Posts Tagged ‘Mississippi’

 

A Talking-To

Linda Lou Burton posting from Little Rock, Arkansas – Summer is nearing an end, and I’m wagging my finger  to get your attention this Saturday evening about COVID19 in the United States and the World. The virus hasn’t disappeared yet, and sadly, the United States continues to be coping poorly. The World Health Organization reports 30,369,778 cases tallied up around the globe as of September 19. The Centers for Disease Control reports 6,706,374 cases in the United States as of September 19. Do the math: 22% of the COVID19 cases in the world are in the United States. And remember, the United States accounts for only 4% of the world’s population.

I REPEAT:

  • WORLD COVID19 cases: 30,369,778
  • UNITED STATES COVID19 cases: 6,706,374

  • UNITED STATES: 22% of World COVID19 cases
  • UNITED STATES: 4% of World population

As to DEATHS from COVID19, the World Health Organization reports 948,795 deaths worldwide due to COVID19 as of September 19. The Centers for Disease Control reports 198,099 deaths in the United States due to COVID19 as of September 19.

My stepmother was one of those statistics. She was buried September 13 in Jasper, Alabama (Alabama now the fifth deadliest state to live in). Her name was Opal Burton and she lived for 97 years, until she contracted the virus while quarantined in a nursing home. Not the way anyone should spend their last days on earth; she was in a place that should have been able to keep her safe. It makes me sad, and it makes me angry that we have let this virus dig into our lives the way it has. God bless you Opal, and forgive the laxity that allowed things to get so far beyond control. Your life was much too valuable to be lost in such a way.

DEATHS:

  • WORLD COVID19 deaths: 948,795
  • UNITED STATES COVID19 deaths: 198,099

  • UNITED STATES: 21% of World COVID19 deaths
  • UNITED STATES: 4% of World Population

Within the United States, which states have the WORST RECORD?

The FIVE STATES with the HIGHEST percentage of their population DIAGNOSED with COVID19:

  • Louisiana: 3.47%. Governor John Bell Edwards, Democrat
  • Mississippi: 3.13%. Governor Tate Reeves, Republican
  • Florida: 3.12%. Governor Ron DeSantis, Republican
  • Arizona: 2.93%. Governor Doug Ducey, Republican
  • Alabama: 2.91%. Governor Kay Ivey, Republican

Of those who contracted COVID19, the FIVE STATES with the HIGHEST percentage of those DYING from the virus:

  • Connecticut: 8.09%. Governor Ned Lamont, Democrat
  • New Jersey: 8.08%. Governor Phil Murphy, Democrat
  • New York: 7.29%. Governor Andrew Cuomo, Democrat
  • Massachusetts: 6.89%. Governor Charles Baker, Republican
  • New Hampshire: 5.57%. Governor Chris Sununu, Republican

We’ve got to do better people. What are YOU doing personally to make sure the virus doesn’t grab onto your beautiful body? And if it unfortunately HAS DONE THAT, and you are feverish and coughing and feel totally pukey BAD, what are you doing to make sure you don’t spread it around? Our powers in office can make good or bad decisions about issuing mandates and opening or closing facilities. But it is up to YOU to practice good common sense. You’ve heard enough details about COVID19 symptoms, and dangers. You know the drill. In all the political froo-froo and blame-game playacting, it’s still WE THE PEOPLE who can slow the virus down by sensible behavior and good judgment. Don’t be a ding-dong!

In 45 days, it’s time to VOTE. Stay tuned for a daily post about each of the 45 presidents who have already served, from GEORGE to DONALD. You DO NOT want to miss that. If you think things are crazy NOW, well, they are, but there has been mucho craziness in the past too.

Don’t despair. You know what to do on November 3.

 
 
 

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

 
 
 

River Murray & The Adelaide Hills

Linda Lou Burton posting about Adelaide, Australia from Little Rock, Arkansas – Wellington to Melbourne to Adelaide in six hours yesterday, no worries, mate. A good night’s sleep at the Adelaide Hilton, downtown on Victoria Square. The NDI RTW continues (Now Defunct Imaginary ‘Round The World) this morning when the tour bus picks me up out front.

Adelaide Sightseeing it is. I am booked for a full-day River Murray Highlights Tour because, well because I love rivers. And the River Murray is on my Bucket List. I aim to cruise the longest river on every continent, and the Mississippi is the only one I can count, so far. I’ve even been through Lock #1 at St Paul! https://capitalcitiesusa.org/?p=11157/ There is no cruisable river in Antarctica, of course. But later trips will get me to South America’s Amazon, Asia’s Yangtze, and Europe’s Volga. Africa’s Nile is scheduled for this trip, but today, it is Australia’s River Murray.

