Posts Tagged ‘Georgia’


That Virus Thingy

September 1, 2020, Linda Lou Burton posting from Little Rock, Arkansas – Six months have passed since we really started counting “that virus thingy.” I check the US stats on the Centers for Disease Control website every week; so far no US state or territory has had a week go by with NO new cases. Except for American Samoa, bless their peaceful, well-isolated hearts. Today I took a worldwide look – the World Health Organization has an excellent site and really good advice. It’s vitally important to track what is going on in our own neighborhood, but I believe it is equally important to track what is happening beyond our borders. Compare – how are they managing? How are we, in the US?

As of the beginning of September, 2020, the World Health Organization shows 25,541,380 cases of COVID-19 reported worldwide; 852,000 deaths. If we want to compare that death count with the population of cities of equal size – we could say that EVERYBODY in Indianapolis, Indiana is dead now. Or, Seattle, Washington. Dead. No living, breathing persons left in those cities. When you look at it THAT way, it seems like a lot of deaths, doesn’t it? Other cities in the US that have populations in the 800,000 range are Charlotte, North Carolina; San Francisco, California, Columbus, Ohio; Forth Worth, Texas.  Imagine them gone! Imagine a dystopian horror tale, such as Peter Heller’s The Dog Stars (2012); a world where the unexpected happened – a flu pandemic struck – and life on the planet had to adjust to “what is.” While I’m a believer in Positive Thinking, I’m also a believer in being well-informed. And approaching life in ways that are reasonable, and not based on impatience to “get back to normal, now!” Like, opening schools.  Sure, kids are getting a sucky education right now. Sure, parents are sick and tired of having to manage and monitor their children’s schooling from home.  Sure – well the issue is ablaze in arguments and accusations and vastly different proposals. Politics involved. What is the best solution? Start with facts.

Here are the numbers broken down by sections of the world, and then the US.

World Health Organization Statistics – Number of Cases Reported Worldwide as of September 1, 2020

  • Americas – 13,469,747
  • SE Asia – 4,318,281
  • Europe – 4,225,328
  • Eastern Mediterranean – 1,939,204
  • Africa – 1,056,120
  • Western Pacific – 501,959
  • TOTAL WORLDWIDE – 25,541,380

Of the Americas, that’s both North and South, let’s look at what is happening just in the United States. We’ve got the most cases of any American country — 6,004,443 COVID-19 cases reported to date; 183,050 deaths from the virus. That “death” total kills off everybody in Little Rock, just about! The US numbers are big, and continue to get bigger. Over the next month, I’ll be looking at what other countries in the world are doing to combat a pandemic that is “sure ‘nough” real, and how they are keeping their citizens safe.

Meanwhile, wash your hands, keep your chin up (with MASK intact!), and if you happen to live in any of the states below, get in touch with your governor because your state is leading the pack this week, an honor you don’t want.

US States With Highest Percent of Population Diagnosed With COVID-19 as of September 1

  1. Louisiana – 3.2%, Governor John Bel Edwards, Democrat
  2. Florida – 2.87%, Governor Ronald Dion DeSantis, Republican
  3. Mississippi – 2.81%, Governor Jonathon Tate Reeves, Republican
  4. Arizona – 2.77%, Governor Douglas Anthony Ducey, Republican
  5. Alabama – 2.57%, Governor Kay Ellen Ivey, Republican

US States With Greatest  Numbers of COVID-19  Cases Diagnosed as of September 1

  1. California – 704,485, Governor Gavin Christopher Newsom, Democrat
  2. Florida – 616,629, Governor Ronald Dion DeSantis, Republican
  3. Texas – 612,969, Governor Gregory Wayne Abbott, Republican
  4. New York – 435,783, Governor Andrew Mark Cuomo, Democrat
  5. Georgia – 270,471, Governor Brian Porter Kemp, Republican

US States With Most New Cases Diagnosed in One Week as of September 1

  1. California – 40,416, Governor Gavin Christopher Newsom, Democrat
  2. Texas – 35,432, Governor Gregory Wayne Abbott, Republican
  3. Florida – 22,342, Governor Ronald Dion DeSantis, Republican
  4. Georgia – 16,522, Governor Brian Porter Kemp, Republican
  5. Illinois – 15,130, Governor Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker, Democrat

John Bel Edwards, LA

Ron DeSantis, FL

Tate Reeves, MS

Doug Ducey, AZ

Kay Ivey, AL

Andrew Cuomo, NY

Brian Kemp, GA

Gavin Newsom, CA

Greg Abbott, TX

J B Pritzker, IL


Wherever You Go

07 all by car

My Southeast Family in Tampa.
Jason, Linda, Jeffrey, Kaitlyn, Mike, Brenda
plus Justin from the U of Florida, bottom right.

