Roses and thorns: 9-20-20




A rose to Mississippi University for Women's chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) for helping give a voice to the potentially voiceless in the Golden Triangle. Sarah Williams, NSSLHA chapter president and a speech-language pathology student, and fellow NSSLHA officers identified an opportunity to assist COVID-19 patients as speech-language pathologists. Using money from recent fundraising events, the students created low-tech communication boards to enable healthcare providers and families to communicate with individuals on ventilators or those too weak to use speech. The students used software from The W's Department of Speech-Language Pathology to create the communication boards, then laminated the boards in order to be cleaned and reused. Those on ventilators can touch symbols on the boards to communicate with health-care providers. It's a great idea, one that will undoubtedly make life a bit easier for those on ventilators.



A rose to Lowndes County Emergency Management, its volunteers and MEMA for Saturday's face mask distribution in rural parts of the county. EMA Director Cindy Lawrence and her volunteers distributed 20,000 masks provided by MEMA at 14 locations in the county, which is by a wide margin the largest mask distribution in the area since the beginning of the ÇOVID-19 pandemic. The distribution comes at an important time now that schools are open, people are being allowed greater access to gatherings and, let's face it, "mask fatigue" may be beginning to set in. Providing these masks sends a clear message that the threat is not behind us and that we must remain vigilant.




A rose to Dave Hood, long-time owner of Dave's Darkhorse Tavern, whose example during the COVID-19 pandemic should serve as an inspiration for small business owners in our community for putting health before profits. In 25 years of operation, Dave's restaurant/bar had never been closed for more than two consecutive days. That changed in March. Hood was the first restaurant owner to close, citing concerns over the health risks posed to his employees and customers. Others followed suit, but almost all of those restaurants began to open again in July. Hood, meanwhile, waited until Wednesday, almost six months after he first closed Dave's, to re-open on a limited basis (to go orders only). At great personal sacrifice, Hood waited until he felt he could safely resume operations. Patrons aren't likely to forget that, either. Welcome back, Dave's.




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