In the last six days, Franklin County counted its first two Coronavirus infections. These are the first signs of a virus that could be anywhere, from Alligator Point to St. George Island, from renters to residents.

Scary? Yes and no. Let me explain. I am a statistician and a businessman. We have collected and analyzed both business starts and construction starts for about 25 years and we’ve seen many ups and downs and the interpretations made with this move or that. We don’t claim to have superior knowledge, but we do know projections are worth what you pay for them; or maybe not. Projections often turn out to be more wrong than right.

The Coronavirus is a clear and present danger to our way of life, either due to the virus itself and/or government actions. Without arguing with the political decision, but I will sate there is a tendency to underrate unintended consequences of actions. As in physics, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

The calculus to break the back of this disease was made by others. We don’t have to agree, it’s the law and its policy. If you disagree, vote your leaders out at the next election, but even then, be careful. That might be exactly what the political types are doing… playing the long game. I can’t speak for national leadership or how the scientists came to the conclusions that they did. Here’s what we all need to do to get back our lives.

Embrace and don’t fight the leadership that has mandated changes in our behavior. The sooner it’s over, the sooner we get our lives back.

Be vigilant both internally and externally. Not only do you have to do what’s necessary to keep you and yours safe. You have to worry about those that fight everything and do stupid things that endanger us all. The transmission path so far has been overwhelming, willful and/or unthinking, not caring for others. If you are sick, stay away and God be with you. If everyone followed that advice, the virus would burn itself out quickly.

Protect the elderly and those that are compromised. Not only because we love them, but also for the risk it to others when we must care for them because someone was not thinking!

Like terrorism; if you see something, say something. Social shaming needs to be part of the way we ward off new infections and contain those moving about in defiance of the law.

Ask why health departments statewide are not legally quarantining those with the virus? If everyone knew who had coronavirus, we and they would not be cavalierly coming here and otherwise spreading the infection. We would be arresting those breaking quarantine.

Sooner, rather than later, we will start to get back our lives. The vast majority of those with the virus will have zero to moderate symptoms. Our medical care system will not get overwhelmed. We need to begin focusing on how we will reopen our businesses now, even as we wait for the actual date to do so.

Please consider working together as we have not done for at least 60 years. Only a nihilist or unthinking person will see things differently. America is the greatest nation on earth. Freedom and the independence that comes along with it are not free. We sometimes forget the terrible price current and former soldiers, deputies, medical personnel and even politicians have sometimes paid for what we have. Our future is not a given. The best among us will lead us back to prosperity. Applaud them, don’t throw roadblocks in front of them as they reinvent our country as this virus slowly fades.

Thank you.

Allan Feifer

President, Concerned Citizens of Franklin County, Inc.