After dramatic rises over the course of five weeks, the COVID cases for the seven-county area finally dropped for the week of Thanksgiving. Unfortunately the impact may be  minimal because of the record number of active cases currently circulating in Henderson County, and because of the strong probability that cases will resume their increase after the Thanksgiving holiday. Sometimes I think I’m a worrywart because east and northeast Texas are actually doing much better than large parts of the country. But this is exactly the time when increased attention to the recommended safety precautions can pay huge dividends. The frightening thing about COVID infections is they may become well established and began to grow exponentially before anyone is aware that it is happening.  The tragedy of the pandemic is that large section of this county and other nations found themselves in that exact predicament before they began to respond, and had no choice but to impose draconian restrictions; exposing their citizens to the very worst of both the ravages of the disease and the economic fallout of the shut-downs.

Athens and Henderson County are at a choice point now. Whatever we do, or don’t do, in the immediate future will have a tremendous impact on how bad things get locally this winter. So please, wash your hands, wear a mask, and watch your distance.

There was a poignant piece in the Hattiesburg, MS newspaper before the holidays that, yes, you can go visit Maw Maw for Thanksgiving, but you may be burying her by Christmas.

Thank you,

Merle Walker


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