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Looking Back: Take precautions, listen to authorities

Before I begin my column for this week, I want to touch base with all of you about the health situation we find ourselves in.
PANDEMIC! This is a word that most of us have never heard of before a couple of weeks ago. It is certainly something we never seriously thought would bring us to the point of finding ourselves hunkered down with a lot of groceries to keep us fed; with schools closed; churches closed and other things that boggle the mind. Some of us are paying attention and listening to what our government has to say. But some of us are going about as if nothing is happening. People, it is happening and we need to help our neighbors, families and friends to cope. If I sound like I am an alarmist, well maybe I am. But I think I have reason to feel this way.
I have a personal interest in one of the worst pandemics in our immediate history. Most of you know that during the Middle Ages, the Bubonic Plague, killed a good portion of the world. But, in 1918 the Spanish Flu knocked off almost 100 million people. The fever spread throughout the world just as World Ware I was ending and many soldiers brought the disease home to their families. My grandmother was a young wife and mother who was 27 years old and had been going all over her community helping those who were sick. She avoided getting the flu until most of her neighbors were on the road to recovery, when she came down with it. She left a husband and three children. I have heard this story many times and think my father carried her loss in his heart for the rest of his life. He was only a lad of 12 at the time.
Hope you don’t mind my personal story, but I urge you to take precautions and listen to the authorities. Do what they say.
Now back to the regular column.
Thirty years ago, in 1990, the Atmore Ministerial Association and the Atmore Merchants Association started a program to raise funds to assist the citizens of Elba, after flood waters did a lot of damage.