Front-line and law enforcement officials discuss adjusting to the pandemic

GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss. (WCBI)- It’s been an unprecedented year.

It’s been a tough year.

Folks lost their jobs, schools closed their doors temporarily, and hospital beds filled with dozens of sick patients on a weekly basis.

Nothing could have prepared us from the impact of this pandemic.

Teachers, health care workers and law enforcement all had to adjust.

“People didn’t know what to expect. They didn’t know how to prepare. Even as medical professionals and providers, we didn’t know how to prepare,” said Nurse Practitioner Rachel Martin.

Martin works for Fast Care in Starkville. Martin says most health-care personnel are providing care for patients.

With hospitals and clinics filling up, shifts tend to grow longer.

” It has taken a toll on us. From the moment we step through the door, people are waiting outside for testing. Even when we’re ready to close, there are still people waiting for testing. We’re just doing the best we can,” said Martin.

Since March, families have relied on virtual and hybrid learning.

” We’ve learned that some kids learn better remotely. We’ve turned a new corner with blended learning,” said Dr. Cherie Labat.

Dr. Labat is the Superintendent of Columbus Municipal School District. She says in the earlier stages of the pandemic, some students struggled with internet and computer services.

” We’ve opened a new door for how our students can learn, and we’re able to put the world at their fingers with our 1-1 initiative. We realized we’re not seeing parents regularly. We have to communicate a little bit more. As a district, we worked on communication and less notification,” said Dr. Labat.

And for those who protect and serve, COVID-19 adds a new layer to dealing with the public.

“When they get to a situation, they have to react and do the job. Deputies have to take that extra time. At the same time, we have to go into these homes, and often they don’t know what they’re walking into. Someone could be COVID-19 positive,” said Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott.

Scott says now masks and gloves are at the top of the list.

” We’ve had a lot of people that were sick, including members of my staff got sick and inmates in the jail. So, it has been a trying year for us,” said Scott.

Even with more obstacles in 2020, Labat says the community is what held everyone together.

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