Will Davis

We’re glad that Monroe County schools appear to be backtracking on plans to cut in half the number of cheerleaders who can be on the sidelines of home Mary Persons football games. Now if only Forsyth city council would re-think its absurd new mask ordinance passed on Tuesday.

The school told cheerleaders last week that only 20 out of 40 cheerleaders could be on the sideline during games due to COVID social distancing guidelines.

Some government leaders appear to have a hard time understanding the word guidelines.

This summer the state set a guideline that counties would need to have only 100 cases in a 2-week span before they could have in-person classes. Our school system kept schools closed based on that guideline. Then school officials last month decided to open on Sept. 8 anyway. School board member Stuart Pippin said he supported the decision but asked what happened to the 100 cases guideline. 

To his credit, superintendent Mike Hickman admitted the county may never reach that ephemeral “guideline” and he had decided to jettison it. Finally! 

Next, Mary Persons decided to restrict cheerleaders based on — you guessed it— guidelines. These were from the GHSA concerning social distancing on the sideline. Nevermind that no study has shown that social distancing or masks do much of anything to stop the spread of a virus. Studies long ago showed the virus is virtually incommunicable when outdoors. Last time we checked, Dan Pitts Stadium is not an indoor dome. Thankfully school officials say they’ll reconsider the decision. As they should. Let the cheerleaders cheer on the sidelines. There’s plenty of room in the end zones and on the visitors side if you want to hold your rabbit’s foot and “socially distance”.

Meanwhile, Monroe County 911 director Tim Self told the Reporter on Tuesday that COVID cases continue to go down in Monroe County. Whereas the county used to add 5-10 cases per day, we’re now only adding about 3 per day. Self had estimated the county had about 160 active cases, but now says the number is closer to 135. Self concedes that people may also be heeding new CDC guidelines (there’s that word again) that they don’t have to get tested unless they’re sick. Imagine that? Sometimes guidelines are right.

“We’re going on the downward side of things,” said Self. “If we keep going like we’re going, it’s good news. It’s tapering down.”

Self said he thinks cases will continue to go down, and, joking about the election, said he expects COVID will go really down in November. Will governments give back their newfound powers as COVID recedes? That, my friend, may be the next virus that needs addressing. Maybe we should give the government some guidelines? Oh yeah we did! The Constitution.