In July 2020, a masked security guard stands watch inside the Frist Museum in the series, "The New Normal." (Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: Anti-Mask and anti-vax

BY: - September 1, 2021

Last week, just two weeks after joining College Grove Elementary School, our 7-year old son tested positive for COVID-19 and just a few hours later, so did our 3-year old daughter. Our story and this surge are not unique; Tennessee recently crossed the 1 million cases mark and the fact that the state’s ICU beds […]

 COVID-19 Nurses at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in protective gear. (Photo: John Partipilo)

“The thought of having to sit up was like climbing Mt. Everest”

BY: - August 30, 2021

Lesa Schultz has been sick for about 17 months. One of the “first wavers,” Schultz got COVID-19 on a trip home from Los Angeles in March of 2020 before the first pandemic lockdowns began in Tennessee. Schultz, a self-employed consultant, joins many Tennesseeans in suffering from long COVID.  According to the World Health Organization, patients […]

University of Memphis students returned to campus on Aug. 23. Students attended in-person classes for the first time in close to 18 months. The university is encouraging students, teachers and staff to get vaccinated as well as use social distancing methods and masking habits. (Photo: Karen Pulfer Focht)

Tennessee’s colleges and universities prepare for COVID among students

BY: - August 30, 2021

William Braeden Clark, a sophomore at Middle Tennessee State University, has a backup plan in case he gets infected with COVID-19.  Most Tennessee colleges have started fall semester at full capacity with COVID-19 policies, but policies change depending on the pandemic. Clark lives on campus but will have to quarantine off campus at his parent’s […]

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine at Nashville's Caza Azafran in March. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: Tennesseans need to pull together to blunt COVID’s toll

BY: - August 26, 2021

Recently, the FDA gave full approval of the Pfizer Vaccine, with approval of the Moderna and J & J vaccine to follow. This removes the Pfizer Vaccine from the “emergency use” classification to full approval classification as all other FDA approved medications. Ask any emergency room or ICU physician about the effects of COVID-19 and […]

Maria Hernandez awaits a decision on her eviction case. Hernandez is one of thousands of Tennesseans who face eviction after a federal moratorium ends Jan. 31, 2021. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Nashville’s COVID task force recommends funds for rental assistance

BY: - August 26, 2021

On Wednesday, members of Nashville’s COVID-19 Financial Oversight Committee voted to recommend to Mayor John Cooper a plan spending $3 million to provide rent and utility assistance to Davidson County residents impacted by the pandemic. The committee, which is tasked with recommending uses for American Recovery Plan funds, also voted to change eligibility criteria to […]

Lockeland Elementary School in Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Some schools are leaving contact tracing to health officials

BY: - August 24, 2021

Last year when its schools reopened for in-person learning in February, Sumner County public school staff and nurses took the lead in contact tracing — reaching out to students, teachers, parents and staff to inform them of close contacts on school buses and in classrooms with COVID-positive or symptomatic individuals. This year the Middle Tennessee […]

Dr. Jason Martin (Photo: Martin for Governor)

Nashville doctor announces Democratic gubernatorial bid

BY: - August 23, 2021

Dr. Jason Martin, a pulmonary and critical care physician at Sumner Regional Medical Center, has made official what’s been rumored for months: He’s running for governor.  Martin made the announcement at Meharry Hospital in Nashville Monday morning after launching  an exploratory committee a month ago. He has appointed Keith Maune, founder of a Nashville technology […]

Dr. Katrina Green of Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: I invited Gov. Lee to visit my hospital. He didn’t come.

BY: - August 19, 2021

Hospitals in Tennessee are filling up to capacity.  We are seeing the effects of the erosion of our nursing workforce combined with the consequences of letting the Delta variant run rampant in our largely unvaccinated state.   Last weekend, I was working in a rural hospital, treating sick COVID-19 patients that needed to be in the […]

Lockeland Elementary School in Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Lieutenant governor warns school districts to follow new mask opt-out order

BY: - August 17, 2021

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally threatened Tuesday to take “remedial options” against school systems that refuse to follow the governor’s order allowing parents to opt students out of mask requirements. “I am extremely appalled and alarmed at the response to Gov. Lee’s executive order from Metro Nashville Public Schools and Shelby County Schools. This order was […]

Downtown Nashville on a typical night. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: Leaders lead.

BY: - August 17, 2021

Enough already. It is time for Nashville to step up and follow New York’s and San Francisco’s lead, and put in place a vaccination/testing mandate for high-contact indoor establishments and large-venue events.    That opening paragraph might strike some as delusional: sure, we’re the blue island in a (feels like literally) bloody red sea, but we’re […]

Dr. Michelle Fiscus prepares for an interview in her Williamson County home. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Fiscus disputes report she had muzzle sent to her office before firing

BY: - August 16, 2021

Fired state medical director or immunizations Dr. Michelle “Shelley” Fiscus shot back at a Department of Safety report showing she had a muzzle sent to her office days before she was terminated by the Department of Health. “They obviously set up a false account, a fake account with her name and her address,” Brad Fiscus, […]

Gov. Bill Lee at a July press conference. (Photo: John Partipilo))

Governor issues school mask opt-out edict

BY: - August 16, 2021

Rather than call a special session to let the Legislature deal with school board actions, Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order Monday requiring school systems to let parents opt out of mask mandates. If a school system were to challenge the order, Lee said such a move would be against the law. He noted […]