Most of us who live in Yazoo County are here because we love it.
Today’s society is more mobile than ever, and the truth is that many of our younger Yazooans are seeking greener pastures as they enter the working world.
But if you ask the average middle class Yazoo County resident – the kind of person who could easily live somewhere else if they desired – why they choose to live here, the answer is usually going to be that there’s something special about the people here.
I agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment. I’ve traveled quite a bit and visited many communities with more amenities available. It’s not hard at all to find communities with less litter, better public schools, better roads, less poverty...the list could go on. You really don’t even have to travel that far.
But I’ve never found better people than the folks in Yazoo County. If I’m ever in a serious situation where I need help, I sure hope I’m in Yazoo County because that’s where we’re at our best.
That’s a tradition that was started before any of us came along. If you read the reports following the fire of 1904 that devastated our city of the great flood of 1927 where people sought refuge from a historic flood, you will find documentation of Yazooans rising to the challenge when it mattered most.
Next month will mark a decade since a tornado did damage to our community that was previously unimaginable to me. The heroic response from Yazooans helped me finally understand the events my parents often described following the 1971 tornado that killed nine people and destroyed 40 homes.
I saw that response again last year when Yazooans exceeded our expectations in responding to the flood relief effort. Donations more than double what were expected. A volunteer fundraiser in Satartia brought more people than that community has probably ever seen at one time.
That’s what Yazoo people do, and that’s why I love them so much.
I’ve seen it time and time again, and it never ceases to remind me of why I hope that God will bless me enough to be able to live the rest of my life in Yazoo County.
Now we have another challenge to face as a virus spreads all over the world that will inevitably visit our community as well.
I will admit that I am one of the many people who underestimated the threat at first. I based my assumptions on what was the best information available to me at the time, but it’s now clear that the COVID-19 virus is very serious. Many people have died, and many more people will die before it’s under control.
That’s the cold hard facts, but it’s also a fact that irrational actions such as buying all the toilet paper at the local stores is doing much more harm than good. Hoarding products like hand sanitizer and soap prevents people who need these things from getting them.
Just buy what you actually need.
And nothing good comes from sharing uninformed information on social media when there is plenty of reliable information readily available that is no less easy to access online – information like the Center For Disease Control’s steps for dealing with the virus that were shared in our last edition.
It’s time for Yazooans to once again rise to the challenge and live up to our reputation of coming together to overcome great adversity.
There are many small ways that we can do that. Avoiding crowds and frequently washing our hands is an easy way to help slow down the spread of this virus.
We can go shopping for elderly residents who are most at risk from this virus. We can follow the guidelines that are as simple as washing our hands frequently and avoiding crowds. We can stay at home if we’re sick. We can also make the most of it if we’re stuck at home. There’s no rule that you can’t go outside and enjoy these beautiful days.
Those are the basics.
But I’ll be shocked if Yazoo sticks to the basics. Let’s show the world once again that Yazoo sets the standard when it comes to people coming together in a time of need.
Let’s once again lead by example.