Monthly Archives: March 2020

Tough Times

This pandemic will hurt us economically.  Find a way to support our local businesses.  I’m not going to try and list the ways you can do that, but be diligent in working toward community sustainability by finding creative ways to help as many of our businesses stay open as possible.  I’m going to be doing some local shopping tomorrow at the front end of this self-imposed quarantine to try and do my part.  The situation is going to be getting considerably worse before it gets better.  I am fortunate to be in a situation that affects me less than our local entrepreneurs, and I’m going to try and ensure I don’t enjoy that alone.  We are all in this together.  I encourage some of our local businesses to comment on this post to show ways you are working to reach your customers.  If any of my local business friends need help in setting up things like Google Meet to reach their customers, then I would love to help you.  I can see local businesses, like yoga studios, meeting online.  It actually seems like a pretty cool concept.  My family will join in.  Share those types of opportunities and get with me to increase exposure.

I still see posts in which people are downplaying the current situation.  I encourage you to look up social media posts coming out of affected countries and see what those people are saying about the virus.  It is bad.  Older and at-risk people are dying at a much higher rate, and their capacity to deal with the outbreak at current infrastructure levels is becoming catastrophic.  People in critical conditions are unable to get the care they need which causes more deaths.  They do not understand the resistance we are expressing to preventative measures.  My sincere hope is that a few months from now, those same people are still saying we overreacted because we effectively stemmed the outbreak.

The CDC’s recommendation to close schools for 8 weeks has put our populace on notice that the measures to effectively deal with this outbreak are substantial.  At this point, there have been no announcements to go that route, but the prospect of extended closures is very real.  In three weeks, the number of cases, deaths, and hospitalizations will have undoubtedly increased.  I’m so proud of our school system for mobilizing to increase access to food and partnering with RTC for access to the internet.   RTC continues to be a valuable partner in so many ways, and I’m thankful for their commitment to our community.

Your local governments, along with our businesses and residents, are continually working to mitigate the spread of the virus, sustain services, and help those in need.  Our people have the heart to serve and this will be another example of how we overcome challenges together.

Sincerely,

Mayor Millwood

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Dealing with Corona

I felt it coming, but it was still a shock when our schools announced a two-week closure (three weeks with spring break).  My classroom is moving online.  Tomorrow, all of us will begin the process of filling our Google Classrooms with instruction, practice, and interactive tools to supplement the time missing from the classroom.  Teacher in-service promises to be busy with a different kind of teaching in mind.  Many of us are excited about this challenge and looking forward to giving our students great options for digital learning.  My wife and I have already spoken about teaching each other’s kids by creating instructional videos.  This will be fun.  Plans are being put into place for students without the internet and in our free/reduced lunch programs.  All those details haven’t been fully worked out, but they are ongoing with love for our students in mind.  Our SCHOOL WEBSITE will have relevant information as we work toward having something in place beginning Monday, March 16th.

I am also looking forward to having a little more time to help from a City of Ringgold perspective.  Ensuring our emergency personnel are supported has moved to the top of our priority list.  We are also thinking about things from a long term economic perspective.  I have high hopes in that regard, but a cautious outlook would be wise.  Our council will be discussing how to best prepare by analyzing potential revenue changes and addressing our budget accordingly. Projects such as additional sidewalks, dog parks, and capital improvements may need to be delayed while monitor the situation as it unfolds.

Personally, I will be doing my best to be available to you and our city personnel as much as possible.  My phone number is 423-653-7446.  Addressing your concerns and questions about city or school issues will be my main focus throughout this process.  I am thankful for our school superintendent and staff, experienced city/county leaders, and especially our parents who are suddenly shouldering a much different challenge.  The goal is social distancing, so let’s slow this virus down together…..by not getting together.  Stay safe Ringgold.

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