An exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation has discovered that those face masks - meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 - were treated with a controversial substance that is registered as a pesticide.

After back and forth communication with the state,
At 2:04 p.m., the [state] spokesperson finally responded: "Thank you for your patience. Please direct your questions to Renfro [the manufacturer]."

H/T Roaneviews

May 28 2020
08:42 am

In the United States in the past four months 100,000 of our neighbors, family, friends, co-workers, providers, food manufacturers, retail workers, truck drivers, distribution workers, etc. have died from the coronavirus. That's 0.3% of the population of the U.S. If the same percentage of China's population died, they would have 4.2 million deaths from the coronavirus.

From the Washington Post,

It’s as if every person in Edison, N.J., or Kenosha, Wis., died. It’s half the population of Salt Lake City or Grand Rapids, Mich. It’s about 20 times the number of people killed in homicides in that length of time, about twice the number who die of strokes.
But there have been few expressions of public grief — no gold stars in the windows of homes where people died, no outcry for national unity or memorials, as happened after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In this trauma, the enemy is unseen; there is no one against whom to mobilize the nation’s energy, anger and frustration.

There are a couple of things people can do to respect those that have fallen to the coronavirus. They can wear masks, keep 6 ft apart, respect the process. If you don't care about yourself, then you can start caring about others. They are dying.

May 23 2020
06:26 am

From reports dated as of May 22, 2020.
There has been a steady increase in coronavirus (covid-19) cases in Tennessee.

According to the TN Dept. of Health, there are 19,394 cases in TN and 315 deaths.
That is an additional 2,725 cases in one week and an additional 28 reported deaths.

368,170 residents have been tested.
That is an additional 65,853 tests in the past week.

5.3% of TN residents tested for the coronavirus have tested positive for the coronavirus.
5.3% of the 6.89 million people estimated to live in TN have been tested for the coronavirus.

On Thursday, 5/21/2020, 175 new coronavirus cases were reported in Rhea County.
Rhea County is West/Southwest of Knoxville, along 1-75. Dayton, TN, is the county seat.

The Tennessee Health Department confirmed that the cluster is happening within a group of migrant workers on a farm in the county, although officials did not name the specific farm.

Be careful out there.

May 19 2020
10:49 am

From the Tallahassee Democrat,
Late last Friday, the architect and manager of Florida's COVID-19 dashboard — praised by White House officials for its accessibility — announced that she had been removed from her post...

It's being reported Florida's coronavirus data is now being restricted.

From the Los Angeles Times,
Thanks to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, we now know things did indeed look too good to be true. Georgia’s coronavirus numbers looked so rosy because officials misrepresented the data in such a way it’s difficult to believe it wasn’t done on purpose.
In the latest bungling of tracking data for the novel coronavirus, a recently posted bar chart on the Georgia Department of Public Health’s website appeared to show good news: new confirmed cases in the counties with the most infections had dropped every single day for the past two weeks.

In fact, there was no clear downward trend.

This could happen anywhere. If you can't verify your data, say so or don't publish it.

We rely on the media to fact check the government. Support your local, state, and national media.

May 18 2020
06:38 am

Former President Barack Obama will deliver a televised prime-time commencement address for the Class of 2020 during an hour-long event that will also feature LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai and Ben Platt, among others.

ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC will simultaneously air the special May 16 at 8 p.m. Eastern along with more than 20 other broadcast and digital streaming partners...

Complete sentences begin at 8.

Gov. Lee and the state’s Economic Recovery Group announced today it will lift capacity restrictions on restaurants and retail to instead focus on social distancing best practices effective May 22 and issue guidelines to facilitate the safe reopening of larger, non-contact attractions on or after May 22.
Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan – may continue to follow individual, county-specific reopening plans created in consultation with State and local health departments.
The new Large Attractions guidance applies to those businesses that can effectively practice social distancing with strong measures to protect both employees and customers, including racetracks, amusement parks, waterparks, theaters and dinner theaters, auditoriums, large museums and more.

There are lots of guidelines, but hey they are guidelines. There is no enforcement.

May 15 2020
09:19 am

From reports dated as of May 14, 2020.
There has been a steady increase in coronavirus (covid-19) cases in Tennessee.

According to the TN Dept. of Health, there are 16,669 cases in TN and 287 deaths.

