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A letter from Henderson County Judge Wade McKinney

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Friends,
I want to discuss the situation we currently find ourselves today.  This situation is like no other we have faced in our lifetime. As a society and as a nation we have been mostly unaffected by the realities that are commonplace in many other parts of the world. We are now having our lives disrupted in ways that have not been seen in this country since World War II. Many of these disruptions though are self-inflicted and are needlessly causing more distress for our families and our friends. The needless panic driven purchasing of large quantities of goods at our local businesses must stop and stop now. This activity is not loving your neighbor as you would yourself. Shame be upon you for your selfish behavior!
We are very blessed to live in Henderson County for many reasons. Our rural circumstances help to impede the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19).  But it will spread and that is why we must all do our part to ensure that we are not the cause for a faster spread. Many of our ancestors still living today are the ones most vulnerable to this virus.  The very ones that we owe so much to are the ones we need to protect. We need to give back to them by following the guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Again, love your neighbor as you would yourself.
We have been told from the beginning to have good manners.  Simple as that. Wash your hands. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Give people their space. If you are sick stay home. Do not be the reason for someone else being sick. We are also being asked not to have gatherings larger than 10 people and to reduce the frequency of trips from our homes for the next couple of weeks. Choosing to ignore the recommendations of the CDC is choosing to hurt someone else. Again, love your neighbor as you would yourself.  
During this event local businesses will be impacted greatly and that hurts us all. Local businesses are the backbone of our communities. They provide jobs for so many of our friends and neighbors and they will be impacted by the loss of revenue due to the Coronavirus.  This will put a strain on everyone. These businesses are responsible for so many of the sponsorships that are available for so many worthy causes. Our local businesses are our friends and neighbors and we should treat them as such. Again, love your neighbor as you would yourself.
We have another precious resource that we need to protect. That is our healthcare system.  That includes the facilities like our hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, pharmacies and most importantly the staff.  These men and women have dedicated their lives to helping us. It is high time we help them. By following the CDC recommendations, we will reduce the demand on these wonderful people, and we will be helping their families too. Remember while these folks are working helping us, they have family at home……just like you. Again, love your neighbor as you would yourself.
You may have already heard that many of our governmental offices are adjusting to the current situation.  This too is a part of the mitigation process to slow the spread of Covid-19. Many of the services offered by our local governments are also available online.  Take advantage of those capabilities. If you have need of certain government services pick up the phone, call and ask if the needed service is available online. You might be surprised how much is available. By doing this you can help to reduce the chance of someone or yourself to being exposed to the virus. Again, it goes back to love your neighbor as you love yourself.
For now, Henderson County has not had a confirmed Covid-19 case, but it will. When that time arrives many of our Mayors and I will be officially declaring emergencies. This step is a part of the Emergency Management process. These declarations will be needed to ensure that resources are available from State and Federal sources if they are needed. Many resources are currently available without declarations, but to access Federal reimbursement funding in the future these declarations are necessary and required.  
No one knows exactly how long it will take for our current situation to pass. We do know that it will pass, just like the challenges our ancestors faced before us. I ask each of you to do your part. Do not be the cause for someone else’s grief. Be that individual that loves their neighbor as they love themselves. Be that individual that looks out for the other guy. If everyone is looking out for everyone then we are all being taken care of.  During this time enjoy the important things…..like family.
God bless you all.
Wade McKinney
Henderson County Judge