July 3, 2020

Coronavirus warning sirens are blaring all around Tate Reeves, but will he listen and lockdown Mississippi?

If the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread across Mississippi and more people die, you can safely place blame squarely on the man at the top – Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves.

Inexplicably, Reeves continue to take a largely “hands off” approach to what many other states are mandating in the face of the coronavirus pandemic – mandating a stay-at-home order for state residents.

By now most of us are familiar with the concept of “flattening the curve.” In short, it’s the idea that if left unchecked the virus will spike and inundate the razor thin extra capacity of our nation’s healthcare system. By severely limiting exposure to one another and simply staying at home, infectious disease experts say flattening the curve gives us a chance – a small chance – of not putting our health care system in war mode.

Some places of our country — New York and, closer to home, New Orleans — are already there.

Yet Mississippi’s rookie governor Tate Reeves continues to avoid the obvious need for unpopular leadership.

He’s like the hard-headed mobile home owner who thinks “a tornado won’t get me” as he stands proudly on the mobile home’s front porch with warning sirens blaring all around him.

Governor, the sirens are blaring, please listen to them and stop making insipid references to Mississippi never becoming a dictatorship like China.

No one, except maybe you, thinks that’s remotely possible. We’re talking about a shared, short-term sacrifice to help save lives.

Fortunately for some areas of our state, local leaders are stepping up and putting into place curfews and local stay-at-home orders to protect their own corners of our state and God bless them for having the courage and fortitude to do so.

This isn’t rocket science.

We aren’t being asked to go to war.

We’re being asked to simply put our selfishness aside for a few weeks in order to help others.

We’re reminded of Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan to describe a good neighbor.

Reeves seems to be like the priest and the Levite who walked to the other side of the street to avoid the injured man.

What we need now is a leader who will aggressively approach the problem before more Mississippi husbands, wives, grandmothers, grandfathers and, God forbid, any children, die.