It’s been quite a vocabulary lesson in words we’ve had in the last several weeks, hasn’t it?

For instance, if we are now in the “new normal,” why did we have to change from the old normal? It really wasn’t that bad, I thought.  

Have we ever known before about what coronavirus was, and did we even care? I still have trouble even spelling it. Thank you spell check very much.

If the current virus is called COVID-19, why was there not the same uproar about the other 18? Did I miss something there? 

Tell me truthfully which of you actually used the term “social distancing” before February began. “The Tigers set up in a social distancing defense,” was never part of my coverage of any sports activity or most anything else for that matter.  

As a transplanted northerner from the woods of Minnesota now living here the past 11-plus years, I’ve grown to appreciate that people freely welcome you here with firm handshakes and hugs. I truly enjoy it. But not now. It’s all hand waves, elbow bumps, and head nods. 

We held church where I attend last Sunday (a small but very welcoming community) but as I said on social media, “we were a ‘no-hug’ zone. Very un-Mississippi-like!”

As I’ve heard from time to time, I say all that to say this: it’s a different time we live in right now, and like it or not, we have to adjust and respond. 

This week’s news of a positive case of coronavirus (I like to use the term COVID-19 sometimes because it sounds like I know something about it when I really don’t) in DeSoto County has placed “the new normal” right at our doorstep. We have to respond to it and be proactive about it, but panic buying and panic reaction to it all won’t solve anything and likely hurts us all.  

Don’t go to “Joe in Mound Bayou” for your information. Instead, look to the Centers for Disease Control and the Mississippi Department of Health.  You can go online to or and heed their advice and directives. 

In a nutshell, think about hygiene because coronavirus is spread when you touch something that someone else with the virus has touched and left the virus behind.  

* Wash your hands, at least for 20 seconds, and do it often. Some suggest saying the Lord’s Prayer while you wash, the amount of time to say that is the amount needed to properly wash.

* Get to love hand sanitizer if you don’t already. Buy extra of that instead of this crazy run for toilet paper I keep seeing. 

* Stay home if you’re sick. You’re more apt to get the virus or pass something on to others if you’re working and ill. Take care of yourself!

* Right now officials are urging gatherings of 10 people or more be suspended or canceled. I’ve actually heard of weddings with 100 or more people still going on this weekend in the county despite the virus threat.  You might want to think that plan through a bit more.  JUST DON'T DO IT!!

Basically it comes down to extra care for yourself and extra consideration of others right now. We’re going to get through this, even if it brings back memories of the 1878 Yellow Fever epidemic or the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak, but our advantage comes because our medical professionals know more of what we’re dealing with as long as we heed what they say. Really, heed what they say. 

We at the DeSoto Times-Tribune have taken steps to mitigate our risk. Our office on Highway 51 in Nesbit has our front door now closed, locked and only the essential staff will be in the office during the day. There will only be certain hours of the day when we accept deliveries. 

If you have any business you need to be handled by the newspaper, call daytime only to 662-403-9380. Since we’re down to a skeleton crew thanks to this bug, please be patient with us, leave a message, and we will get back to you. 

If you do have to visit the office, you will be greeted by Lysol spray and hand sanitizer and strongly encouraged to use both.  

We’re taking the actions to protect you as well as ourselves. I hope you’ll understand. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to get the message of the COVID-19 fight out to you, our readers, both in print, and online at

Let’s work together, heed the experts’ advice, act on what they say, and together get through this COVID-19 bug. It’ll likely get worse before it gets better. But it will get better.