CLINTON — Tuesday sure seemed to take a turn, didn't it?
There I was, minding my own business — like much of South Carolina — when it happened.
If you were in South Carolina and have a cellphone, it happened to you, too.
A few minutes before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, the state Emergency Management Division sent out a message to let every resident know that Gov. Henry McMaster's home-or-work order was going into effect, while also reminding South Carolinians they should do their part to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
The message was, shall we say, short of calm.
On my phone, it had the header, "Emergency alert: Extreme," as if an emergency alert pushed to all mobile devices in the state can be something less than "extreme."
Then, in all caps — the text version of shouting — and command voice, the message ordered: "GO HOME.STAY HOME. TRAVEL ONLY FOR WORK & ESSENTIALS. VIRUS SPREADING IN ALL SC COUNTIES"
Well, it got my attention, that's for sure. And that final, unpunctuated sentence, really elevated the message to something meme-worthy, perhaps akin to "ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US."
I am glad the message conveyed the seriousness of the situation and the urgency residents need to have about preventing the spread of COVID-19. I would have preferred that message with a side of calm.
Also, in my more than a decade in journalism, this might be the first time someone in government has told me to go home.
Y'all, please heed the warnings, stay home when you can and otherwise be good. If we all do our part, we can stop the spread. (See, was that so hard?)