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OUR VIEW: Stay safe heading into fall

While midwestern states are seeing a rise in coronavirus cases, Georgia is watching its case numbers go in the opposite direction. If you haven’t seen it, the graph of new cases per day in Georgia is shaped like a roller coaster, with a gradual climb to a mid-July peak before a drastic dive down the other side.

Unfortunately, like a real roller coaster, there’s probably another large bump to come, and we’re not even moving 100 miles per hour in the right direction. It’s more like a slow, consistent pace.

We hope they are wrong, but if you listen to medical experts, the incoming cooler fall weather could cause a significant rise in COVID-19 cases all over the country.

During the fall and winter, people tend to stay indoors more. Days are shorter, the weather is too cold to remain outside, and people huddle together to celebrate holidays and to spend time together.

If you couple the cold and flu season in with COVID-19 — where some of the symptoms start running together — it’s easy to see why the pandemic might see a surge over the next few months.

Troup County has seen its caseload drop below 10 per day on average over the last few weeks, which is significant considering where we were a few months ago.

But this isn’t over.

We realize how goofy it feels to walk through a restaurant and then take off your mask. Or how strange it feels to yell at a football game with a mask on. Or how silly it feels to move one side of the mask so that a barber or hairdresser can cut on that side.

However, it’s really not that much to ask to wear a mask.

We all want this to be over, and the sooner the better. And yes, we’ve seen the posts where people say we want to “keep the media narrative alive,” but trust us, as an office full of families with children — we are ready for this to be over.

One day, we will be past this pandemic, whether it’s through stopping the spread, a vaccine or some other means.

(And no, it won’t suddenly disappear the day after the election, regardless of who you vote for.)

But for now, we urge everyone to remain vigilant as we continue the road to recovery.

Our numbers are better, but a national look serves as a reminder of how quickly things can change. That, and the fact that we are nearing 96 deaths in Troup County from coronavirus. 

Wear your mask and take a deep breath. Things are looking better at the moment, but it’s not over.