March 19, 2020

Today’s topics:

  • The world is changing fast (Jeff Good update)
  • UMMC Press Conference you need to watch
  • Wisdom from Charlie
  • The Question of the day: Are you working from home and what kind of home office have you set up?

Find your Mississippi Today COVID-19 Coverage here. 

The World is Changing Fast.

The goal of this blog is for us to come together as a community, share what’s going on and to find a silver lining on the chaos that has settled upon us. Yesterday, I wrote about restauranteur Jeff Good’s valiant effort to pivot in the face of the need for social distancing. It was a great story. Then, like it has for the past week, the world totally changed. This morning, I read this sad notice from Jeff and his partner Dan Blumenthal (Click here for the full notice): 

My heart sank because I knew what was coming next.

Every day the impact of the COVID-19 is being felt. The mayor of Jackson had just closed all bars and limited restaurants to take-out delivery only until the end of the month. Jeff and Dad made a smart decision for the health of their customers and employees — but a very tough business decision none-the-less. Yet knowing Jeff and Dan’s resilience, I knew this was coming next:

I will be among the first in line when they open back up. Jeff and Dan have done so much for our community for the past 26 years. And they’re not alone. Local businesses all over the state are struggling right now. Find out how you can support them. They were there when your little league needed a sponsor or when a charity needed a table bought for a banquet or when a family was in need. Now, they are in need. We’re all going to have to work through this together.

Here’ a note from Malcolm White on what he’s doing down at Hal & Mal’s. If you’re working downtown, take note:


UMMC Press Conference you need to watch

The leaders of University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) held a video press conference yesterday (WATCH IT HERE). It’s around 40 minutes and is sober, informative and at times a bit scary. They lay out exactly what is coming and what they are trying to do to get ready for it. But, more importantly, they touch on what you need to do if you come down with COVID-19.  This is a huge issue — frankly I think it is one of the biggest issues facing us as a population. WHAT DO WE DO?

These are the questions that are bumping around in my head:

  • When do I go to the hospital?
  • What is the procedure for me to get treatment? Who do I call?
  • What is the procedure if I do get sick?
  • What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
  • Should I self-isolate?
  • Should I be tested?
  • How can I get tested?
  • How long does the disease last?
  • How long
  • How long would I have to be quarantined?  Should my family be quarantined?
  • What do I need to do to treat my symptoms at home?

I will do my homework on these. For now, here are the CDC’s recommendations if you are sick. My best take (remember, I am not a doctor) is this: If you have a doctor, call his or her office first. If you go to a minute-clinic (or whatever they are called), call them first. And according to the video, don’t go to the emergency room to get tested. Just go if it is an actual emergency.


I wrote this yesterday and thought I’d share it again here. I called my friend Charlie to check on him and his wife, Patsy. They’re 90 and very dear to me. It’s for the Charlies in the world that I am sitting on my bed working today.

I called my friend Charlie today. I needed to hear his voice and his wisdom. He and his wife are safe and I think will be OK during this outbreak. (Their daughter is taking good care of them.) I lean on Charlie because he is one of the smarter people I know. His advice has guided me my whole career and his friendship and love has lifted me on days when I needed it the most. He and his wife Patsy are wonderful people — I’ve been so blessed to have them in my life. They are 90, so obviously this is a huge risk for them.

Charlie has seen a lot in his lifetime. His mom lived to be over 100 years old (and lived at home until the end). Charlie told me something I did not know — I guess because I never asked. His mom’s sister died of the 1918 Flu. “She talked about it a lot.”

I’m sure she did.

Charlie gave me a bit of advice that I am holding next to my chest right now: All we have is right now.

It’s simple but it is wise. I can’t let me overactive imagination catastrophize. So I won’t.

Thanks Charlie. One step at a time. One breath at a time. We’ve got this.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Are you working from home and what kind of home office have you set up?

And of course, here’s my office for the near future:

And, I will end this today with this:

I am grateful for my health, my family, my job, you and for your health. And will pray for each every day.

See you tomorrow.

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Marshall Ramsey, a nationally recognized editorial cartoonist, shares his cartoons and travels the state as Mississippi Today’s Editor-At-Large. He’s also host of a weekly statewide radio program and a television program on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and is the author of several books. Marshall is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and a 2019 recipient of the University of Tennessee Alumni Professional Achievement Award.