Editorial roundup: Views from around Georgia

Valdosta Daily Times: Many reverse course on vaccine, thank you for doing your part

So many people are coming around, reversing course and getting vaccinated.

We want to say thank you and commend you for your community service.

People who had resisted the COVID-19 vaccination are now showing up at the vaccination drive at South Georgia Medical Center and other locations, and it will make a huge difference in the battle to control the spread of the delta variant in our community.

Of course, we know that most people are vaccinated to keep themselves safe and that is certainly the right thing to do and the primary reason for vaccination.

Still, getting the COVID-19 vaccination helps to keep everyone else safe as well and also helps stabilize the economy.

No one wants people to get sick.

No one wants people to be hospitalized.

No one wants people to be placed on ventilators.

And, most certainly, no one wants people to die.

The vaccine is simply what it takes to keep those things from happening.

None of us likes getting shots in our arms, and we don’t like having to wear protective masks.

There should have never been conflict over vaccines and masks because, if the truth be told, no one ever wanted to be in this situation to begin with, and getting vaccines and wearing masks are not things anyone enjoys or wants to have to do.

All the mitigation strategies — economic shutdown, social distancing, repeated hand washing, using hand sanitizers, wearing protective face masks and getting vaccinations — are inconvenient, somewhat of an intrusion and mostly uncomfortable.

No one wears masks and gets the vaccination shots because they want to, but rather because they have to for themselves and for others, and that makes it so commendable.

Keeping yourself and your family safe just makes sense.

Looking out for your neighbor, for the community and for the most vulnerable among us is thoughtful, considerate, altruistic and simply the right thing to do.

We know choosing to get a vaccine was a difficult decision for many people, and we appreciate you taking the time to do the research, to reconsider and then make the arrangements to roll up your sleeve.

Yes, we have written numerous editorials strongly urging people to wear masks, socially distance and get vaccinated.

But today, we wanted to take a different approach.

Today, we just want to say thank you for doing your part.

Rome News-Tribune: The ball is finally rolling on the former Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital property

We’re now seeing some movement on the former Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital property — and this is why it’s a good thing. Some detractors immediately struck out at Georgia’s lack of mental health services but unfortunately it’s an apples to oranges comparison.

The best use of that property isn’t necessarily tied to mental health and substance abuse support services. As a matter of fact, the property lying dormant sucked over $3 million each year from the state’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities budget.

That money desperately needed to be used to provide services for Georgians who need it.

The former state mental hospital off North Division Street closed in 2011 after a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice that affected hundreds of patients and employees.

We were extremely hopeful of Global Impact International CEO Jeff Mauer’s proposal of a HOPE Village and still are. It seems like a dream come true for our area and we’d like to see the idea come to fruition.

There’s no argument that we’re in desperate need of the kind of services once provided by the state’s mental hospital system and the dream of HOPE Village doesn’t have to die with this sale.

There are other locations here on which the dream the Mauers proposed could be realized, and we as a community should support that idea.

But the former hospital property is fertile ground for development. Here’s what we said this past February.

One, it’s centrally located.

Two, again, it’s upwards of 130 acres.

Three, it already has utility connections.

Four, it’s already flat.

Five, it has access to rail service.

What’s more to ask? Well a lot, but we’re convinced there are smart people here who can work out the details.

This kind of partnership, like a similar recent one off Cartersville Highway and Bass Ferry Road, is what makes this community great. Let’s keep it up.

So thank you to all the hard work put in by Rome-Floyd County Development Authority President Missy Kendrick, City Manager Sammy Rich, Mayor Craig McDaniel, County Manager Jamie McCord, County Commission Chair Wright Bagby, RFCDA Chairman Jimmy Byars, RFCDA Secretary Doc Kibler, state Reps. Eddie Lumsden and Katie Dempsey, state Sen. Chuck Hufstetler and all the others behind the scenes who made the deal a reality.

There’s a lot of hard work ahead, and it’s not likely we’re going to see any visible progress for a little while. The demolition of the multiple buildings on the property will be done in phases and we’re expecting there’s going be expensive asbestos mitigation work needed as well.

Regardless, the ball is finally rolling and that’s good news.

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