 Linda Burton posting from Raleigh, North Carolina – “Wherever you go, there you are.” That pithy quote came from Col Potter on an episode of MASH as the gang dealt with the intricacies of living in Korea in the middle of a war. You’re still you, he was saying, whatever your circumstances and surroundings may be. And the way you deal with life travels with you, wherever you go. I’ve given that theory a run for its money during this last year as the Journey Across America has taken me to twenty-five capital cities to live and to learn – yes, believe it or not, the Journey is now 50% complete! It’s been a whup-ass grand experience so far, exploring this country called the United States; discovering what holds us together and spotting those things that sometimes keep us apart. The good thing I’ve found is that we have more in common than we don’t, no matter the variety of choices we make from 07 Justin carstate to state. If our roots go back to Europe or Africa or Asia or either of the Americas, we, in time, adapt to what we find, wherever we may go. But along the way we put our spin on things; hey, that’s the spice of life, and I’m finding that the USA is one big spicy meatball; tasty, and so appealing to the senses, the spirit, and the mind! As I finish up my last day in Raleigh, I’ll bring you up to date. And pass along  “thumbs up” from my Southeast family. » read more


Atlanta Fried And Pied

10 Dalai Lama smilingLinda Burton posting from Atlanta, Georgia – Fried chicken! When I spotted the picture of the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet smiling down at me from the foyer walls in Mary Mac’s Tea Room, I had to ask, “What did he eat for lunch?” “Marian waited on him that day,” was the answer, “and she says he ordered fried chicken.” Turns out the Dalai Lama comes to Atlanta often; he is a Presidential Distinguished Professor at Emory University; and it also turns out he isn’t a vegetarian, as many Buddhists are. He grew up in a meat-eating family but converted to vegetarianism while in India; his doctors however ordered him to eat meat on alternating days after he became weak. “Richard Gere did stick to vegetables that day,” my informer continued. “But I don’t know which ones.” Richard had plenty of choices; I counted 44 items under Fresh Vegetables and Sides on the menu, from Applesauce to Whipped Potatoes; 25 of them were starred as Vegetarian Friendly. Mary Mac’s Tea Room, dubbed Atlanta’s Dining Room, has been feeding Atlantans and world-famous visitors since Mary MacKenzie opened back in 1945. It served classic southern food back then, and that’s what it serves today; every morning somebody is back there in the kitchen shucking bushels of corn, and hand snapping the green beans. If it’s your first visit to 10 pot likkerMary Mac’s, you are offered a complimentary bowl of pot likker with cracklin’ cornbread on the side; pot likker, in case you’ve never heard of it, is the juice you get when you cook up a mess of collard greens; it’s soupy and salty with just a taste of ham. If you don’t know about collard greens, and fried green tomatoes, and Red Mule grits, and sweet potato pie, well, let me fill you in. Mary Mac’s may be the oldest southern-cooking spot in town, but those items are standard fare almost anywhere you go around here, with or without a twist. » read more


But I Tell You What

06 shiny domeLinda Burton posting from Atlanta, Georgia – The paint is peeling and the steps are worn. Aside from the numerous oil portraits propped on handsome brass supports, it’s rather plain inside, confusing expectations. After all, the Georgia State Capitol has a dome of shimmering gold, and sits in the middle of high-rise urban glitterati and international trade. But I tell you what, there was nothing plain about what was going on inside today. This old house was alive with people; the Georgia Assembly was hot and heavy into its 40-day session; school buses from all over the state provided a steady stream of students ready for a first-hand look at government in action; side rooms and hallways housed various-agenda groups; cables and cameras were strung all over 06 posing girlsthe place, recording events of the day; and everywhere, cell-phone photos captured the moment. Everyone but me was wearing a badge or a bit of apparel stating purpose – I rode the elevator with Senator Gloria Butler, according to her badge, and chatted in the halls with award-winning students from Skills USA. I was greeted in the Governor’s Office by friendly staff, who invited me to sign the guest book and explained that the artwork is changed frequently 06 governor officeto give exposure to as many Georgia artists as possible. Yes, the Governor’s Office, and that of the Secretary of State, are right by the front door, with glass hallway windows giving everyone who enters the building a glimpse inside. This 1889 building was constructed to highlight the democratic ideal of “transparency in government;” its upper floors are a surround-space of clear glass windows that flood the building with light; glass tiles in the rotunda floor originally allowed light to continue down to the basement area. » read more


