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It’s time to stop complaining and be part of the solution

In the South, we all grew up knowing if our mothers were counting, we were in trouble. We also knew that we did not want to know what would happen if she were ever to reach 10.

Right now, at both the local and state levels, leaders are counting, and we had better listen.

In recent days, Gov. Tate Reeves had talked about tougher restrictions aimed and slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. He has made good on his threats, with 29 counties being declared hot spots and operating under strict mask mandates and tighter social distancing measures.

Friday, he delivered once again, curtailing the size of social gatherings and further restricting establishments that serve alcohol.

Monday, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. followed suit by extending the city of Vicksburg’s COVID-19 orders and urging residents to do what is being asked to slow the virus to keep him from shutting down parts of Vicksburg’s economy once again.

“I am running out of options,” Flaggs said Monday as he announced the local civil emergency was being extended to Sept. 8 and drawing a line in the sand for what could come next if numbers don’t slow.

Reeves, nor Flaggs, nor members of the Warren County Board of Supervisors want to place any additional restrictions on residents or businesses.

For those who have talked to these leaders off the record or watched as they wrangled with these virus-related decisions, you can feel their angst and stress.

But what are they supposed to do? Nothing? Are they supposed to simply stand to the side and watch as numbers skyrocket, as our healthcare infrastructure is pushed to the brink of collapse?

No. They have a responsibility to act, just as we — as residents — have a responsibility to act.

For those who sit back behind their profile pictures on social media and unleash one criticism after another at elected officials, you are doing nothing to help. You are simply feeding a fire that so desperately needs to be extinguished.

For those who offer nothing but criticism after each and every decision, you are not being part of the solution, you are facilitating the problem.

There is plenty of criticism to go around with this pandemic but now is not the time.

There will be time to do so when this virus falls in the category of the flu, the common cold or chickenpox.

But today, while people — our friends, our family and our neighbors — are having to fight and survive this virus, we would simply say stop, listen and help.

We are at the point where our Southern mothers would be nearly seven, eight, nine …. Do what is asked before she — or our elected leaders — reach 10.

Put on your mask, social distance, stop hosting house parties and join the team to slow and avoid killing one more person.