WILL DAVIS

Will Davis

If you follow Monroe County’s COVID cases daily (and I know you Karens are out there), you may have seen the Department of Public Health reported our biggest one-day spike in cases ever last week. While the county averages 5-10 new cases per day, the DPH website reported last week the county had a huge surge — 38 new cases, on Aug. 24.

It caught the attention of Monroe County 911 director Tim Self. GEMA sends him a list daily of all the addresses in Monroe County where new COVID cases have been reported. Problem is, he didn’t get those 38 addresses to go with those alleged 38 new cases.

“I never got those,” said Self. That’s probably because they don’t exist.

Our health district conceded it had over reported 300 cases in the district that were actually duplicates. Perhaps that explains it. And the trends don’t agree with any “surge” of cases.

“We’re trending back down a little bit,” said Self. 

Self noted that 10 more cases were reported on Monday, but eight of those were from the nursing home on Hwy. 42 in Blount. 

“That’s a good sign,” said Self. “We’re on the downward span. If it keeps that way we’ll be good.”

Another good sign is that District 1 county commission candidate Lamarcus Davis was released from ICU last week after his own battle with COVID. Prayers for a continued recovery for Lamarcus.

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Even as cases decline, the Forsyth city council is expected to discuss whether there’s interest in imposing a mask mandate at its Sept. 8 meeting. Mayor Eric Wilson said the discussion will determine whether to move forward but no vote will be imminent. Cities can require masks on city property and at participating businesses after Gov. Kemp gave up his legal battle to prevent such requirements.

Several council members have been adamant maskers and avoided public meetings, only attending by Zoom. So there may be the votes to do it. Some studies show masks may help stop the spread of the virus. Many studies say they don’t. If you have an opinion you better let your council member or the mayor know.

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Despite the pandemic, or maybe because of it and its ravages on more populated areas, Monroe County continues to show signs of economic growth. The new Royal Seven store and Food Court, which opened last Thursday, is getting terrific reviews. And our rural areas are getting a new store too. The old Jackson’s Country Store, located on Hwy. 74 at the Monroe-Bibb county line, closed earlier this year. But Bobby Patel, owner of the gas station at Lake Tobesofkee, has bought it with plans to renovate and open it back up in a few months. The store is the only one in that area of the county and has been missed by local residents. 

Our friends Earl and Tracy Jackson owned the store for several years and had great BBQ. They only ran into trouble when someone stole a lot of money from the business last year. Word spread and their customers and supporters tried to rally to help them stay open. One elderly lady, a regular customer, brought something to the store to give to Earl. It was 10 $100 bills, $1,000 to help the store stay open.

“Pay me back if you can,” she said, “if you can’t, don’t worry about it.”

“She’s a sweet lady,” said Earl. “I didn’t really know her well at the time. But I do now. She’s become a good friend.”