Do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19

Published 4:51 pm Friday, April 3, 2020

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When Gov. Brian Kemp announced Georgia’s statewide shelter in place order on Wednesday, many people felt like the governor was dropping the hammer on everything.

However, there’s not a one-button fix that shuts down the entire state in an instant, nor would any of us want there to be.

The truth is that our local governments have already put a lot of these restrictions in place. They had closed non-essential businesses where people were in close proximity to one another or congregated and all restaurants were already required to do carry out and delivery only.

Essential businesses can still work, as can non-essential businesses, as long as they meet all of the requirements of the order. 

And yes, we’ve seen the social memes about being “essential.” We recommend reading the order yourself (it’s on our website, it’s on the governor’s website and it’s on the city’s website) if you have any specific questions. Your employer should also read it over and make a decision on how their business will operate moving forward. So, no, the governor’s shelter-in-place order really didn’t change life all that much in LaGrange and Troup County. It created uniformity across the state, so that all cities and counties were under the same rules.

The city and county state of emergency ordinances are essentially null in void until April 13, when the governor’s current shelter in place order would run out, but for the most part they already fell in line with what the governor’s order said. The order is nine pages long and also has several supporting documents, so we’re going to put this in laymen’s terms: You can still go outside and exercise. You can still go to the grocery store. 

You cannot throw a party and invite nine of your closest friends over. The entire purpose of the order is to keep people from congregating. If people continue to congregate, then the disease will continue to spread, and we’ll be forced to shelter in place for even longer. If you have to work during this time, try to do so from home. If you can’t work from home, go straight to work, do your job (following social distancing guidelines) and go straight home.

If you have to go to the grocery store so you have food that week, then go to the grocery store. Do not go to the grocery store so you can see your friend, who is also going at the same time. Don’t go to the grocery store just to get out of the house.

Don’t go to The Thread in a huge running group to conversate. Do go and do your afternoon run and then head home.

You may feel perfectly fine, and so might everyone else your friends with. But people can be asymptomatic and still be spreading this disease to others.

And trust us, you don’t want COVID-19. While we understand (and have reported) that the majority of people who have this virus recover, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy experience. We’ve reported on two local women who have had COVID-19, and both were as sick as they’ve ever been. Weeks later they are still working to get their strength back. 

We all want life to get back to normal, sooner than later, but the only way to make that happen is to stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary. We understand some people want him to, and that’s fine, but the shouldn’t have to restrict businesses of all kind and sign order after order to turn the state into a temporary wasteland for this point to get across. No one wants tumbleweed blowing across the road as the only sign of life in our county. 

Businesses, at least on a minimal level, need to be able to operate, but they also have to take the guidelines very seriously and do their part to stop the spread. Meanwhile, at some point, good, common sense should take over. 

You know if you need to be out of the house. If you do, then do your business and go home. If you don’t, then find something to do at home. 

It’s not only the best thing for your family, but it’s also the best thing for everyone else.