Brittney Lofthouse – Contributing Writer
In just a matter of hours over the weekend, the entire country changed. In attempt to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, Governor Roy Cooper followed suit of states across the country and ordered all schools be closed for at least two weeks, beginning today (Monday). He also advised against any public gathering of more than 100 people, which led to concerts and events being postponed or cancelled across the state.
With the situation changing by the minute, by Sunday experts recommended gatherings to not exceed 50 people and have pushed to raise awareness of a new term, “Social Distancing.” The concept suggests people stay home, avoid the public, and in the event that you are out of your home, remain six feet away from other people. This tactic is just one of many things being implementing in hopes of stopping the spread of the virus.
With schools closing, concern around how families reliant on schools for daily meals and other essentials quickly rose to the forefront of people’s minds. While government officials on a local, state, and national level are formulating a plan to address just that – local communities sprang into action. Businesses have stepped up to offer free daily meals to children and other businesses. Appalachian Ace Hardware has launched an effort to collect donations for families in need through resources such as Franklin’s Free Little Pantry. Appalachian Ace owners Courtney and Josh Patrick volunteered to house donations for families inside of the store and build home packs for families to help feed children over the next few weeks. Members of the community as well as local churches are mobilizing to help in supplying donations to feed families.
More information will be forthcoming as Macon County officials and school staff develop plans moving forward. The Macon County News will provide the most up-to-date information possible as more information is known.