Rough times. Stark ones too. Too many people sick, even more out of work. Most struggle to pay mortgages/rent, keep needed health insurance or keep food on the table.
Floyd County’s COVID-19 Coronavirus infection count hit 8 on Monday, the first two-day hike for this rural area. Two county residents are hospitalized. One has died.
More than 50,000 Virginia have the virus, according to reports from the Virginia Health Department and 1,477 had died by Monday’s report.
Health experts predict the final count will be much higher because other deaths may have come from the virus before health officials were aware of it.
In the United States, more than two million are infected and more than 112,000 have died, according to the Center for Disease Control. Again, health officials feel that these numbers are under counted.
Worldwide, cases now top seven million and more than 400,000 deaths. Health experts predict the final death toll around the globe will top one million even if a vaccine is finally developed for the constantly-mutating virus.
That would be more than enough to keep us all off kilter, but we also have nationwide racial strife sparked by a highly-publicized murder of a black man by Minneapolis police and renewed attention of too many cases of actions by white police officers against African Americans.
Much of the strife comes from urban areas, including Richmond, but the protests have stirred moves to remove Confederate statues and other icons of a lost cause.
That’s not all. Over in Lynchburg, black faculty members and staff at Liberty University are resigning because of a face mask depicting one person in Klan robes and whites in blackface promoted by Jerry Falwell, Jr., the University’s president, who is often called “racist.”
Falwell attempted a clumsy “apology” for the tweet and photo and claimed it was aimed not at African Americans but at Gov. Ralph Northam, who was accused last year of being the person in blackface in his medical school yearbook. Northam said it wasn’t him in the photo.
Falwell, a big time supporter of controversial president Donald Trump, doesn’t like Democratic governors, especially Northam.
LeeQuan McLaurin, a graduate of Liberty who went to work at the school and became director of diversity retention, resigned from the post after Falwell’s tweet, saying it was the last straw for racist-related problems he saw and experienced at Liberty.
Those problems, McLaurin said, have caused the population of African Americans at Liberty to drop frm 10 percent of the resident student body in 2007 to 4 percent in 2018.
“Some draw a direct line between the start of President Falwell’s divisive, insensitive, and unapologetic approach to politics and that drop,” McLaurin wrote in an email when he resigned last week.
Besides McLaurin, faculty members and other staff of the university resigned in protest of Falwell’s tweet.