December is here, and 2020 almost is over. It’s been a tough year that’s tested us in many ways, and yet I believe we’ve met the test well. As we prepare for the holidays, we’re all looking forward to better days in 2021.
When 2020 began, we knew it would bring a presidential election and the usual related political strife. But, differences among the people in our nation grew beyond expectations.
Then came COVID-19, the worst pandemic in 100 years, resulting in more than a quarter-million Americans dead, including more than 100 here in Cherokee County, and approaching 1.5 million deaths worldwide. And, it’s not over.
At this writing, new daily cases in Georgia and Cherokee County are up about 50% from the low point in early October. We’re still 50% below the national average, but winter barely has begun here. The pandemic probably will be with us for several more months, at least.
The good news is that treatments have improved, deaths are down, and a vaccine may be on the horizon.
Cherokee County has weathered the pandemic well in many ways, thanks to the hard work of our citizens, medical professionals, front line responders, and our leaders. With few mandatory restrictions, our citizens voluntarily have taken reasonable precautions, while keeping our economy mostly open. Our economy remains stable, and our school system has done an outstanding job in making sure our students continue to learn.
We all came together to support those who are in need in our community, and to support local businesses.
As we enter this Christmas season, my Christmas wish (and prayer) list starts with these items:
- Help end the pandemic soon, with minimal additional death and suffering from it. Let us get past it and get our lives back.
- Bring us together across our country. Help us realize and remember that our greatest strength is unity, and that our divisions are the greatest threat to our nation.
- Bring peace and stability across the world.
- Continue to bless us and our families, and everyone across our great county, with health, happiness and prosperity.
- Give me, my fellow commissioners, and other county leaders the wisdom, compassion and courage to lead this county effectively, and in the right direction.
- Help us make the best decisions and take the best actions now to keep Cherokee County the best place in the world to live, work and play.
I wish you all a safe and joyous Christmas!
As always, I’m interested in your thoughts on these and any other subjects. Please email me at email@example.com.
By Harry Johnston, chairman of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners. He’s a retired CPA and accounting manager, and a former district commissioner.