Showing support

County-led campaign salutes first responders, other essential workers

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

COUNTY — During a pandemic, when residents are urged — and, as of Tuesday evening, ordered — to go out only as needed, maintaining a sense of community can be difficult.

A Pickens County campaign aims to unite residents in saluting those who are on the frontlines fighting the coronavirus.

A red ribbon campaign kicked off Thursday afternoon, county community relations manager Jamie Burns said in a release.

“For some of us, doing our part means staying home to help slow the spread of the virus,” she said.

Participants can show their support for essential workers by displaying a red ribbon on doors, in yards or other visible areas “to signify that you are on Team Pickens County and pledge to do your part to fight COVID-19,” Burns said.

The aim of the campaign is to “provide some encouragement for essential workers on their commutes to work as they see the people in the community who support them and are fighting the virus in solidarity,” she said.

In addition to first responders and health care workers, the campaign also salutes truck drivers, grocery store staff and other employees “who continue to serve the community during this trying time,” the release said.

To avoid congregating, residents were originally encouraged to use area florists who would allow them to place orders online or by phone for delivery or appointment pickup, but Gov. Henry McMaster included florists in an executive order closing “non-essential” businesses.

Residents can check their holiday decorations for red bows they may already have, or they can get creative and make bows out of household items.

A #TeamPickensCounty profile frame is available to add to Facebook profiles via the Pickens County Facebook page.

Acting county administrator Ken Roper discussed the campaign during a Monday Facebook Live update and his report to county council during its meeting that evening.

The campaign will remind everyone “what the first responders are doing, what the medical providers are doing,” he said.

“And also what we should do in thanks,” Roper said. “Our daily response to the sacrifice they make is what’s important. That’s what the red ribbon is there for.”

The ribbon campaign is also to remind residents what they can do to stop COVID-19’s spread.

“Stay at home,” Roper said. “Maintain social distancing. Maintain cleanliness. Cut out any unnecessary travel. That’s the least we can do — and we wear red to remember that the reason we do that is to support the emergency effort.”