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Share stories of Lives We Have Lost to COVID-19

It appears the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is close at hand as vaccines have been approved and are making their way into communities as we speak.

The vaccines’ arrivals, however, coincide with the worst spike in COVID-19 infection rates and deaths since the pandemic began in March.

In the past 12 hours as of this writing Tuesday afternoon, Adams County Coroner James Lee had pronounced four people in the Miss-Lou dead from COVID-19.

“Every minute someone dies from COVID in America,” Lee said. “This thing is more dangerous than people think.”

Lee has seen the effects of COVID-19 first hand and has had friends and loved ones succumb to the disease.

The four COVID-19 deaths Lee had reported in the past 12 hours included a 41-year-old, an 84-year-old and a 79-year-old all from Adams County and an 84-year-old female from Ferriday.

Those victims were more than nameless, faceless victims of COVID-19, however. They were people with families, friends and loved ones.

An African proverb says, “When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.”

Of course that is a metaphor for the knowledge each person gains in a lifetime and when a life is lost, for whatever reason, much of that experience and knowledge is lost with him or her.

When we are gone our personal experience dies with us and what is left is what we shared and gave to the people in our lives — our legacies.

When we read the statistics of the latest COVID-19 cases and victims, those numbers represent people, lives, “libraries” and legacies.

It is sometimes easy to lose sight of that when we are viewing charts and numbers.

The Natchez Democrat recently began a series titled “Lives We Have Lost” to share the stories of people in the Miss-Lou who have died of COVID-19.

We want to share the stories of how they lived, the lives they touched and the gifts they left behind to help put names, faces and legacies to the people in the Miss-Lou who have succumbed to COVID-19.

Approximately 85 people have died of COVID-19 in Adams County and Concordia Parish since the pandemic began in March.

The Natchez Democrat would like to memorialize as many of those lives as possible, and we are asking family members and friends who may have lost a loved one to COVID-19 to share their stories with us.

If you have a family member or loved one from the Miss-Lou who died of COVID-19 and would like us to memorialize their life through a story and pictures, please contact me at 601-445-3540 or at scott.hawkins@natchezdemocrat.com. Please provide a telephone number where we can reach you.

Hopefully, the vaccinations will soon put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Until then, health professionals advise us to continue to act cautiously, wear face coverings, wash our hands and avoid crowds as much as possible to limit the spread of the disease.

In the meantime, we will tell the stories of the Lives We Have Lost too soon to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

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