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Our society lurches ahead in the midst of gripping pandemic

Several months ago, my daughter showed me a YouTube video titled, “Southerners and Quarantine,” a humorous take on the COVID-19 pandemic and staying at home.

In the video, one of the characters said, “If they cancel football, the SEC will find a cure in two weeks.”

The comment is a funny commentary on Southerners’ love for football, but it also gives me pause to think. The traditional start of football season is about a month or so away and for most of the conferences the discussion whether to play the season remains under debate. And the SEC hasn’t found a cure for COVID-19.

Some conferences have announced they will play conference games only. Several conferences like the SWAC, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the Colonial Athletic Association have pushed their seasons to the spring. The Canadian Football League, which is my salvation during the summer and helps me get ready for the college football season, is on hold while league officials try to determine whether they can have a season.

The situation with football is a good example of how twisted and turned our lives have become since COVID-19 made its way into the United States.

Since the virus turned from an illness to a pandemic in this country, our lives have revolved around a series of changes in our daily routines.

We spend more time at home, which in many cases now serves a dual purpose as an abode and a place of business. Many people who once went to an office daily to work are now doing their jobs from home. They rarely, if ever, go to the office that once was their second home. When we go out, we find restaurants and other venues either closed or with restricted service.

We have a new vocabulary. Staying at home is now “sheltering in place.” The term “keeping your interval” was at one time a military term dealing with formations of soldiers but it is now a common term as we practice “social distancing.” For the latter part of last school year, our children practiced “distance learning.” We have “virtual meetings” through “Zoom.” The term “pandemic,” which many people thought occurred in undeveloped third world countries, has become a very real phenomenon.

Our common sense has gone out the window. Many of us refuse to wear masks, which medical experts say helps reduce the potential of infection. Many people bristle at requirements to wear masks and get downright offensive when they argue their reason for not wearing one.

Our leadership is in disarray as they grasp at straws in an attempt to make up for their lack of action when the disease was in its early stages, and no one has found a way to stem the spread of the illness. Every night we hear of more people suffering. We express our concerns, but I’m sure many of us say to ourselves, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

When this pandemic began, I’m sure many of us thought that by this time it would be under control and the danger passed. That hasn’t been the case. COVID-19 has altered our lives and they may never again be the same — maybe.

 

John Surratt is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at john.surratt@vicksburgpost.com.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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