302,317 residents have been tested.
5.5% of TN residents tested for the coronavirus have tested positive for the coronavirus.
4.4% of the 6.89 million people estimated to live in TN have been tested for the coronavirus.

On Monday, 5/11/2020, 15 new cases were reported in Knox County.
The increase of 15 positive COVID-19 cases is the result of four clusters that were identified last Thursday, according to KCHD Director Dr. Martha Buchanan.

The department said the clusters of positive cases are within large family units in the Hispanic community and staff have been in contact with people who might have been exposed as a result of the clusters.

Be careful out there.

Public housing coronavirus testing events will be held this weekend (5/16/2020 - 5/17/2020) in conjunction with the Tennessee National Guard and Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation.

Testing events will be held at Cagle Terrace, Isabella Towers and Five Points Infill Housing,
from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Testing events will be held at Guy B. Love Towers, Northgate Terrace and Montgomery Village,
from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

These public housing events are open to residents only and are free of charge.

May 8 2020
07:01 am


"John Heilman, vice president of yeast manufacturing for AB Mauri, makers of Fleischmann’s Yeast, oversees production at three plants in North America, one in Memphis and two in Canada. He says the yeast industry is rising to the challenge of the demand, the likes of which Heilman has never seen."
"Fleischmann’s has no shortage of raw materials needed to make yeast. "
"he estimates it will take one to two months, give or take, to get store shelves stocked again."
From the start of the growing cycle to leaving the plant warehouse, yeast production takes about 10 days, and there are no shortcuts, Heilman says.

Rubbing alcohol

Apparently most rubbing alcohol is going to medical facilities. It is being used to wipe down everything all the time. One "company saw a similar explosion of interest in alcohol products from fire departments and post offices as well as Tesla, the Department of Homeland Security and Johns Hopkins University."

Hand sanitizers use either ethanol or isopropyl alcohol as the primary ingredient.
France, one of the world’s biggest producers of the product, has ordered that all isopropyl made in the country must stay in the country, in order to ensure it has enough product to meet deman

I saw on Nextdoor where someone obtained a large container of yeast from a restaurant that was closed. The person was offering small amounts for sale, at a reasonable price.

Times they are a changing.

May 7 2020
09:26 am

From WSMV, Nashville,
The State of Tennessee contracted with a sock making company to make 5,000,000 masks for Tennesseans. The first shipment was 400,000 and an upcoming shipment will be an additional 600,000.

The masks are knit and not intended for medical use.

From Gloria Johnson, TN House of Representatives, District 13,
A friend picked 1 up and said it looks like somebody cut a sock in half it’s very porous and I can see through it. It’s like trying to keep chipmunks out of your garden with chicken wire.

Most researchers have said that tightly woven cotton plus natural silk or flannel, and cotton quilt with cotton-polyester batting are best for masks if you cannot get an N95 mask or a special surgical mask.

Sheesh... Will it give some people a feeling of security while being no help at all? They would have been better off contracting a bandana manufacturer. Two layers of bandana material is much better than a single layer of knit sock material.

Rep. Burchett introduces bill aimed at getting people back to work, protecting public health.

Businesses that adhere to these established guidelines will be offered some civil liability protection under federal law.

So, if your employer opens back up, you are required to go back to work. You can't get unemployment. No matter that you are afraid your employer is not following the established guidelines to protect employees, you have to go back to work. Who then is going to ensure employers follow the established guidelines. OSHA? Hah! They've been great at protecting meat processing plant workers.

No one is protecting the workers right now. Ask the healthcare workers around the country. Sheesh.

May 1 2020
03:49 pm

Simon store directory for West Town.

Maybe tomorrow or next week.

May 1 2020
09:54 am

May 1 2020
07:22 am

In late February or early March, most of us first heard about the coming coronavirus pandemic from the devastating reports from a long term care facility in King County, Washington State. One hundred and twenty nine residents, staff members, and visitors were diagnosed with covid-19. 40 deaths resulted from this outbreak.

In figures updated April 1, the Kings County, WA, said 2,496 people had tested positive for covid-19 in total and that 164 people had died due to covid-19.

Today there are approximately 1.1 million confirmed coronaviros cases in the U.S. and 63,746 deaths. Approximately 75% of those deaths are people 65 years of age and older. Approximately 30% of the older age group are 85 years of age or older, based on limited data.

On April 10, 2020, NBC News reported, Nearly 2,500 long-term care facilities in 36 states are battling coronavirus cases, according to data gathered by NBC News from state agencies, an explosive increase of 522 percent compared to a federal tally just 10 days ago.

