A thank you to our Troup County leaders

Published 4:21 pm Thursday, March 19, 2020

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These are definitely interesting times we are living in at the moment. The uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus has many of us a little scared, a bit confused and leaning on our public officials to lead us.

Many of us have questions about we are going to get through this and what will the future of our economy be. We don’t have the answers to those questions just yet. All we can do is continue to be safe, healthy and let the medical professionals do their jobs.

For those who are working in Troup County, we hope you are finding ways to practice social distancing and staying as healthy as you can during this healthcare crisis. For those who are self-isolating, either by choice or because you were directed to, we give you the same sentiments. Please be healthy and follow the directives put forth by the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control. Also, when this is all over, hopefully, we can all share some great television ideas.

In the past few days, we have reported on several government entities that have declared state of emergencies. That means emergency funds are freed up in case the city or county manager needs to spend on public safety. It allows the manager to make quicker decisions instead of getting approval by the council. It also prohibits public gatherings on the city-owned property during this time when the CDC is recommending people avoid groups of less than 10 people.

LaGrange, Hogansville and Troup County have passed such measures. West Point Mayor Steve Tramell said the city isn’t planning on calling a state of emergency as of Thursday but he said he has the power to whenever he wants. At the city’s next council meeting on April 13, or possibly soon, according to Tramell, the city will implement similar safety measures without calling an emergency.

We are thankful that those leaders acted quickly once this virus started to spread throughout our communities to make sure protocols are set in place when emergencies occur.

We also feel it’s essential to shout out to Troup County School System Superintendent Dr. Brian Shumate and the rest of the board of education. The board acted quickly to shut down schools for two weeks at the advice of Gov. Brian Kemp. Those quick actions could have been the difference in spreading the virus throughout schools.

We might have saved the biggest superstar in Troup County for last in Dr. Olugbenga Obasanjo, director of the Georgia Department of Public Health District 4. Affectionately known as Dr. O, he has been in the public light several times, attempting to give as much information as possible to the public. Obasanjo’s data has been factual and pointed. It’s clear to us that he wanted to keep as many people safe as possible from this disease. We can’t imagine how much time he’s put into stopping the spread of COVID-19, but we should all give him a big hug for the work he’s done. However, we won’t because that wouldn’t be proper social distancing.

We want all residents of Troup County to be safe throughout the next several weeks. Heed the advice of the CDC and local officials, buckle in and hold on. This will pass eventually.