The goal is not to cruise the full length of any of these rivers. It is just to be ON them for a while, to learn about them, and how they impact their part of the world. Rivers MOVE, they get somewhere. They DO something. They support life. We drink out of our rivers, and, yuck, we dump our wastewater into our rivers. Our rivers have the power to make electricity for us, and, where they are allowed, they deposit silts and nutrients on our soil to help things grow. They shift the land around, and change their course when they see a better route. And our rivers are built-in highways! Before roads, or trains, or planes, rivers moved people; today river commerce is an important part of our economy.

So how does the River Murray impact Australia? Here’s what the South Australia Department for Environment and Water tells us: https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/topics/river-murray

The River Murray, 1,558 miles long

South Australians live in the driest state in the driest inhabited continent in the world. The River Murray is the life-blood of the state, providing essential water for irrigation, industry, domestic and recreational use and our precious wetlands and floodplains. In South Australia, in an average year, around 75 per cent of the water taken from the River Murray is used for primary production. This includes water for livestock, piggeries, dairies and wineries and for the irrigation of crops such as citrus, stone fruit, almonds, pasture, vegetables and other niche crops.

Other water uses include water supply for towns and metropolitan Adelaide, the environment and recreation. The river is also a popular place to visit and enjoy the beautiful locations, unique plants and wildlife, quality food and wine and outdoor activities.

The Murray-Darling Basin

The River Murray headwaters are near Mt Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest point (7,310 ft), snow melt and rainfall drain down the western side of the Australian Alps, then the river meanders across Australia’s inland plains, forming the border between the states of New South Wales and Victoria as it flows to the northwest into South Australia. It is joined at Wentworth by the Darling River, then turns south at Morgan for its final 196 miles. The water of the Murray flows through several terminal lakes including Lake Alexandrina and The Coorong before emptying through the Murray Mouth into the Indian Ocean. The mouth is comparatively small and shallow, and dredging machines move sand from the channel to maintain a minimal flow from the sea and into the Coorong’s lagoon system. The lack of an estuary means that shipping cannot enter the Murray from the sea.

The Murray-Darling Basin includes the Australian Capital Territory, and parts of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. The basin supports agriculture, tourism and other productive industries and is home to more than two million people. Outside the basin, a further 1.3 million people depend on its water resources, including Adelaide, the largest population base reliant on basin water resources. Drought, of course, is always a concern.

The Proud Mary

As for my Huck Finn river day, I’ll first see the river at Mypolonga, a settlement in South Australia on the bank of the lower Murray River; its name is from an Aboriginal name for Cliff Lookout. It’s about a 55-mile drive from my hotel in Adelaide, winding through the beautiful area known as the Adelaide Hills, famous for its cool-climate wine. The Proud Mary is our paddle-wheeler, Mississippi riverboat style; and a buffet lunch is part of the fun as we glide past stunning orange cliffs and weeping willows, watching for pelicans, cockatoos and cormorants; listening to commentary about the river’s history, and significance.

Abundant wildlife, spectacular scenery, beautiful skies and an overwhelming sense of tranquility.

Promised, and delivered. On the ride back to Adelaide, a stop at Melba’s Chocolate Factory, and Woodside Cheese Wrights at Woodside.

I am counting my blessings.

Adelaide Hills https://southaustralia.com/places-to-go/adelaide-hills

The Proud Mary, 2-day and 5-day cruises too. https://www.proudmary.com.au/

Melba’s Chocolate Factory https://www.melbaschocolates.com.au/factory/

Woodside Cheese Wrights, Kris Lloyd, Artisan https://krislloyd.com.au/

 Special Note

Due to COVID-19, restrictions are in effect for travel in Australia. I offer a special note of THANKS to Adelaide Sightseeing for contacting me about the cancellation of my planned tour, and kindly refunding in full my payment for what would have been a delightful day, I’m sure. Very kind, great business practices.

