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Be a good neighbor, wear a mask and distance

COVID-19 is growing at unprecedented rates after Thanksgiving.

Volunteer statistician Norma Williams found that the post-Thanksgiving bump in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Adams County was 500 times worse than the post-Memorial Day bump back in May.

Memorial Day was one of the first weekends people let their guards down after the initial shutdown due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns.

Adams County had 15 new COVID-19 cases reported in the seven days, May 23-May 29, after Memorial Day and 91 cases reported in the seven days, Nov. 26-Dec. 2, after Thanksgiving, reports Norma Williams, volunteer Adams County COVID-19 statistician.

That is 76 COVID-19 cases more reported in the seven-days after Thanksgiving than the seven days after Memorial Day, which is a 506% increase, Williams said.

Adams County on Saturday recorded its highest-ever number of one-day new cases at 27, breaking the previous record of 25, originally set on Aug. 22, and repeated on Dec. 1.

It is clear the COVID-19 numbers are climbing at the highest rates locally, nationally and worldwide than they have since the pandemic began in March.

Those numbers, however, are not just numbers. They represent people, people who have families and loved ones who care about them.

Many of those COVID-19 patients will survive the virus but many will not and it is impossible to know who will suffer more from the effects than others.

Age, underlying health conditions and other factors can be an indication of who will suffer the most from the effects of the virus but are no guarantee.

Meanwhile, the hospitals are filling up, ICUs are near capacity and healthcare workers are reaching points of exhaustion, yet the numbers of infected people continue to rise.

Nobody wants another shutdown of the economy like we experienced early on in the pandemic but if the numbers keep going up it might come to that.

That’s why it is important for each of us to be responsible to help limit the spread of the disease to keep from infecting more people in order to keep from overcrowding hospitals and health workers.

Gov. Tate Reeves has already added Adams County to his statewide mask order, even though the county was already under a county-imposed mask order, and Reeves is reportedly considering adding stricter regulations on social gatherings statewide.

One way we can help limit the spread of the disease is for each of us to avoid crowds as much as possible. When we are in crowds, we must maintain proper social distance, wear face masks and wash our hands and avoid touching our faces as much as possible.

Until a vaccine is readily available those are our best options for not spreading the disease.

It is clear that despite regulations and orders some people simply will not comply. No one wants to shut the economy down, take away anyone’s livelihood or tell people they cannot exercise their freedoms. Therefore, we must all exercise our own restraints and follow the rules as much as possible to limit the spread of the disease.

That is the best thing we can do for the economy and our family, friends and neighbors.

Scott Hawkins is editor of The Natchez Democrat. Reach him at 601-445-3540 or scott.hawkins@natchezdemocrat.com

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