Enough has happened over the past week to cover a year.
Tornadoes resulted in the death of a local resident. Many homes were destroyed and dozens were killed statewide.
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic worsened tremendously and has slowed everything to a snail’s pace. Or slower.
As the numbers of people who have become infected by this virus escalate the scene changes, hourly sometimes. We have learned the virus can remain on hard surfaces for weeks and that it is not easy to get tested.
Some say the worst is yet to come if we are not smart, practice social distancing and stay home unless necessary. Church services were initially modified and then gatherings at the building abolished. Instead we were instructed to worship at home via Facebook Live. This is new to us all and unprecedented. I commend leadership that acted quickly to adapt to this new practice.
We were only home a week when we got news from the nursing home that Lisa’s dad died suddenly March 16. What is worse is that the nursing home was on lockdown and visits were stopped. We buried Elton Hatley March 18 in a ceremony that saw only handfuls of visitors due to the mandates to stay home and limit contacts.
Some stores’ shelves are empty. It is an eerie and somber feeling to shop the aisles and see bare shelves with signs apologizing for lack of stock, that they will be stocked again at the next delivery.
Restaurants are limited to carry-outs. Some closed for what they say will be a few weeks.
Government offices are limiting in-person business, opting instead for business to be conducted by phone, email and faxes.
Popular Spring Break beaches are closed. Spring breakers who visited the beaches prior to the close risk bringing COVID-19 back to their families.
What is next?
How has life in our county been affected?
We hope and pray this mysterious virus will soon be eradicated. Until then stay safe and stay home as much as possible. Study the pages of this newspaper and its website and social media for updates. Our editors promise to report on each important fact that we can get our hands on while not blowing the pandemic out of proportion or using scare tactics.
We are in this together.