Adelaide Sightseeing https://www.adelaidesightseeing.com.au/

 

 
 
 

What Did Tennessee

2016.02.choochooLinda Burton posting from Arkadelphia, ArkansasWhat did Tennessee, boys, what did Tennessee? Remember that old Scout song? Entertainment around the campfire, roast a weinie, toast a marshmallow, sing nonsense till you pass out in your tent. What did Delaware? What does Iowa? Where has Oregon? These and other intellectual questions (What does Mississip?) kept me smiling as I sang my way across Mississippi into Tennessee and then back to Arkansas this month (she saw what Arkansas.) My turnaround point for a little vacation was Chattanooga, where I lived when my children were growing up, and again later 2016.02.betty and linda pwhen I became “Ms Chattanooga,” a spokeperson for a beautiful city; so precious to me I wrote a guidebook about it (Chattanooga Great Places) and a second guidebook about the surrounding area (SE Great Trips). And then (it follows) a weekly travel column for the Chattanooga Times entitled “Here or There” which focused on things to experience in and around that lovely town. (Me, left, with books and illustrator Betty Harrelson, Books A Million in Chattanooga, 1996.)

Those were very happy days, living in a place I loved and then pointing out to everyone how wonderful it was! That’s what we all should do, I believe. Just think, if every single person in the US of A really cared about their homeplace, and bragged about it, and worked to make it the absolute finest place in their part of the world, then – well gee! No urban blight, no rural downtrod, no crumbling infrastructures; you get the idea. So here’s my message, wherever you are. TODAY, do these three things: » read more

 
 
 

Song of the South

11.Sam Arriving AtlantaLinda Burton posting from Arkadelphia, Arkansas –July was Sam Time. Sam is my youngest grandchild, born and growing up in the Pacific Northwest. He went to Juneau with me on the Journey back in 2012 (read all about it in Juneau) where we went whale-watching and dog-sledding and he got to know a capital city up and down. He flew into Little Rock last summer and spent three weeks with me in Arkansas, where we made a quick-trip into Oklahoma and Texas. But I figured it was time this boy had a bona fide real-time southern experience and learned about his roots. After all, he was teetering on the cusp of teenhood, and you know how fast that goes. I planned a full-fledged Journey through the south, worthy of a Fodor review.

I met Sam’s plane in Atlanta. His “unaccompanied minor” status required a direct flight, and we were headed for Gatlinburg anyhow, so that made sense. Did you know that Hartsfield International in Atlanta is the busiest airport in the world? 95 million passengers annually, coming into 7 terminals, exiting through 201 gates. Sam emerged through Alaska’s Gate D3 (at the far end of nowhere), a little taller than last year and wearing a Seattle Seahawks shirt. “Welcome to Atlanta, home of the Braves!” I grinned. And so began Sam’s Song of the South, Scott1stSteps66subtitled “Where Your Dad Grew Up.” I’d filled a notebook with pictures of family members he’d meet, and details about each stop we’d make. “First stop tomorrow is South Carolina,” I explained in our Atlanta motel room that night, “Ware Shoals, where we were living when your Dad was born.” I had a picture of his Dad taking his first steps, in our kitchen there on Dairy Street. My plan was to drive by and show him the house. You won’t believe how that turned out. » read more

 
 
 

All About Fondren

Linda Burton posting from Jackson, Mississippi – “Here’s something about Fondren,” Sandra said, as she pulled more brochures from the shelves at the Jackson Visitors Bureau. “It’s a fun, fine place; you’ll want to check it out.” Find It In Fondren is the name of the magazine she gave me, the Winter 2012/13 edition. The People, Places & Events of Jackson’s Hippest Neighborhood were the words printed across the bottom of the cover photo; Dr Blair E Batson (of the Blair E Batson Children’s Hospital in the Fondren neighborhood) is pictured in a red plaid vest, grinning big as he reads Dr Seuss to the children and nurses and doctors gathered round; the mood comes through. I flipped through the magazine, trying to tune in to the idea of Fondren. Ads on the first two pages promoted the Mississippi Blues Marathon coming up January 5 (hey, hey, the blues is alright) and Babalu Tacos and Tapas, over on Duling Avenue (Eat Here). The index page was intriguing; titles such as “Game of Hope,” “A Noble Profession,” “A Cheerful Heart,” and “Change Maker” lured me further inside with the question, “What is Fondren?” I turned to page 12, “Building Jackson.” And that’s where I learned about Scott Crawford. » read more

 
 
 

