Stop acting like COVID-19 is over.

COVID-19 is not over.

COVID-19 is far from over.

Approximately 1,000 Americans are dying everyday.

We often write editorials about what government should do or should not do.

This is not one of those editorials.

This editorial is all about you.

Regardless of what government does or does not do, mitigating the spread of the coronavirus is all up to you.

If you are not wearing a protective mask in public, you are a big part of the problem.

If you have not yet become accustomed to having a mask on, you are most likely not wearing one when you should.

This has absolutely nothing to do with politics.

This has nothing to do with liberal Democrats, with President Donald Trump or with Gov. Brian Kemp.

Wearing a mask, respecting other’s people’s space, avoiding crowds and practicing good hygiene are all things under your control and decisions that you make for yourself.

So forget about whether government can tell you what to do or not do.

This is all about you choosing to do the right thing.

This is not about whether or not federal, state or local government can tell you what to do. Rather, it is about whether or not you have the moral compass to do the right thing for family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, church family and all others you come in contact with when you are out and about.

Yes, you most assuredly have the right to put yourself at risk but is it right for you to put everyone else in harm’s way because you want to prove that you are free to do whatever you want to do? 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield told U.S. senators Wednesday that masks are the most powerful tool we have to fight the virus. He also said a vaccine might not be widely available for several months down the road. 

People who argue about the mask, refuse to wear the mask and make fun of the mask are selfish and putting everyone around them at risk.

More than 190,000 Americans have died. More than 930,000 people have died worldwide. In Georgia, more than 6,250 people have died. In Lowndes County, at least 75 of your friends and neighbors have died. At our local hospital, at least 135 patients have died. Yes, many people recovered. But these are the numbers of those who have died.

Death is not the only bad outcome. COVID-19 can have long-term, debilitating effects and also devastating financial impacts on individuals and families.

We understand everyone has COVID fatigue and you want everything to be back to normal.

But things are not normal.

COVID-19 is not over.

COVID-19 is far from over.

Stop acting like it is.

Wear your mask.

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