JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Governor Tate Reeves has been taking heat on social media about whether or not he should lock down the state as the coronavirus comes in. It seems everyone has an opinion on this subject.
Retired Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Robert Latham says he’s not sure why there hasn’t been a statewide shelter-in-place order yet, or why the only county under a stay at home order is Lauderdale County.
Living in North Mississippi now, he said he has concerns for DeSoto County, to name one, and he has said as much on Facebook.
He likens the incoming epidemic to a hurricane, and says it takes strong leadership and an ability to tell people the truth.
“During a hurricane we tell people to evacuate, and even when we issue mandatory evacuation orders, they don’t all do it. But when you sent that message to them they know it’s bad and they need to do this, and most of them will do that," Latham said. "I think that’s what will happen when you tell people they just need to lock down for 2-3 weeks.”
Hunter Dickerson is in Meridian, where he has worked in emergency medical and management services for years. He says a complete lockdown needs to be put in place because some neighboring counties are bleeding over into already-swamped counties with more advanced medical facilities like Lauderdale.
“I wish the governor would go ahead and expand it out to the rest of the state to help start limit the spread and flatten the curve, because we’re seeing issues from patients in Clarke County, Kemper County, Neshoba County and Newton County, where these patients are being transported to our Meridian hospitals because they’re the regional health centers,” he said.
And the debate continues on Facebook, where overwhelmingly commenters feel as though a statewide shelter-in-place order is… well, in order.
But in person, Bill Sawyer of Homewood said he doesn’t know that a statewide lockdown is important.
“If you feel sick, stay home. But if you don’t feel sick, you know, people has to get out and do things. I mean, if you go to putting everyone in their house and just making them stay there, I imagine the murder rate will go up,” he said.
And Governor Tate Reeves told us this morning as he has told us many times, he doesn’t respond to emotion on social media, he responds to data.