Listening For Stories

Linda Burton posting from Jackson, Mississippi – I heard a little inside story about Eudora Welty today but I can’t say who told it. It may or may not be true; but it could be. The story goes like this: Eudora didn’t go to the beauty parlor every week like some women do; but when she went it was always to the same place. One of the ladies who saw her there from time to time commented to another, “She’s a bitter woman. Nothing good to say.” Now, anyone who knew Eudora knew she was anything but bitter. In the years since her death, they have pondered that woman’s comment and concluded it was Eudora’s way of “sparking” a story – throwing out a line that would get people talking. And then she’d sit back and listen! Fodder for writing. On one of the interpretive panels in the Welty Museum I read these words: Welty never stopped listening, her skills at recreating southern life and its stories was based on “eavesdropping” and on living for decades in the place where she grew up. “Once you have heard certain expressions, sentences,” she wrote, “you almost never forget them. It’s like sending a bucket down a well and it always comes back up full.”

Eudora Alice Welty (1909-2001) was a Pulitzer author of international acclaim who was born, and died, in Jackson, Mississippi. Though her stories and novels were set in the south, she did not consider herself a southern writer; she traveled and lived in New York, San Francisco, Mexico, Europe; her friends included authors and artists from around the world. But her love of the south, and the people living there, comes through in every word she wrote; gentle perceptions overlain with a fierce wit, always ringing true. » read more

 
 
 

Outstanding!

Linda Burton posting from Jackson, Mississippi – Some people are born with community spirit, and one such person I know is Ivous Sisk, a member of the Board of Directors of Capital Cities USA. And Ivous lives right here in Mississippi. I was hoping we’d get to visit during my stay in Jackson; I planned to have her do the “victory pose” or at least a “thumbs up” beside the Scion Journey car. But she’s at the far north end of the state and the miles and the family holiday festivities are too many; we haven’t been able to connect so I’m using a photo of us from last year. I felt particularly close to her last Friday evening, however, as I stood in the House Chambers in the State Capitol. Because that’s where the Mississippi Legislature passed House Resolution 26 back in 1998, recognizing her achievements and naming her an Outstanding Mississippian. I’ve known Ivous since we both were kids; I knew she preferred tomato juice and crackers over sweets as a ten-year-old; and I knew she was friends with Elvis back when only his Mama had heard him sing; but I didn’t know all the achievements she has racked up over the years. So I asked for a list, which she modestly provided. An Outstanding Mississippian? I say she’s just downright Outstanding. » read more

 
 
 

Refreshments Were Served

Linda Burton posting from Jackson, Mississippi – I saw the cutest Santa in the world tonight. Never before have I seen Santa Claus with jingle bells around his knees and a wreath around his head. And just look at the smile on this fellow’s face! No ordinary department-store Santa this; and no ordinary evening either. I’m standing in the gazebo in the East Garden of the Governor’s Mansion, my third stop on the “Seventeenth Annual Old Jackson Christmas By Candlelight Tour” that charmed the socks off delighted guests. From the back steps of the State Capitol, shuttle buses ran a constant route for the four-hour soiree, delivering passengers to the Old Capitol, the Governor’s Mansion, the William F Winter Archives and History Building, and the Eudora Welty House. The buses were packed with townfolk and out-of-towner’s like me; young and old tiptoeing along candle-lit sidewalks in eager anticipation of the next surprise. A mother and little daughter behind me sang “I love the bus, I love the lights, I love everything I see,” in a self-made tune. We were greeted at every door with welcoming smiles, and, true to southern hospitality, in every place refreshments were served. » read more

 
 
 

Pearls of Wisdom

Linda Burton posting from Jackson, Mississippi – “You hear people say that folks in Mississippi are slow,” Reese said. “We’re not slow, we’re content!” He laughed a little at his own remark and added, “You don’t have to rush around hurry, hurry when you’ve got everything you want. Here family comes first; it’s all about enjoying what you have. We’ve got good food, good music, and a good life.” Reese went on to explain that he’s a transplant from Ohio and moving to Mississippi was a culture shock at first, but now he says he’s adjusted to the pace. “What is better than all the family getting together for Sunday dinner and then sitting out on the porch in rocking chairs and talking? You can’t beat that.” Such was my introduction to the capital city of Jackson, as I chatted with Reese at the front desk of my hotel, inquiring as I always do – what do you like best here? The Visitors Bureau promotes Jackson the same way, calling it “The City With Soul” and emphasizing its family friendliness. I started reading more about this place that started out as LeFleur’s Bluff, a trading post on a “high handsome bluff” on the west bank of the Pearl River. And thinking about Reese’s words of wisdom. » read more