Rebuilding Mississippi: Lessons learned during COVID-19 pandemic

Rebuilding MS

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – When COVID-19 first hit Mississippi, the big question was, “Would the virus overwhelm the healthcare system?” That question drove much of the early response.

“I think through the process we’ve learned a lot about what our surge capacity and various hospital capacities have been, and we’ve seen hospitals really come together,” said Dr. Alan Jones, who is part of the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s COVID-19 Command Team.

Jones said the healthcare community has been working together from day one.

 “So, I think we’ve seen a lot of very great team work in a state that often times is dismissed, a state that is under served and under resourced, but we’ve taken the best we can with that and come together,” he explained.

The COVID-19 Command Team meets daily and being on the frontlines allows them to see what’s working.

“We know that as we kind of emerge into society, we will see the spread of the virus. So, I think what we did was we did manage to flatten that peak or flatten the curve as people have said. We’re still in the highest portion of the curve, and I don’t see that going away anytime soon as people start to interact with each other,” said Jones.

Businesses are reopening in Mississippi, but one economist said how we do business has been forever changed and that may not be all bad.

“We’re finding new relationships can be made even stronger and more forceful with each other as we start looking out. What is out there? And if I can’t come to you, can you come to me?” explained John Brandon, who is with the Mississippi College School of Business.

Brandon is optimistic the economy will eventually pick back up, and there’s opportunity for Mississippians who are prepared.

“I think it’s important for us to really spend some of our time right now and evaluate where am I, what do I have to bring to the job market, what are my skill sets that are really valuable to people out there, what can I contribute to a place of business once it’s ready to hire again and people will be hiring again,” said Brandon.

Lessons learned now to prepare for an uncertain future.

To see all of our stories on Rebuilding Mississippi, go to the page on our website. We also talked with a number of local mayors, from Jackson, Clinton, Vicksburg and Hattiesburg.

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