Twenty-four states reported a total 2,246 COVID-19 deaths associated with long-term care facilities.

However, at least 9 states, including Tennessee (and Florida), did not release any data for the NBC report. and twenty-six state did not release data on deaths associated with long-term care facilities.

According to a Washington Post article dated April 29, 2020, The federal government has not released a count of fatalities at nursing homes, but in New York and New Jersey alone, more than 5,000 people at such facilities have died.

Everyone knew there was a high risk to the elderly and specifically elderly in long-term care facilities.
What was done? Nothing.

On April 27, 2020, it is being reported that "2 residents have died and 58 tested positive for COVID-19 at Life Care Center of Athens, TN." Just a note, this is the same company where the pandemic was widely reported early on (Feb./March, 2020) in Washington State.

Two months (60 days) after the onset of the pandemic, Gov. Lee from Tennessee is just now getting around to attempting to direct testing for residents in long-term care facilities.

TV station WBIR reported on April 29, 2020, Governor Bill Lee announced Wednesday the state will be increasing COVID-19 testing and work with assisted living facilities in Tennessee to ensure more than 70,000 of Tennessee's most vulnerable residents are tested out of precaution... The governor said they've already begun working with the National HealthCare Corporation to test its residents and staff, which runs more than 30 care centers in Knoxville, Farragut, Oak Ridge, Athens, and across the state.

Lee said the discussion began hours before his Wednesday briefing, saying starting next week the state will progressively begin contacting each of the more than 700 facilities in Tennessee to coordinate testing supplies, PPE and staffing to make it happen.

He's pushing the facilities owners of 30 senior care centers to test, 60 days later. Next week his administration will be contacting the remaining 670 facilities. Say what?!?!?

Oh, and one other thing. You can go to to compare Medicare's ratings of nursing homes/long-term care facilities. NHC (National Healthcare Corporation) has three facilities in the Knoxville area. One of the three facilities gets a 2 out of 5 star health inspection rating. One of the other three facilities gets a 1 out of 5 star health inspection rating. Both of the 2 of 3 facilities get a 2 out of 5 star overall rating.

Apr 30 2020
09:38 am

During Tesla's Q1 2020 earnings call,

Tesla CEO Elon Musk lashed out at government stay at home orders as “fascist” in an expletive-laced rant on Tesla’s Q1 2020 earnings call.

Musk called shelter in place orders “forcibly imprisoning people in their homes against all their constitutional rights, but that’s my opinion, and breaking people’s freedoms in ways that are horrible.”

He warned that not being able to resume production at Tesla’s Bay Area plant was a “serious risk.”

Over 1 million U.S. residents sick and over 60,000 dead. Ah, yes. He is a bit of a selfish lad.

Apr 27 2020
07:17 am

This is just a little that is being done to respond to the food supply needs during this time of stress. As we shop locally for our food we should be very thankful to those providing the product.

Kroger Partners with Sysco, US Foods, and More to Meet Critical Food Supply Needs
Kroger is not only partnering with Sysco and US Foods, but working to hire an additional 20,000 individuals from partners like McLane Foodservice, Shamrocks Food, Sodexo, SodexoMAGIC, Thunderdome Restaurant Group, Frisch's, and Marriott International.

Kroger to Accept Furloughed Sysco Employees as Temporary Workers
The two companies signed a formal agreement, under which Sysco workers who have been temporarily furloughed can be absorbed by Kroger. Their partnership will last at least 30 days, according to terms agreed upon by both companies.
Sysco said that those workers would technically remain Sysco employees, and would be paid by that company, during their time at Kroger. Sysco is also to provide benefits for those workers who are eligible to receive them.

Hormel Foods Announces Over $7 Million in Second Round of Special Cash Bonuses for Plant Production Team Members
... we shouldn't forget the millions of people who are showing up and working hard to keep our food supply chain running. They should be recognized for the heroic and purposeful work they are doing and they have our most sincere appreciation and gratitude."
The second special cash bonus ... will include $500 for full-time team members and $150 for part-time team members. Hormel Foods also has been providing 100 percent base pay and benefits to all team members impacted by COVID-19.
In addition, Hormel Foods has invested millions of dollars in the safety of its team members through innovation in its facilities, enhancements to PPE, temperature screenings, COVID-19 testing, focused efforts on facility redesign for social distancing, and keeping team members informed daily

Publix to Purchase Product for Donation to Aid Farmers
The retailer announced that it would be purchasing nearly 43,500 gallons of milk, which it would then directly donate to Feeding America food banks.

