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OUR VIEW: Being inconvenienced is saving lives

People are tired of hearing about COVID-19, and we get it. For the vast majority, we see this unforgiving virus as something that has taken away many of our summer plans and might stick around much, much longer. 

It’s outstayed its welcome, and we get it.

Unfortunately, those of us that are being mildly inconvenienced actually have made out the best so far. Rather than worrying about a sick loved one who has contracted COVID-19 or going to a family member’s funeral, we can complain about the lack of sports on television or that we have to wear a mask to go into a certain business.

It’s really all about perspective.

We see every day on our social media pages, and in our email, that we are writing headlines and stories to incite fear, help Republicans or Democrats (we’ve seen both) and to line our own pockets. 

The truth is that we’re doing our best to keep up with the recent spike in cases and the outbreak at the Troup County Jail, so that we can keep readers informed. 

We understand that people are tired of seeing the increased numbers daily, but right now it’s important that locals understand that we are in the midst of an alarming trend in LaGrange.

Over the last two weeks, our total number of COVID-19 cases in Troup County has more than doubled, and we hit 1,000 total cases on Monday. 

We understand that many people want to go out and live their life, ignore the virus and hope it goes away, but if we all did that we’d probably end up with millions of people dead nationwide. 

This is a serious situation, and we’re going to continue reminding everyone of that in an informative way, using numbers from the Georgia Department of Public Health and the hospital to try to explain the state of the virus in Troup County. 

While it’s true that many other cities and counties had earlier peaks and were hit harder, it’s also true that LaGrange and Troup County have been hit as hard as any cities in the country over the last few weeks. 

For months, we’ve read where people have commented that a fraction of 1 percent of people in Troup County had the virus, and those figures were right at the time. Unfortunately, they aren’t now and the percentage continues to get higher every day. 

Troup County is now nearing where 2 percent of the county’s population has had a known case of COVID-19, although the real number figures to be much higher. 

Thankfully, the hospitalization percentage, and death percentage, remain relatively low. 

However, we think we can all agree that even one COVID-19 related death is too high, and we’ve had 28. 

Last week, DPH, the county, several cities and numerous other groups came together to start handing out masks. There’s enough for every citizen of the county. 

Wearing a mask lowers your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19, especially if everyone around you is also wearing a mask. 

It’s not fun to wear a mask, and we get that. But we do think it’s worth being mildly inconvenienced to ensure you aren’t spreading a virus you could have and not even know. 

Wearing a mask could save someone’s life, and it could even be your own.

It takes ten seconds to put on. 

And look, we’ve admitted it before and we’ll say it again — it’s not like wearing a mask is normal for us either. 

Our reporting staff has had to adjust — and at times has probably failed — to wear a mask when it should, but we’re doing all we can to make sure masks are worn when in public. 

We want to help set an example for the community to slow the spread of this virus.

We’re all ready for COVID-19 to go away, but the longer we all act like it doesn’t exist, the longer we have to wait for life to actually get back to normal.

And as we heard someone put it a while back, if you won’t do it for us, do it for SEC football.

If the virus continues to spread, it’s possible that whatever football season we have will be abbreviated, half-finished or canceled altogether. 

We urge you to wear a mask, be mildly inconvenienced, and slow the spread. Lives will likely be lost if Troup County’s case count continues to go up by 40-plus or more per day, as it has the last few weeks. 

This is a serious situation, and we urge everyone to take it seriously.