Pass And Go

03 atlanta citypassLinda Burton posting from Atlanta, Georgia – Buy a pass that’s good for nine days. Go to five of Atlanta’s top seven favorite spots. You can do that with Atlanta CityPass, a “bundle” of things to do; the same thing is offered in the capital city of Boston, and in other large cities around the country such as Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. It’s nice to get the seriously discounted ticket prices, and it’s nice, if you’re a quick-stop tourist, to have suggestions that lead you to places unique to a city, like the Statue of Liberty, or the Space Needle. In Atlanta, CityPass choices include Atlanta History Center, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Georgia Aquarium, High Museum of Art, Inside CNN Tours, World of Coca-Cola, and Zoo Atlanta. I’ve been to these fabulous places on previous visits to Atlanta, and I whole-heartedly vouch for their high-interest factor, but seeing them “bundled” got me thinking about why they are so popular, how they impact the everyday lives of Atlanta residents, and who was responsible for their creation. Behind every great thing is somebody’s gem of an idea. And behind every thriving community lies the support of the people who live there, and love it. » read more


Roswell Roots

01 roots logoLinda Burton posting from Atlanta, Georgia – February is Black History Month. A check of city calendars across the country reveals concerts, lectures, and special events scheduled from Annapolis, Maryland to Salem, Oregon, and all points between. I’m in Atlanta now, so I decided to head for Roswell, a community 20 miles to the north, to learn about Roswell Roots, the largest and most comprehensive celebration of African American history and culture in the state of Georgia. Roswell is known for its focus on history; it is an outstanding example of what a city can do for preservation, with the now-city-owned “Trilogy” of Barrington Hall, Bulloch Hall, and Smith Plantation open to the public year-round. Barrington Hall (1842) sits on 7 acres in downtown Historic Roswell; known as one of metro Atlanta’s “Most Beautiful Homes” it offers visitors a glimpse of the only antebellum garden in the area, and numerous original outbuildings. At Smith Plantation (1845) visitors can see the original 01 Bulloch Hall Cfarmhouse and ten original outbuildings, once part of a 300-acre cotton farm. Bulloch Hall (1839) has a unique claim to fame – it was the childhood home of Martha “Mittie” Bulloch, whose wedding to Theodore Roosevelt Sr took place in the front parlor in 1853; Mittie became mother to Teddy Roosevelt (26th President, 1901-1909) and grandmother to Eleanor Roosevelt (First Lady 1933-1945). This month, however, the emphasis at Bulloch (photo right), and elsewhere in Roswell, is Roswell Roots. » read more


Those Lucky Kids

Linda Burton posting from Tallahassee, Florida – Florida State University is famed for football, to be sure. The Seminoles just wrapped up their 2012 season with an Orange Bowl victory over Northern Illinois. But this post focuses on something else FSU is famous for, and that is the Florida State Circus. Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, and Children of All Ages, come see the show, come to be entertained, come for the color and the fanfare, come to learn some high-flying skills, because Florida State campus has a Big Top! This exciting program has been around since 1947 and was started when the school went co-ed. It’s not a degree program, it’s an extra-curricular activity under the Student Affairs division and was designed to give male and female students “something to do together.” You must be a degree-seeking student registered at FSU to participate. Unless you’re a lucky kid (between 7-17) in the Summer Program on the Tallahassee campus, or at the resort at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Which takes me back to 1973, when my kids were among those lucky kids. But first, about the Circus program itself. » read more


Life With Brian

Linda Burton posting from Helena, Montana – “On your left you’ll see two deer in the yard,” said Brian, as our tour train rounded the corner two blocks from the capitol. I thought he was joking, pointing to a yard with fake deer for effect. But one of the deer moved its head. Everyone scrambled left, cameras clicking. It was deer, all right; two deer sitting by the hedge on the lawn of an ordinary yard in this downtown residential area. One a speckled fawn? Too cute! “Some people put flower guards out to protect their tulips from being eaten by the deer,” Brian continued, as we rounded yet another corner to stop before the governor’s home. Brian pointed out the designs in the glass door, and then around another corner we went, waving at the neighbors in their yards. It was a sunny morning, and the Last Chance Tour Train was packed; half of us tourists and half locals who wanted to show off their town in the sweetest way possible – on a tweetsie little train driven by a history teacher in an engineer’s hat, delivering interesting facts with a sometimes humorous twist. » read more