosted a mask and sanitizer giveaway last week.
We publicized it and there was an incredible turnout. It was a good thing.
But we have also seen local elected officials scoop up COVID-19 supplies and even food at food distribution events and carry that stuff to people they felt needed it.
Again, was the focus on helping the community or helping a select few who will turn around and help politicians in the next election?
Those that know me know my disposition is usually a little more jolly. One of the things I hate about wearing a mask is it hides my “infectious” smile.
But there has been a lot of depressing news around here recently.
I would much rather talk about tomatoes, June brides and cultural events in the Mississippi Delta.
I will point to the Tennessee Williams Festival story and the city starting on infrastructure projects in last week’s paper. We finally opened Wing Stop. And we have stories on two churches hosting a food giveaway and voter registration in Friars Point.
It’s not all gloom and despair around here.
I hope the fear we sense with COVID-19 will not paralyze our city, county, schools, churches and volunteers.
People certainly should respect that unseen coronavirus bug. But there is so much that needs to be done to better Clarksdale, Coahoma County and the Mississippi Delta.
Let’s recognize our fears, but let’s keep our focus.
Floyd Ingram is Editor of your Clarksdale Press Register. Please call him at 662-627-2201 with your fears and focus in this community.