by Hunter Dawkins

The “Friendly City” of Long Beach Mayor George Bass shares his thoughts on the global pandemic of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and how it has impacted the community.

The Gazebo Gazette:  What are the biggest challenges for the city during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Mayor Bass:  Some of our biggest challenges were to continue day to day operations for the city while protecting our citizens and employees and keep doing business. Maintaining transparency for our citizens for our bi-monthly board meetings and having them broadcasted for people to still tune in and know city businesses is still moving forward. Watching our businesses close to follow Stay at Home Orders is one of the toughest things to see. Small business owners are our friends, neighbors and family support from our community is what keeps our town and their doors going. Knowing people that were effected by COVID and a few that lost their lives in our city.

The Gazebo Gazette:  Can you name the proudest moments you’ve had of the city during the pandemic?

Mayor Bass:  The response of our citizens following strict guidelines of the Stay at Home Order.  Our employees that kept things going in such adverse situation working at city hall or at home. We were blessed to have had no cases with any of our employees or First Responders.

The Gazebo Gazette:  What message would you like to give to the small businesses of Long Beach?

Mayor Bass:  THANK YOU for staying the course. Thank you when you were forced to shut down you adapted and found ways to still keep going. Thank you to our restaurants and citizens for ordering take out. Thank you to our beauty salons, barber shops and nail salons for having patience with us. Thank you for opening up slowly and protecting your customers, yourselves and quickly acting on all the guidelines put in place for everyone’s protection. Thank you to the essential businesses for staying open and keeping our citizens and city going with their needs.  We encourage our citizens to shop local, shop small and always shop Long Beach first.

The Gazebo Gazette:  Has the city developed a plan for handling a second round of COVID-19 in the winter of 2020?

Mayor Bass:  We are waiting on any guidelines from the state of Mississippi Health Department, CDC and our local hospitals with any plans for the future.

The Gazebo Gazette:  How many confirmed cases of COVID-19 are you aware of in Long Beach?

Mayor Bass:  14 cases and tragically 3 citizens passed away.

Even though no one in this age has any real experience with this kind of crisis, Mayor Bass was a long time veteran of the Fire Department and still works to see that the citizens of Long Beach are in good condition.