While we want our local businesses to be able to operate as normally as possible, it is imperative that we all take the advice of medical and government officials and limit contact with others, brace for a spike in coronavirus cases and, above all, remain calm, rely on trusted news sources and don’t spread rumors.

Take advantage of curbside service and if you need something, call your local retailer. Some are offering free shipping but their storefronts are closed. Let’s support them as best we can.

Mississippi’s emergency response capabilities are among the best in the country in large part thanks to the lessons learned during Katrina. There is no plan to enact martial law, but the National Guard is called out in almost every serious emergency, this time perhaps wiping down counters or delivering food. There have been no discussions of martial law I have been assured.

I know many of our top state leaders personally and have the utmost confidence they are doing everything humanly possible to prevent human suffering, meet the demands of this crisis and keep Mississippians safe so that we rebound the moment the virus is gone. If we flatten the curve and rid the virus, we will rebound quickly.

We are in close contact with our local officials and are committed to getting out important information locally at any time necessary. I have personal confidence in them as well.

More people are being tested in our state and we can expect a surge in cases in the coming days, but that is not a reason to panic. Stay home, wash your hands, follow the practices urged by the CDC at coronavirus.gov.

Our supply chains are intact from food to gasoline. The strain comes when everyone goes to buy at once. Stop hoarding and buy only what you need.

"This is not a time for us to panic,” Gov. Tate Reeves said on Saturday in announcing unemployment benefits in COVID-19 outbreak.

 




Small businesses can apply for relief at https://disasterloan.sba.gov.

“This is a time for us to come together as Mississippians, as Americans,” Reeves said. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and their employees are the people who keep our economy going. We have worked very closely with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security to help employees of small businesses that are having a difficult time keeping their doors open in these challenging times.”

The psalmist reminds us in Psalm 46: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;" That is comfort we can take as we pull together in the true American spirit and prevail.

— Jim Prince