By Tia Lynn Ivey
Self-quarantining doesn’t amount to selfishness in Morgan County. Amidst a global pandemic, that has brought to Georgia 1,026 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 32 deaths, local citizens and businesses are determined to care for one another.
While groceries and sanitation products are flying off the shelves faster than stores can restock them, Madison’s local Ingles is reserving items weekly for those who need them most. Beginning on March 20, Ingles in Madison is looking out for its elderly and medically-fragile customers as well as emergency personnel workers.
Beginning this week, every Tuesday and Wednesday, the store will set aside the first shopping hour, from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. for seniors, first responders, and those with compromised immune systems.
Ingles is hoping the new policy will allow Madison’s most vulnerable populations with the opportunity to get the essential groceries and supplies they need before those items sell out due to the high demand as people are buying in bulk to self-quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic.
A huge need across the country right now is blood donations. A blood drive will be held on Thursday, March 26 at Morgan Medical Center, located at 1740 Lions Club Road. The blood drive will go from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. “Blood centers all over the world are calling for help from blood donors more than ever as the coronavirus infects thousands and strikes fear into the hearts of others. The fear of this virus is causing a decrease in blood donations. Shepeard Blood Center urges blood donors to make blood donation part of their emergency preparedness plan. As the number of COVID-19 cases increases, the more people become nervous to leave their houses. Shepeard Blood Center wants to assure its donors that it is still safe to give blood and that extra precautions are being made to accommodate guidelines that have been issued. Blood centers are always required to use universal precautions for procedures. Social distancing is being practiced on all of Shepeard’s bloodmobiles.
Patients in hospitals still need blood and Shepeard is working hard to make sure these patients get what they need. Without blood donations, surgeries get canceled. The blood center needs help preventing a blood shortage. Bring along friends and family members to the blood drive at Morgan Medical Center. All blood types are needed. Roll up your sleeve and give the gift of life.
The people of Morgan County are working together to provide lunches for students and families in need.
Jamisha Allen, a local healthcare worker, is organizing another care package distribution day out of the Gilmore House in Madison on Sunday, March 29. Those donating care packages can drop them off from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and those in need of care packages can come to pick up from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Allen and group of volunteers assembled and distributed more than 100 care packages earlier this month. Since the schools are closing longer than originally anticipated, Allen wanted to do another care package drive to help families with children in need of food.
Despite school being closed, the Morgan County School System is giving out weekly lunches every Monday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Morgan County Middle School, Morgan County High School, Buckhead Baptist Church and Rutledge Baptist Church. As of now, the school system plans to reopen on Monday, April 13.
These are just some of the efforts of local people and organizations, taking care of each other during the coronavirus pandemic.