Ain’t got time for the Summertime Blues?

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”

– William Shakespeare

As summer ends in T-Town, will an ominous Fall be portended?

One thing was certain. Reports of increased Covid woes abounded.

Melissa Brown in the Montgomery Advertiser wrote that Alabama’s hospitals were at their ICU capacity.‘s Leada Gore reported that one Alabama doctor would no longer see unvaccinated patients. Mobile, Alabama’s Dr. Jason Valentine explained his decision: “If they asked why, I told them COVID is a miserable way to die and I can’t watch them die like that.”

Justin Weinberg of The Daily Nous reported that a University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) professor resigned in protest over his school’s Covid policies. Jeremy Fischer, a tenured associate professor of philosophy, said that the public health’s was at risk because of a state law that prohibited state-funded schools from requiring students to be COVID-vaccinated.

CBS/42‘s Tim Reid reported that Tuscaloosa physician Phillip Bobo believed that the University of Alabama should require that face masks be worn by fans during every home game to protect them from COVID-19. (No such plans had been made for the first Crimson Tide home game on September 11th.)

WRAL‘s Maggie Brown wrote that at Duke University there had been a significant outbreak of Covid cases involving vaccinated students. Duke had both a mask and vaccination mandate for its students. Brown reported that Duke‘s Vice President for Public Affairs Michael Schoenfeld had said “the cases were traced back to various indoor events in Durham. At least one was at a bar or restaurant, and others were in private homes.” Whether masks were being worn by the vaccinated students was not reported.

At the University of Alabama, where student vaccinations were not required, there was a mask mandate. While students were required to wear mask indoors, it was obvious that masks were not worn outdoors by the thousands of students celebrating the end of the sorority recruitment week on campus. Images of unmasked students were included with the Tuscaloosa New‘s account “Bid Day 2021: The University of Alabama is open for Bid-ness.”

T-Town‘s Mayor Walt Maddox discussed at two City Council Finance Committee meetings offering bonuses as a reward to city employees for their work during the coronavirus pandemic. In an article by Jason Morton in the Tuscaloosa News, the possibility of offering $250 incentive payments to the 43% of municipal employees who had not been vaccinated was reported. Council member Lee Busby at both meetings expressed reluctance to incentivize vaccinations, saying, “I do think this is one of those issues that we’re going to have to socialize out in our districts. We have people with varied positions on both sides of that.” Busby at the second meeting said that, depending on what channel he turned to, he had received conflicting information about Covid.

Will community health suffer in T-Town because of low vaccination rates for residents and university students, as was the concern of former UAH professor Jeremy Fisher?

Yeah, sometimes I wonder what I’m gonna do
‘Cause there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues
No, there ain’t no cure for the summertime

~ Eddie Cochran in Summertime Blues


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