Just Talkin’ for Aug. 5, 2021

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JT was astonished, dumbfounded, shocked, saddened and a ton more adjectives when he read the social media post by an NSU English professor about the Delta variant of Covid-19 and vaccines that concluded with, “At this point, vicious as it sounds, I wouldn’t care if every unvaccinated person died.”

Harsh.

JT understands everyone has a right to free speech and to their own opinions. JT also is aware that there is no threat in the aforementioned comment, just a statement that she would not care.

Still harsh.

NSU posted the following on their social media page in response, “Social media messages from Northwestern personnel who are not authorized to speak on behalf of the university should not be considered a reflection of the views or position of the institution.”

Enough?

Not enough?

Not for JT to decide but based on the firestorm of comments, this isn’t over. JT sees the university taking some sort of stronger stance, while they try to keep some semblance of balance. JT knows one thing, in the midst of rising Covid numbers and hospitalizations where loved ones are often fighting for their very lives, the comment was – at bare minimum – insensitive.

In a time where we should be lifting each other up, these words ripped the community apart.

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JT just saw where NSU issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon: “Northwestern State University faculty member Dr. Holly Stave has requested and been granted a leave of absence from her position for the fall semester and has announced that she will retire when the leave period expires in December. Dr. Greg Handel, Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Northwestern, acknowledged that Dr. Stave has requested leave and that her classes for the fall will be reassigned to other faculty members. Handel said she has also provided written documentation of her intention to retire at the end of the semester. “This is a personnel issue, and the university will have no further comment on the matter,” Handel said.

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Guess now is the time for JT to confess he finally decided to get the Covid-19 shot. He’s hesitated this long because he was exposed to the virus early on and after all it is an experimental drug and the long-term effects are unknown. Nonetheless, the new strain has frightened him; so he headed off to the high school yesterday about 9:30 a.m. When he got to the high school, a sign pointed out the location.

Well, he got to the turn-in, felt a little queasy; so drove on past.

The notice in the newspaper said the vaccination would be given again Thursday. Great! That would give him a little more time to agonize. About a block past the turn-in, he said to himself “Go get the shot!” so he headed back…but he drove past it again! Finally, he said to himself “Get the shot. You are a grown man and can make a decision!”

He parked, got out and went under the veranda where members of the LSU Health staff were giving the shots. As soon as he walked up, a young lady took down his information, sat him down, asked in which arm he wanted the vaccination, a nurse did the deal and then told him to take a seat for 15 minutes to see if there is a reaction. Well thankfully, there was none. However, for the next couple of hours JT was not sure if he was dizzy or not. When he did not think about it, the dizziness went away.

On departing, he was given a card that said he had the first shot and needed to come back on the 24th for the second. Looking at the card, JT was surprised. He knew there was another shot needed, but beneath that there were several lines for additional shots. Booster shots? In other words, the card says this virus is not going away.

Later, JT learned that the card needs to be saved and presented when proof of vaccination is required; so do not throw it away. Laminate it or take a picture and keep it on your camera or phone.

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JT can’t wait for the additional lighting to be up and glowing. He’s talking about the streetlights that are in the median leading to I-49. A few of them are operational now. That section starts near the Hickory Ridge Shopping Center and extends to around Posey Parc. This new segment extends the rest of the way to I-49. What a great welcome for nighttime tourists and travelers. Not sure who gets the kudos, but thanks.

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Speaking of the Interstate…the first building of the new auto plaza is beginning to take shape. Even though it’s just the steel beams going up, it’s going to be a nice addition for our city.


Remember the slogan “click it or ticket”, someone told JT we probably need a slogan for getting the vaccine. They suggested, “Mask it or casket.”