March 14, 2020

First of all, the title is a play on Jimmy Buffett’s classic song, “Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season” — something we know about here in Mississippi, too. 

Our worlds have changed drastically in the past 72 hours. As I joked on Thursday, “I didn’t know I was going to have to give up EVERYTHING for Lent.” COVID-19 (the disease caused by the novel coronavirus spreading across the globe) is causing mass cancelations (and mass hoarding of toilet paper.) All across Mississippi and the world, groups are cancelling events and preparing. Hal’s St. Paddy’s Parade, one of Jackson’s (and Mississippi’s) Crown Jewels was cancelled. NCAA, NBA, NHL all shut down their seasons and tournaments. Baseball has postponed the start of its. Broadway has gone dark. Groups of 250 are being told not to meet. Churches are cancelling services. Colleges are going online. Public schools are closing, too. And many of us are now working from home.

This isn’t because of panic. It is to prevent one. We need to flatten the curve (rate of infections) to protect our health care center and our elderly and vulnerable patients. We simply don’t have enough hospital beds and ventilators to handle a crush of patients who need to be intubated.

So we wash our hands, try not to touch our face and social distance – the main weapons in our arsenal. Vaccines and treatments are far off into the future.

I worked from home yesterday (Friday). I will for the near future. All of Mississippi Today’s events have been postponed for three months. My chances to get out in the public like I have been will be massively reduced for the near-term – for obvious reasons.  I don’t want to risk being a super spreader, after all. So one of the things I’ll be doing is reaching out to you as you cope with this rapid and massive change in our lives. I will talk about tips I’ve found about how to stay sane while being cooped up in the house. We’re lucky in Mississippi — we have lots of places to “social distance” and still enjoy ourselves.  One social media follower said yesterday he was going turkey hunting.

That’s the spirit.

This is a blog about you. I want to hear how you’re adjusting your lives to this massive shift. This will be a conversation. I’ll leverage social media, too — you know because it is social. I’ll add your tips and comments into this blog. The only way we can get through this is together — just not in the same room.

This will be hard. But, we’re tough people.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Email: mramsey@mississippitoday.com

On Twitter: MarshallRamsey

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BRILLIANT IDEA:

Marshall Ramsey, a nationally recognized editorial cartoonist, shares his cartoons and travels the state as Mississippi Today’s Editor-At-Large. He’s also host of a weekly statewide radio program and a television program on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and is the author of several books. Marshall is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and a 2019 recipient of the University of Tennessee Alumni Professional Achievement Award.