The Greek physician and philosopher Hippocrates said it first and said it best: “For extreme diseases, extreme methods of cure, as to restriction, are most suitable.”

As the coronavirus spreads, drastic times call for drastic measures. We’ve all heard that phrase.

Some people are perplexed over the way other people are hoarding toilet paper. You’ve seen the lines at the big markets and even the small dollar stores showing shopping buggies full of the white rolls of gold.

They’re doing it because drastic times call for drastic measures.

I’m pretty sure at least one Mississippi manufacturer,toilet papermaker  Sofidel America Corp. of Hattiesburg, has its machines ramped up and working overtime to meet the incredible demand.

The company expanded to the Hub City’s industrial park in 2015, said a story by Jack Weatherly in the Mississippi Business Journal. Italy-based Sofidel bought an existing plant from Green Bay Converting.

The state offered the company at least $10 million in incentives already promised to Green Bay. Here’s one corporate welfare case that’s paying off.

Why are many of the nation’s secondary schools delaying their academic year for at least two weeks? Because drastic times call for drastic measures. Their decision for a “virus holiday” came after great debate among school officials and state government leaders.

In Georgia, Gov. Bryan Kemp recommended all churches close doors and offer worship services online. Many denominations took the governor’s suggestion and did just that — and many did not.

My church met but the pastor announced to heartfelt gasps that it would be two weeks before the next service.

It is likely many ministers had to edit their planned sermons and spoke only of the realm of the coronavirus. The worldwide United Methodist Church was urged to postpone its most controversial General Conference ever, one that was to deal with same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy members.

Numerous other American institutions made the tough decision to either postpone or outright cancel plans for this year, notably myriad sports leagues.

No team in any sport took it on the chin worse than “my team,” the Ole Miss baseball squad, which was off to a terrific start. The Rebels had compiled a 16-1 record when the Southeastern Conference and other conferences decided to cancel the rest of the season. The players and their oft-maligned coach were emotionally crushed.

There will not be a collegiate Final Four basketball tournament or a Masters golf tournament, perhaps the most profound decisions of all in the wide world of sports. The ESPN television network was reduced to showing contests from their archives to help quench the athletic thirst of fans.

The nation’s Capitol building announced a no-visitors policy for the coming weeks. Many state capitols and museums followed suit, as did local civic and service clubs across the fruited plain.

Americans were taken aback at these momentous decisions. A large portion of the citizenry accepted the mandates from authorities, knowing or at least feeling like they were doing their part to rid the country of this scourge.

The U.S. Congress reached agreement on a huge emergency package to help soothe the financial hit surely to be taken by the workforce. It includes free coronavirus testing and increased medical leave for the infected. Some politicians disagreed with the legislation, claiming it too costly.

All this points directly back to our friend Hippocrates. He lived from 460-370 BC and is sometimes known as the “Father of Medicine” and whose “First do no harm” edict is still followed in the medical world.

Some states have already postponed primary elections. There is some talk of delaying this year’s national elections. I’m not sure Hippocrates considered that extreme measure.

Mac Gordon is a part-time resident of McComb. He is a retired newspaperman. He can be reached at macmarygordon @gmail.com.

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