Rant of the Day, Dec. 2: We won’t even try to top the Rant of the Year by Gabriel Sterling of the Secretary of State’s Office who’s had it with threats to many involved in the 2020 elections process. Trump. Perdue. Loeffler. Any other spineless elected official too afraid to take a stand — federal, state and local. Tough words but words the state and nation heard on Tuesday afternoon. He called all standing silent as being complicit — and he’s right. He’s our nominee for Person of the Year.
- We have one more job for Sterling while he’s at it: The pandemic. The state, and particularly Northwest Georgia, need his passion and his rage to snap people to attention. With a record 112 people in Rome hospitals, 25 new positive tests are local schools reported Tuesday, outbreaks in our nursing homes and a keen watch on a “surge upon the surge” following Thanksgiving, a clear, enforced message has to go out. What people don’t understand is that our healthcare workers who are left trying to save stubborn lives or those put in harm’s way by others are beyond the edge. Lose them and we’re all in trouble.
Rant of the Day, Nov. 27: Thanksgiving with the runoff candidates. From the morning news shows through the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade into NFL football and we think even during back-to-back replays of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, we had regular visits from Kelly and Raphael and Jon and David. The candidates in the two U.S. Senate seats on the Jan. 5 took no holiday from the broadcast ads, most being attack pieces allow Warnock continues to produce the year’s most clever pitches. They were tiring and probably needed to take a break from an already stressed audience. But then we questioned why, the challengers especially, didn’t take the nuclear option. Our suggestion:
A simple, mostly silent “narrative” if you will, showing empty chairs around the Thanksgiving table. The focus on missing friends, either because of fears of spreading the pandemic or reflecting the 8,716 people who have lost their lives since March. Imagine the camera slowly sweeping around the table, chair after chair left empty, perhaps with an empty plate and utensils in place. Some of us didn’t have to imagine that scenario on Thursday. The message to TV viewers would have ended with this: Remember those whose callous comments and overall inaction played a part in why those chairs were empty.
Rant of the Day, Nov. 26: Amid the pandemic and politics, a pantry offering food and hope: We shared the post below on our Hometown Facebook group on Tuesday, complimenting the Davies Shelters for another great idea. What we didn’t expect: The flood of comments, shares and emojis the original post would spawn. Even more critical: the outpouring of support helping “to solve food insecurity in our community.” Thanks something to be very thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Rant of the Day, Nov. 25: When it covers to COVID, state leaders are ‘running on empty.’ Within minutes of a mostly useless media briefing by the governor Tuesday afternoon, word came of two more passings of Floyd County residents, the latest victims of coronavirus. These two were casual, older friends, faces we’d seen over the years. Once again, these were names, not just another set of numbers to record and report. And yet even as Washington called on Georgia to get aggressive in controlling the virus, as the state once again acknowledged Northwest Georgia remained in a “high transmission” zone, the governor’s call was passive sound bite — but without any bite whatsoever. “I don’t see any reasons to take any additional steps right now,” was the quote attributed to him and posted by the AJC. Our best analysis is to label him as another “empty suit” but we don’t want to offend the pants or jacket. Once again, politics over pandemic.
Rant of the Day, Nov. 24: Dr. Gary Voccio is scheduled to meet with Floyd County commissioners this afternoon to update them on the state of the pandemic in our area. We have recommendations on how to “improve” this session:
- Surprise Voccio and the community by making masks a must in unincorporated Floyd County. What’s now in place — “recommendations” and some PSAs on social media — obviously aren’t working. Floyd County recorded 430 new cases in the two weeks ending Nov. 23. The positivity rate: 12.6% vs. Georgia’s average of 9.7%
- Pledge additional county resources to helping Voccio and all healthcare interests battle the virus. Our healthcare workers are paying the price for lax enforcement; on Monday, 88 coronavirus patients were in Floyd, Redmond Regional hospitals. That’s a pandemic record.
- Follow the city of Rome’s example in limiting public exposure at key face-to-face county offices and moving more services online.
Bottom line: Put the pandemic, and the commmunity, ahead of politics.