OUR OPINION: Do your part, and know the facts

Published 6:45 pm Monday, March 16, 2020

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We keep getting the same question repeatedly in some form or fashion and it goes something like this: “I talked to so and so, who knows somebody at the hospital, and there have been several cases of coronavirus. Can you confirm?” Let us be clear — as of this writing — there has been only one confirmed case of coronavirus in Troup County. 

That could change at any moment, but if it does, it’ll be released by the Department of Public Health, and it’ll be reported quickly by this newspaper. 

Even after we reported the first confirmed case, this newspaper and city officials were still getting questioned, saying that they heard there was another case. 

Going around LaGrange and Troup County spreading the rumors that there is more than one case or that you heard such and such, creates a panic. 

Shelves at stores have been emptied out, especially toilet paper, which puzzles us all. Social media is full of reports of empty shop shelves, and some stores around the country have begun restricting the sale of certain goods.

The government has said there is no reason for anyone to stockpile.

It feels like all of a sudden everyone on social media is an infectious disease doctor and knows more about this virus than the people who are actually experts. 

We are not questioning if there are more cases in Troup County. The virus has already gotten into the community, and it is probably spreading. That is why it is so important that people listen to the advice of social distancing and stop going out and about. 

It doesn’t help to take hearsay, turn it into a fact and then post it on social media. For some reason in this world where people have a distrust for government and media, many look to social media to find out what is going on, which is normally a terrible idea. 

Do your part to stop spreading the rumors. Refrain from adding to the hysteria on social media.