State health officer says if Mississippians remain foolish, coronavirus will worsen

Published 4:53 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The state’s top medical officer said Tuesday the impatience of Mississippians in following coronavirus protection guidelines is heartbreaking.

“We seem to be willing to sacrifice nursing homes and schools to go to a party,  is absolutely phenomenal to me just to be honest,” Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said. Tuesday. “It actually breaks my heart a bit that we don’t have enough patience to support those things that are critical to the success of our kids and our seniors.”

Dobbs said the state is in communication with the Mississippi Department of Education and is working to try to ensure schools are able to safely open in the fall, but that the surge in virus cases is making it more difficult.

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“We’ll continue to work to find the safest pathway possible, but it makes it harder and harder the deeper we get into this,” Dobbs said. “We’ll do everything we can to support safe education.”

Dobbs said Mississippians need to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously or things will get worse.

“This is just starting,” he said. “This is just the front. There’s only so much we can do as the health department. We all gotta do something.”

Dobbs urged Mississippi residents to wear masks, stay at home if at all possible, maintain social distancing, avoid large groups and isolate themselves if they have symptoms.

He warned if people don’t follow those simple things, the virus spread will worsen.

“There’s no amount of planning that can overcome foolish behavior,” he said. “And it may just be bad. There’s no amount of anything we can do if people are going to act recklessly.”