The numbers of people newly infected with the disease caused by the coronavirus are beginning to trend upward in Floyd County and, unfortunately, it looks like hospitalizations may be on the rise as well.

Like many here, we’d been on the hope-fueled bandwagon that COVID-19 had passed through this area and we could move on to better times.

But it’s like being on a long hike and seeing some misidentified trail marker that leads you to believe the trek is over. Then, looking again, you see that you’re only a quarter of the way through the journey — and that hope fades as quickly as it flared up.

Well, for those of us who’ve been paying attention to the numbers daily, that hope is fading fast.

The number of new cases reported had been increasing and we’ve listened to the argument that more testing = more positive cases found. We listened to Dr. Voccio when he said the spread is still communitywide here in Northwest Georgia. We also watched as what appeared to be the number of asymptomatic cases continued to rise.

But, until this week, the number of hospitalizations attributed to COVID-19 had stayed fairly low. That’s been a good sign, until this week.

This week it appears that’s at an end as the number of people in the hospital appears to be working its way back up. For a while the numbers were at 3 or 4, then it went up to 9 for a short time. The number of people in local hospitals dropped and held steady at 7 but has now gone up to 10.

It’s like the steadily heating water fable — when things become more dangerous gradually, people fail to perceive the threat. Well here we are.

This isn’t a call to panic or even get scared (and it certainly isn’t a call to go buy all the toilet paper again) — you already know what to do. We know the drill.

♦ Wear a mask to protect others. They don’t do anything for you — but if you’re infected they help keep you from infecting someone else.

♦ Wash and sanitize your hands regularly, and keep your hands off your face.

♦ Keep your distance when you interact with others.

♦ Those who were determined to be at risk since the beginning are still at risk for complications related to the disease, which could kill them.

We’ve been fortunate there have been relatively few deaths in Floyd County (15 reported by the state) but that’s not the case across the country. And recent large outbreaks in Dalton and LaGrange underscore the threat COVID-19 may cause for our older or medically fragile populations.

As a media company we’ve been called the worst of the worst on social media for reporting numbers released by the state. Claims of a media hoax or conspiracy to win elections (what?) have pervaded the comment sections of our social media pages. Understand this, before we go forward with a story, we’ve consulted with various healthcare professionals — but facts don’t matter in a politically opinion-driven venue.

We’ll continue to report on the coronavirus in a professional and factual manner. There’s no angle in inflammatory or knee-jerk stories — there’s enough going on in the county these days — slow news days appear to be a thing of the past.

Thank you for reading.

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