Mar 28 2020
09:23 am

The Department of Labor reported on Thursday that 3.28 million people filed for unemployment insurance last week, confirming that the economy is rapidly transitioning from strong activity to an unwelcome hibernation because of the coronavirus.
It’s an economic hurricane, not a typical recession.
Perhaps a better analogy for the current downturn is not past recessions, but rather a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Like the coronavirus, it caused an almost immediate shutdown of one economic region.

Unemployment claims (population in millions) -
Tennessee - 39,096 (6.79)
Kentucky - 48,847 (4.47)
Georgia - 11,746 (10.617)
Alabama - 9,490 (4.9)
North Carolina - 93,587 (10.49)

Mar 27 2020
11:53 pm

We will be sending donations directly to service industry professionals (including restaurant/bar/hotel/event/venue staff, retail staff, rideshare drivers, health/wellness service providers, etc) who are in emergency need of assistance based on a relief request list


The stimulus package is offering small businesses S.B.A.-backed loans to pay for basic expenses. They would not have to repay portions that were spent on paying employees, a mortgage, rent or utilities. The banks lending the money would be reimbursed for those portions by the Treasury Department, which is receiving $377 billion to fund the program.

Small Businesses Will Get Help Paying Workers, if They Can Wait


DTV Host Michael Davis interviews Knox County Commission Democratic 1st District candidate Dasha Lundy and 5th District Candidate Kimberly Peterson on DTV this evening.

DTV airs at 7:30 PM tonight on the Community TV Channel which can be viewed on these cable channels:

AT&T Uverse: Channel 99
Comcast NBC Universal: Channel 12
WOW! Channel 6
Charter: Channel 193

and live streams at @ (link...)

Mayor Glenn Jacobs said on Friday that the Regional Forensic Center examined nine suspected suicide cases – eight of which are from within Knox County – in the past 48 hours alone.

Knox Co. seeing an increase in suspected suicides during coronavirus pandemic

Mar 27 2020
01:01 am

NEW ORLEANS — City and state officials worked to finalize plans Wednesday to move homeless people off the streets and fill a 155-room hotel in the Central Business District. The general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn on Gravier Street confirmed the plan was to start moving people in groups of 35 from encampments and house and feed them for the next 30 days, using a mixture of federal, state, local and philanthropic funds.

The hotel is prepared to serve the guests three meals a day, clean their rooms daily and provide laundry service under the deal. He said the National Guard would deliver equipment and other supplies and police would help with security in every floor and at all exits to make sure the homeless guests remain isolated the whole time.


The Kaiser Family Foundation reported the average cost for coronavirus treatment could be more than $20,000.

William Luking, a doctor in rural North Carolina who runs a clinic with his brother about 25 miles north of Greensboro, said he treated one of his regular patients last week who had a dry, hacking cough and trouble breathing. The longtime patient turned scarlet when Luking said he should go to the hospital.

Amid wheezing and a severe fever, Luking’s patient said he couldn’t afford that kind of care. He didn’t have insurance.

Coronavirus challenges states that rejected Medicaid expansion, leaves uninsured with few options

Mar 26 2020
10:17 am
Mar 25 2020
05:32 pm

WBIR reporting one of the most honest statements by a public official in recent memory:

"I can tell you today that I simply do not have the energy, the 24/7 focus, and the passion to deal with another highly polarized Presidential election. I’m tired of not having enough time for my family or, quite frankly, much of anything else. I’m tired of waking up at night in a cold sweat and in the mornings all stressed out—and that was well before all of the Coronavirus concerns," he said.

Mar 25 2020
04:47 pm

County to Pay for Some COVID-19 Testing for Uninsured

Knoxville, Tennessee—Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs announced today that the county would pay for COVID-19 testing for uninsured residents through the Knox County Health Department.


Mar 25 2020
04:29 pm

Here's a spreadsheet with the number of reported cases per 1000 population by county as of today.

There are a million variables and unknowns, such as rate of testing, availability of testing, reporting protocols, etc., so not sure if this means anything. Maybe somebody who knows something about statistics can comment.

Anyway, the numbers seem to be about what you would expect. Davidson and surrounding counties have higher reported rates. Knox County is surprisingly low. Counties around Clarksville appear to have higher rates but Montgomery County is relatively lower. Robertson County appears to be an outlier. For reference, the statewide number is 0.09. It's curious that only 52 counties (thankfully!) out of 95 have reported cases.

Sources: Cases, Population

Mar 24 2020
04:32 pm
By: fischbobber

I just got kicked off the SPEAK facebook page. I wasn't being sensitive enough. I think the schools are going to be closed for at least 18 months (a year from next Christmas) and probably for the next two years.


Mar 24 2020
02:13 pm
By: R. Neal

KAT: "In order to social distance ourselves & keep our operators & passengers safe, a fare will not be required beginning tomorrow until further notice. Please board and immediately take a seat away from the operator and other passengers. Do not use the fare box. Limit transit trips to essential trips only."

Mar 24 2020
10:34 am
By: Treehouse

I hate to miss the fresh air and wildflowers if it would ever stop raining, but until people realize they have to quit going out in order to save other people, this kind of thing has to happen.

Great Smoky Mountains News Release


Mar 24 2020
10:04 am

WVLT reports: "All access to the park, including trails and roads, will temporarily close in alignment with efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 across the region." The Spur and Foothills Parkway will remain open.

Mar 23 2020
09:57 pm
By: Andy Axel

Mar 23 2020
06:04 pm
By: michael kaplan

This is how Canada is dealing with COVID-19:

The City of Ottawa is taking all the necessary precautions including a 'drive-through screening centre'. The protocol involves:

1) a detailed questionnaire administered by telephone,
2) if warranted, an invitation to be tested,
3) taking the swab through the window of your car (DON'T WALK INTO THE HOSPITAL),
4) delivering the test results by telephone, and
5) receiving whatever treatment is appropriate.

A variety of elective, cosmetic and non-essential surgeries and procedures are restricted. Here's the order:


It also says that "non-hospital healthcare providers" should deliver all their PPE (masks, gloves, gowns, etc.) "not required for emergency care" to the nearest TN National Guard armory.

What does this even mean? Somebody help me parse this. Thousands of people around here have become dependent on walk-in strip mall clinics. Does this apply to them? They still have doctors and nurses seeing sick people.


Per health department just now...

Update: The Health Dept. servers are crashing intermittently, but we were able to snag this. Looks the same as the Nashville order...



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Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

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