What have we learned in the first 100 days?

Published 2:45 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Monday marked the 100th day since a Warren County resident was first confirmed to have the COVID-19 virus. And since March 29, the day that first case was reported, we have endured and overcome so much.

We have also learned so much in that long 100 days.

In the way we have supported one another, stood by one another and prayed for one another, we have again learned how giving and resilient a community we truly are.

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In the way we have endured and continue to endure economic hardships because of the pandemic, we have again learned how inter-dependent we are and how important it is to focus first on our local businesses who employ and provide financial stability to so many of our friends and neighbors.

In the way we were able to turn our public education system on its ear on a moment’s notice, converting from in-person learning to online learning in a matter of days, shows how versatile we are as a community and how well-prepared our school district truly is in facing such obstacles.

These 100 days have also proven that government must never be too quick to act, but instead be thoughtful in its response.

In the early days of the pandemic, local, state and federal officials were at times hectic in their response, while at other times tremendously organized and synchronized. Mistakes were made and to their credit quickly corrected.

This pandemic showed — on a local, state and federal level — that we were in many ways woefully unprepared for such a sweeping virus and even more unprepared in how to make tough decisions, such as closing down the economy, shuttering businesses and choosing who and what was essential.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. in retrospect said closing down businesses was the most difficult decision he has ever faced during his long career in public service. Gov. Tate Reeves has admitted mistakes he and his team made in the early days as well.

And, we can all agree that the way data has been reported and shared between agencies and the public has been an abject failure from the very beginning.

But as we move past this 100-day milestone, desperately hoping that we are on the downside of this virus — or at the very least the plateau — we must also remember what we have learned or relearned in a time so often called “unprecedented.”

We have learned that we are stronger together than we are as individuals. We are better when we work together than work apart. And, when we focus on ourselves, our community and taking care of one another, that we can and will overcome any challenge, any disease or any other threat we encounter.

There is no telling what the next 100 days will hold, but it is comforting in knowing that we have overcome so much already and have the experience and the knowledge to do it again.