Newscast/Rant: Virus claims 25 in Georgia; 2 here. One man dead, another held. Rant: Coronavirus priorities; ‘God in more homes.’

Newscast/Rant: Virus claims 25 in Georgia; 2 here. One man dead, another held. Rant: Coronavirus priorities; ‘God in more homes.’

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Coronavirus updates:

  • Summary: State reports 25 fatalities; 2 here as of late Sunday. Positive cases: 74 in Northwest Georgia; 625 statewide. Bartow senator out of ICU after testing positive. Rome City Commission to get an update on the virus impact tonight.
  • Business: Hi-Tech Signs offers free yard signs, banners for local businesses.  Table 20 profiled in Wall Street Journal on the impact on small businesses.
  • Distance learning begins today for Darlington, Georgia Northwestern students. Unity Christian extends break until April 13. RCS collects medical supplies.

Today’s other news:

  • Rome Police report a 20-year-old man faces involuntary manslaughter charges following the death of a Cedartown man on Sunday.
  • Gordon sheriff: Body of missing Calhoun man found Sunday in Emerson area.
  • Coosa High’s Kierra Smith finds her ‘calling’ after auto accident, now ready to serve patients at Lieberman Family Chiropractic.
  • Ware Mechanical Weather Center: An inch of rain today, more Tuesday into Wednesday; storm threat Tuesday evening as well.

COPING WITH CORONAVIRUS (rant of the day)

Over the weekend, two Rome city commissioners — Jim Bojo and Mark Cochran — asked colleagues to add something to the agenda of tonight’s web-based meeting. It seems there wasn’t a spot reserved for discussion of coronavirus, an outbreak that left Broad Street as quiet as a Sunday morning at the normally peak time of 7 p.m. Friday.

Late Sunday, a reply from City Manager Sammy Rich said it indeed would be discussed under Rich’s reserved time at the meeting or else Mayor Bill Collins.

We find it a little chilling that an agenda would even be drafted without including updates and forward-thinking conversations about an outbreak that has changed how we live in this community and that will have financial impact for months to come.

Next: Sunday afternoon, state Sen. Bruce Thompson, a Cartersville Republican, posted an update on his close call with the disease. He told of feeling ill, being admitted to Northside Canton and even spending time in the ICU ward. He’s home, recovering now, but didn’t mention where he might have picked up the virus.

Two of his Senate colleagues also have tested positive in recent days so there’s a chance it was in Atlanta; Fulton County certain has been hard hit. But also noted on Thompson’s Facebook page was his attending a large celebratory gathering at The Church at Liberty Square on March 1.

The popular Cartersville church is ground zero for many of the cases now packing Cartersville Medical Center and hospitals in Rome. Last week’s first fatality in our area was at that service. The principal of Cave Spring Elementary School who had a serious brush with the virus attended as did his wife who’s still recoverying now at Emory.

You’d think that information would be included in any update, if only to reinforce the need to take aggressive steps to stop the spread.

Next: One of the best read stories on Hometown Headlines over the weekend was the one about Redmond Regional Medical Center nurses making masks for those in need. Also in tune: The Stitchery. That’s the proactive spirit we need to get through this.

We also expect a lot of eyes on a story today about Hi-Tech Signs offering free signage to area businesses to help them cope with the new demands of stopping the virus. That’s being a community neighbor and friend. Well done, Phillip Gaines.

Next: An Amen to all those Facebook Live church services. It felt weird being home on a Sunday morning for many of us. But the coronavirus didn’t stop area church leaders from spreading The Word. Numerous churches turned to Facebook Live to bring their services from the pulpit to the living room couch.

Rome City Commissioner Bonny Askew said it best about this digital divinity: With all the church services on YouTube and Facebook, God was in more homes than He’s been in a long time.

To which we say, Amen.


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