To my fellow Natchezians:

 

I have become aware that certain individuals in our community are still attempting to minimize the danger and risk of Coronavirus. Some do it on Facebook, while others are simply spreading rumors or flouting the CDC and local guidelines about social distancing. Most of these individuals have no medical training or credentials. To those who claim that Mayor Grennell overreacted to the pandemic crisis on March 18th by strongly urging the closure of certain classes of businesses, and by strictly regulating the operation of restaurants: please note that two days later the Mississippi Department of Health issued the same guidelines for the whole state. By his prompt action, Mayor Grennell undoubtedly lowered the rate of viral spread in our city, and probably saved lives.

 

Anyone who is still at this point telling you that the virus is “no worse than the flu” is a danger to you and to the public health of our city. All infectious disease experts now agree: we are facing an unprecedented crisis, and only extreme measures can slow the epidemic at this point.  We are only at the beginning of this crisis.  It will get worse before it gets better.  We should not and will not panic, but we must heed the guidelines given to us by the scientists.  I will post links to studies supporting the above assertions asap, but I wanted to get this letter on the site before those irresponsible people who are telling others to disregard scientifically based rules and guidelines do any more damage.  At this point, everyone who breaks the rules in our city is a danger to us all.  Please follow only advice based on the conclusions of the scientific experts in epidemiology. They are the rightful generals in this battle, and their only agenda is to protect you. The actions of the mayor are guided by science and by the deep obligation he feels to protect the people of Natchez.

 

Stay safe,

 

Greg Iles