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Column: We don't get a do-over on 2020, so wash your hands, wear your mask and be kind
Harris Blackwood
Harris Blackwood

There are many times and places in life that I would like to have a do-over. I have made a lot of mistakes along the way. 

But this do-over would involve the whole world and this entire year, so far.  I would like for this to be like a TV or movie script where we all wake up and find this was a dream. Dorothy would still have never donned the ruby slippers because she would have never left home. 

The War Between the States has been a bitter subject recently. The war had as many or more casualties due to illness than from battlefields. Soldiers from various states had immunity to certain diseases, but not others. 

We have had the high number of cases of coronavirus because we had no immunity and it spread like wildfire around the world. 

I have known two people who died this year because of the virus and three others who had it and survived. One of them had a mighty close brush with death. 

It’s real. There are all sorts of theories about how it began, but the bottom line is that it did happen and it continues to grow in numbers. 

Then came the cruel mistreatment of people that resulted in death. The most notable cases involved white people pursuing black people. 

There are an estimated 850,000 law enforcement officers in the U.S. With that many people, you are going to have some bad ones. But there are so many devoted professionals who give good and faithful service to their jurisdiction. 

Yes, we need ways to weed out the bad ones, but I think we will want a good officer to respond when we have an urgent need. 

I don’t have the answers, but I know that burning down buildings and looting is not a solution. 

The bottom line is we are scared of one another. If we are around people who may be out in public, we are scared they will make us sick. If we see someone who doesn’t look like us, we are afraid they might hurt us. 

I can understand someone with health problems being afraid, but we should not live in a society where we are fearful because of the color of one’s skin. 

I want to go back to the pre-virus, pre-protest days and hopefully find a way to address these issues in a more acceptable way. 

There are some good things happening this year. Many peach growers are predicting a bumper crop of really good Georgia peaches. Other crops like corn, squash, tomatoes and watermelons are also looking good. The big issue is getting them in without spreading the virus among the pickers. At least we will have some good fresh vegetables and fruits to enjoy. 

We also are not seeing a huge demand at this point on our hospitals. One of the ways we can avoid that is by wearing masks in public places. 

And for goodness sake, please keep washing your hands. The anti-bacterial hand sanitizers are a good temporary approach, but doctors say that washing your hands in warm, soapy water is the best approach. 

We can’t do it over, but let’s do the best we can moving forward. 

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns publish weekly. 

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