A different world began here in Mississippi when the Coronavirus arrived. It was only a matter of time before it reached the Delta. While the various pundits on the cable channels debated what affect the virus would have on people and whether or not the U.S. acted fast enough, here in Mississippi, cooler heads prevailed and in my view, wise decisions were made early and swiftly.
As I sat at my desk one morning at the office, I thought about Governor Reeves having to take something on of this magnitude so early after being elected. And, because Mississippi has not seen anything like this since the Yellow Fever of 1917, there was no roadmap for Reeves to follow. Nevertheless, he and his advisors have delivered sound judgement throughout this ordeal. Especially when compared to the decisions being made by several other governors.
The economic devastation is another part of this. As of this writing, our state has seen a 14 percent increase in unemployment and some 130,000 residents have filed for assistance.
Because of this, Governor Reeves, being pro-business to the core and realizing our state’s entrepreneurs and small businesses cannot endure much more time in lockdown, recently created a task force, turning to some of Mississippi’s “best and brightest” minds to address current problems and create a vision as we attempt to move forward. Tom Gresham of Indianola has been appointed to this task force.
The Governor’s Commission For Economic Recovery is meeting regularly by teleconferencing, and they are also heeding the advice of our medical experts in making sure all economic proposals can be implemented safely without risking the health of the general population.
Compare Governor Reeves’s decisive and prudent actions with those of any number of other governors around the country who have used the Coronavirus outbreak to act as dictators over their states and it is eye-opening. Instead, Reeves is granting assistance to his constituents, such as allowing homeowners to receive up to six months of mortgage relief and giving essential workers access to emergency childcare centers. “We are in the middle of a fight for our state,” Reeves said while announcing these measures. “Please stay strong. Stay in the fight. We’re not sitting around waiting on the federal government to solve our problems.” Reeves also said recently on Neil Cavuto’s Fox Business show.
Excellent thinking here. This is why Reeves created the task force for the state to take the lead for its own citizenry. The governor also understands the strength and resolve of his people and refuses to coddle or make criminals out of them for simply trying to live and survive.
No one knows what the future will bring. We must hope and pray that we can all get out of this as unscathed and as quickly as possible. With the passing of every day, it will only be that much harder to regain our economic footing and get back on the road to recovery if people can’t return to work soon.
Unprecedented times in this country. However, to quote from one of William Faulkner’s writings, “I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail.”
And so will Mississippi.