Editorial

It’s time to revisit the old adage of not being able to please everyone all the time.

The ease in which insults fly from all corners of the internet these days is astounding and appears to be getting worse. Have we forgotten how to listen and have discourse?

The people who sit behind their keyboards and constantly criticize EVERYTHING are the embodiment of “the worst of the worst” in the media field. You know the type: those who aren’t in any given field and who aren’t knowledgeable about a topic, but seem to know exactly how things should be.

For instance, let’s talk about schools restarting.

The superintendents, administrators and school boards are trying to come up with the best plans they can with information that’s essentially a moving target. What will the coronavirus do in the next month? School officials would love to know, but they’re making decisions on what they expect to happen in the future.

So they’ve come up with plans to educate our students with the knowledge that any plan could be scuttled in any given moment, depending on an unpredictable virus.

We should give them some slack when it comes to criticizing their decisions. Believe that there is no group of people who would love some certainty for the upcoming school year more than those who run the school systems.

So as we start back to school this year, it’s not going to be the same as it has been. We have to adapt and measure how we feel about the differences with the knowledge that things have changed, hopefully only for the short term.

We’re in a strange situation here and we’re all trying to figure it out as we’re going along. From the beginning in March, medical experts have been trying to figure out not only how the coronavirus spreads but how to slow it down or stop it.

Guess what? When you evaluate anything in a real time situation you’re going to have mistakes. Take masks, for instance. In March there was a community push to sew and distribute cloth masks to protect people. Well, public health and medical officials said masks won’t work to stop the spread of the virus.

THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART. As they learned how the virus spreads, they learned they were wrong. They learned the virus can spread through the larger droplets contained in coughs and sneezes, and masks can stop that spread from the infected person.

Fallibility isn’t something critics accept. The critics and commenters rail about how experts said masks weren’t important and how the death rate of those infected is lower than previously projected. That’s the measure on which many coronacritics are basing their arguments.

So, for the 100th time, let’s repeat this — the coronavirus isn’t going to wipe us off the earth, but we should be wary and protect those who are vulnerable. If you don’t already know, it’s pretty simple.

Vulnerable populations = our senior populations and those with preexisting health conditions. How can we slow down or even stop the spread? Try to stay about 6 feet from one another, wear a mask when inside and talking to people, and wash or sanitize your hands often. That’s really not hard, and it’s definitely not worth all the politicized whining we’ve seen.

Stepping down from the soapbox, it’s good to see our local leaders making sure to take care of those who take care of us.

A raise for police and firefighters is long overdue and City Commissioner Mark Cochran made a good point recently. It’s a bad business model to hire people, train them and give them some experience, and then let them go to other agencies that pay more.

It’s good to see our local officials address this issue. Our government managers have been smart to save money when the economy was going well and also to vouch for using some of our savings in this manner.

Quantity is important, but retaining quality public safety employees is paramount. Those are the people who create the culture within their departments.

We may see taxes increase somewhat to support these raises and need to consider that an investment. We’ve all heard a lot about toxic agencies in public safety — Glynn County in South Georgia, for instance — and we need to strive to keep forward thinking departments. One way to do that is to pay them what they’re worth.

It’s a good start, commissioners. Thank you for your support of our public safety departments — they play an important defining role for our community.

Thank you for reading.

Recommended for you