The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

'Look for the helpers'


  • By Clay Neely
  • |
  • Mar. 20, 2020 - 5:43 PM

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We’ve been told to not panic, but that's about as effective as telling someone to calm down when they’re in the middle of pitching a fit.

To stay home or not to stay home? It seems like we’re all asking ourselves that right now. Here at The Times-Herald, we’ve heard a wide range of opinions. Some people believe COVID-19 is a hoax. Others are terrified that it’s a sign of the apocalypse. Some are going about their daily lives, as if it’s nothing worth paying attention to.

The reality is that this pandemic has hit home, and probably a lot closer than any of us realize. While the official numbers of positive cases still appear fairly low in Coweta County and Georgia, the reality is that there are many more people who have been advised against testing and have been told to stay home and quarantine without a test.

During this crisis, we need to think of each other. It’s not about whether or not you’re worried about catching it. It’s not about how well you think you wash your hands. It’s about the other people you might inadvertently affect and the damage that could come of one person’s cavalier attitude toward a worldwide outbreak that is killing thousands of people. If you don’t know someone who’s been affected yet, just wait.

Meanwhile, The Times-Herald is working to make sure that everyone at our office can stay safe and work remotely or from home, because we have news to cover, stories to write, photos to take, and a newspaper to produce – coronavirus pandemic or not. Our community needs reliable news coverage now more than ever, when panic makes rumors and misinformation run rampant.

It might take a little long-distance networking, but we'll get it done. We always have.

Not everyone has these luxuries.

We have people in our community who have to leave the house: first responders, doctors and nurses, those in the service industry who haven't been shut down yet, and the people restocking our grocery stores. These people are making life bearable right now even though we're all noticeably complaining.

A lot of these people have older parents, too. They have immunosuppressed family members. They have risk factors, but they show up.

Mr. Rogers once said, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." I'm proud to say Coweta is full to the brim. Restaurants are going out of their way to offer curbside pickup or delivery, an act that was just given official support by the city with designated parking spots. Downtown merchants are making offers to compete with Amazon. Teachers are offering online tutoring and support for kids. Several nonprofits, restaurants and grassroots groups are working to provide free meals to those who rely on them. Small groups are getting together to share sitters and rotate homework groups so parents and caretakers can go to work.

It's the little things that are going to get us through this. Look for the helpers. And if you don't see any, be one.