Ad Spot

With freedom comes great responsibility

On Saturday we will celebrate our nation’s independence.

In the Miss-Lou that means boat parades, cookouts, fireworks shows and lounging by the pool or favorite swimming hole.

We have thought a lot about our freedoms as Americans in recent months as we have endured weeks of shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sure we have the right to assemble peacefully, go where we please when we please and to worship when and where we please but as the insidious COVID-19 pandemic has shown our freedoms can have repercussions.

COVID-19 can be carried and passed by someone who is asymptomatic for weeks before they may realize they have the disease and by that time it is too late because they could have spread the disease to other people everywhere they went for the past few weeks.

Early on in the pandemic government officials encouraged shutting down certain businesses, events and gatherings of more than 10 people and most people were compliant. However, many people decried their loss of freedoms and demanded that the government not restrict their actions.

Granted, the cost of the shutdowns was enormous to businesses and individuals who lost revenue due to the shutdown and therefore the governments eventually relaxed regulations, saying the costs to the economy were too steep.

Now a few weeks later we are paying the price of relaxing those regulations in large spikes in new coronavirus cases nationwide, including in Mississippi which saw the nation’s fastest growth in new COVID-19 cases with a 278% increase in the seven-day period from June 21-27.

That is alarming to say the least. The cost of freedom is indeed steep.

It looks unlikely governments will reinstate drastic shutdown measures that were in place early on in the pandemic so that means we all have to exercise our freedoms with caution. With freedom comes great responsibility, to steal a phrase from the Spiderman comic series.

We must be vigilant as we go about our lives exercising our freedoms not only during this Fourth of July weekend but also beyond.

Sure we are free not to wear face masks and to gather in groups but we must be aware that those actions have consequences.

Medical professionals tell us the best thing we can do to help curtail the spread of COVID-19 is to wear a face mask when we are in public, but we also should maintain a safe distance from others.

If you are someone who has a heightened risk of getting COVID-19, including being a senior citizen or having underlying health conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes or immune deficiencies, you should take even more precautions.

Like it or not, COVID-19 is a serious threat and the numbers are on the rise again because of our actions over the past few weeks.

Wear you mask in public, wash your hands frequently, don’t touch your face, keep your distance from others and let’s put a stop to this spike in cases before it gets out of hand.

Scott Hawkins is editor of The Natchez Democrat. Reach him at 601-445-3540 or scott.hawkins@natchezdemocrat.com.

COVID-19

Mississippi Department of Health reports 957 new virus cases Tuesday

News

GoFundMe account set up for restoration of Turning Angel monument

News

Report: Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hoseman contracts COVID-19

News

Reeves’ tries to put blame for COVID spike on protests, but state’s top health expert disagrees

News

Escaped Mississippi murderer still on the run. Have you seen him?

News

Mississippi officials unanimously vote to keep Confederate statute on courthouse lawn

News

Adams County Supervisors take flak for passing mask ordinance

News

Mississippi man accused of threatening county supervisor using N-word appears in court

News

Boot with human remains found at Anna’s Bottom

News

Brookhaven mayor contracts coronavirus

COVID-19

Concordia Parish reports more COVID-19 cases from June 24 to July 5

News

Mississippi man arrested for threats against supervisor after posting ‘these N*****s are fixing to get shot’

News

Mississippi House speaker Phillip Gunn said he now has coronavirus

News

Convicted murderer escapes from state prison, manhunt underway

News

Mississippi supervisor calls out racist commenter who threatened ‘N*****s are fixing to get shot’

News

Fourth of July Fireworks light up Mississippi River night sky

News

Search underway for man thrown from boat in Mississippi River near Claiborne County

News

Lake St. John Flotilla filled with Fourth of July fun

News

Tiger King, Minecraft, Corn-tine and more: A look at boats from Lake St. John Flotilla

News

Woman faces charges after police say she shot her boyfriend

News

Mission Mississippi offers prayers, walk for unity

News

America celebrates Independence Day in land of confusion

News

Fireworks organizers ask spectators to follow Natchez face mask requirement

News

Southern governors stress ‘personal responsibility’ over face mask requirements