Wow, how things have changed over the course of one week! At first I thought we were overreacting to schedule school to be out for a week.
Now it will be mid-April if at all, before school starts back. So where will this leave our children? There are many possibilities. For one, state testing standards for this year will not be in place.
You have to hand it to those folks in the education arena. They went from Spring Break to having to organize distance learning. The lack of internet access in rural areas in the county quickly put the kibosh on this option.
So the district changed to plan “B.” I am not sure there really was a plan “B” but on short notice the educators came up with one and that included distribution of learning materials from the schools. We will not know how this is going to work until they give it a shot. But if we don’t continue social distancing the spread of COVID-19 could become much worse and exponentially.
More than likely, students will be responsible to start a new school year where they ended this one and still be responsible for materials from which they have been granted a reprieve. Another possibility is that the school district chooses to extend the school year. That has been discussed over the years anyway, and this crisis could be what launches the plan for extended school year in the future.
Here, as in other places, coronavirus has spread so quickly that there was little to no response time.
The business sector is about to be hit. Monday afternoon I received a text from daughter Anna Lauren, who is a nurse just outside of Memphis, and as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Memphis is under essential business operations only.
This weekend Magee invoked a curfew between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Restaurants have pretty much shut down or offer carry out services only for the safety of both customers and employees.
I am not a fan of Facebook and was repulsed by the idea that I would watch my church service on my cell phone. The original plan was for us to meet back for morning worship only on Sunday. Then the edict came out that we should not meet in groups of more than 10. But again, like the educators, I have to give credit to our church staff who did a good job of getting the message out and making a change for safety.
Tuesday morning the Board of Supervisors changed the way they do business in county offices.
Entrance and exit at the court house will be through the north side main entrance. The one entrance to the chancery building has not been determined but signage will be in place. A deputy will be present completing a health survey. If the consumer has fever over 100 degrees, difficulty breathing or a cough they will be asked to contact the office via telephone to make arrangements to transact business. The goal is to minimize foot traffic and possible exposure to the virus.
If employees have direct contact with a diagnosed case victim they are instructed to stay at home. However, they may have to use sick leave and personal time because of non-exemption of government employees at this time. Currently there is not a cut back in office hours or staffing, but all of these issues are subject to change.
The best advice we can give is to remain calm and work through issues in the coming days. We have found bread and other needed items in stores. Remember, trust in God and this will pass.
We will continue to post information as it becomes available over our website simpsoncounty.ms.
Editor’s Note: Due to the large amount of news, this week’s Opinion page includes other material.