Kroger Partners With Dairy Farmers of America
Kroger is joining the likes of Publix as it bridges the gap between the dairy supply-side and the buy-side. The grocer’s Atlanta Division is teaming up with Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) as part of the new Great Georgia Give campaign, led by Milk on My Mind, to deliver 24,000 half-gallons of local Georgia milk to first responders and healthcare workers in metro Atlanta

Grocers Hunt for Meat as Coronavirus Hobbles Beef and Pork Plants
U.S. beef production fell 24% last week, compared with a month earlier.
Covid-19 outbreaks among employees have closed about a dozen U.S. meatpacking facilities this month, including three Tyson Foods Inc. plants this week. Other plants have slowed production as workers stay home for various reasons.
Tyson, Smithfield Foods Inc., Cargill Inc., JBS USA Holdings Inc. and Hormel Foods Corp. have closed plants
On farms, some pigs now are being euthanized because slaughterhouses have closed

USDA let millions of pounds of food rot while food-bank demand soared
... the Agriculture Department took more than a month to make its first significant move to buy up surplus fruits and vegetables
Tens of millions of pounds of American-grown produce is rotting in fields as food banks across the country scramble to meet a massive surge in demand, a two-pronged disaster that has deprived farmers of billions of dollars in revenue while millions of newly jobless Americans struggle to feed their families.

'The food supply chain is breaking,' Tyson says as plants close
Some of the country's largest abattoirs (processing plants or slaughterhouses) have been forced to cease operations temporarily after thousands of employees across the country have tested positive for the virus.
Pork processing plants have been hit especially hard, with three of the largest in the United States going offline indefinitely— Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; JBS pork processing in Worthington, Minnesota; and the Tyson plant in Waterloo, Iowa. Together, the three plants account for approximately 15% of pork production.

Tennessee has reported its biggest one-day jump in confirmed coronavirus cases as the state continues to increase testing efforts.

The Tennessee Department of Health said there were at least 9,667 confirmed cases as of Sunday. The 478 new cases represents a 5.2% jump from Saturday’s total. The Tennessean reports it’s the highest number of new virus cases recorded in one day in the state.

But heck, we flattened the curve, and it is time for people to begin to get back to work...

Sure go get your dining out experience. Just, please, don't bring back covid-19 to your family and friends.

Apr 25 2020
07:20 am

Georgia’s Dairy Farmers and Kroger partner to provide milk to health care workers

Six utility workers in Gallatin have not left the water treatment plant in nearly a month because of COVID-19.
In an effort to not contract the new coronavirus, give it to co-workers and compromise the 24/7 workflow at the plant, workers are staying on the property.

Retired Kansas farmer donates mask to NY via Gov. Cuomo
The farmer, Dennis, [wrote a letter and] said he and his wife, Sharon, are in their 70s, and she has only one lung, along with diabetes. While he is keeping four masks for his family, he wanted a doctor or nurse to have one of the masks left over from his farming days.

Republic waste removal company buys family meals for workers
Republic is buying family meals for workers to take home every Friday and will be handing out $100 gift cards every other week for the next two months. This is in addition to a free meal for the workers once a week.

30,000 pounds of products given away in Fairfield, OH
Convoy of Hope is a Missouri-based non-profit that has made deliveries of food and cleaning supplies to over 300 cities across the country in the last several weeks as communities have been impacted by Corornavirus. This week Fairfield was added to the list. The delivery included 30,000 pounds of products to be given away: toilet paper, paper towels, bleach, spray cleaner, laundry detergent, hand soap and paper cups.

Ohio BBQ food truck gives away food to truckers at rest stop
Sweets & Meats BBQ set up their food truck at a rest stop, and owner Kristen Bailey decided to offer the men and women who drive across the country free meals.

Apr 23 2020
07:46 pm

In Trump's press conference today he said:

"I see the disinfectant knocks it out in a minute.
One minute.
And, is there a way we can do something like that?
By injection inside or... or almost a cleaning.
You see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs.
So it would be interesting to check that.
So that you are going to have to use medical doctors.
But it sounds interesting to me."

Video from Fox News:


Yowza! The man has gone over the top.

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