Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:
The Valdosta Daily Times on Gov. Brian Kemp extending Georgia's coronavirus restrictions:
Gov. Brian Kemp’s extension of COVID-19 restrictions is hollow and of little consequence.
His gutted restrictions are meaningless unless enforced. Going on another two weeks with unenforced minimal restrictions will not change the course of this virus.
The best protection for all of us is to wear masks and to socially distance but Kemp refuses to issue a mask requirement and will not enforce restrictions on large gatherings.
So, what’s the point?
His extension is a token gesture.
The order is now set to expire Oct. 31.
It offers some moderate restrictions for visiting senior care facilities that have already been in place. It continues guidelines for restaurants and bars with few restrictions. It extends the supposed ban on gatherings of 50 people or more but that restriction has long been a joke across Georgia.
The state has not enforced it, and leaders have even flaunted large gatherings not the least of which are political rallies, including President Donald Trump’s rally Friday at the airport in Macon.
Kemp’s extension does authorize Georgia cities and counties to pass face covering requirements but while some local governments have issued those orders, enforcement appears to be nonexistent.
People are still getting infected.
People are still being hospitalized.
People are still dying.
The numbers of hospitalizations and deaths slowly began to decline across the state and that is very good news, but across the nation numbers are climbing and climbing fast.
Our worst fears are that as we head toward colder weather, a surge in Georgia is not far off. A second wave could be worse than ever and so much of it could be avoided if we all did the right things.
Face coverings work.
Social distancing works.
Toothless, unenforced guidelines serve no purpose.
We encourage all of you to do the right things, the responsible things and wear masks, avoid gatherings, socially distance and wash your hands frequently.
The Brunswick News on deadly violence against children in Georgia:
For all that is good and holy, why is there a sudden upsurge in deadly or potentially deadly violence against young children in this state? Just recently, a 12-year-old was shot to death in Northeast Georgia, a 9-year-old was stabbed to death in Tifton and two 12-year-olds were shot in broad daylight in a public park not too far from here.
It’s almost as if the proclivity toward violence infecting some adults has seeped down into younger generations. Question is, why?
In the most recent attack, a 12-year-old girl was shot and killed in a mobile home park in Clayton County. Police remained clueless Thursday over whatever confrontation occurred that ended in the death of the child and continued to investigate the lethal attack Friday.
A week ago Friday, two 12-year-old girls were walking in a public park in Savannah shortly after noon when accosted by two masked males in what police said was an attempted robbery. The two girls were shot, but the adult they were with was not. Fortunately, the bullet wounds were not life-threatening and the pair was treated at a hospital. The investigation is ongoing.
Unfortunately, the 9-year-old girl stabbed earlier this month was not so lucky. She died, and police have the suspected killer in custody — an 18-year-old man. The child’s mother found her lifeless body when she returned from work.
A lack of child care could play a role in some of these incidents. The preteens in Clayton County and in Tift County were apparently alone at home when killed.
Whatever the reason or reason, this is a wake up call. Communities must find a way to protect their young — all of their young.
If child care is an issue or one of the issues, perhaps the church community could step up and offer their services free.
Many have large congregations that include retired individuals who might have a little extra time on their hands. Parents with sons and daughters in school who are at home when their children return from a day of learning could play an important role here too. Their children could invite friends to accompany them to their safe environment.
More funding and resources could be invested in organizations like Boys and Girls clubs. Additional sites and supervisors could accommodate more children. Adults could even volunteer time.
Communities can no longer afford to stand around and wait for someone else to act. Children are dying.
The Daily Citizen-News on a sculpture garden located in Dalton, Georgia:
There are few area attractions that are almost always open, always free and usually interesting. Fortunately for us, there’s one such place right here in Dalton.
On the campus of the Creative Arts Guild (520 W. Waugh St.) is the Robert T. Webb Sculpture Garden, a collection of 50 sculptures and art pieces. The sculpture garden recently added 12 acquisitions, breathing new life into the grounds of the Creative Arts Guild. The pieces came from all over: Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The addition of the new sculptures to the outdoor garden is part of a two-year process that also includes conservation, landscaping and illumination. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the sculpture garden, the only place in the state with a collection of permanently sited public art.
The garden is open year-round from dawn to dusk with no admission fee as part of the Guild’s commitment to making the arts accessible to everyone. In 2017, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution rated the Robert T. Webb Sculpture Garden as one of the six best places in the South to see outdoor sculptures.
The new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has shuttered many museums and arts guilds across the country. While some locations have reopened, many art enthusiasts are hesitant to attend indoor galleries due to virus fears. By being outdoors, people are able to keep their social distance while enjoying art at their leisure. That’s why sculpture gardens such as ours in Dalton are so critical to continuing the love of arts and culture during the pandemic.
“The pandemic has shifted visitors away from traditional museums, but sculpture gardens offer the opportunity to move at your own pace and keep a comfortable distance,” Webb told the Daily Citizen-News last month. “There’s nothing like this sculpture garden anywhere else in Georgia.”
We couldn’t agree more. When you have time, we recommend checking out the Robert T. Webb Sculpture Garden.