Author: Andrew Jenner
After a sharp increase in local COVID-19 cases over the past week – including an outbreak at the long-term care facility Accordius Health that has infected 81 residents and left 10 dead – Harrisonburg has by far the highest per-capita rate of cases in the state.
Health officials offer few details about COVID-19 test availability in Hburg — but continue to stress social distancing
On Tuesday, March 17, Elliott started having aches and chills. The next day, he got word that someone he’d been in contact with the prior week had just been diagnosed with COVID-19. And then on that Thursday, Elliott (whose name has been changed to protect his and the COVID-19 patient’s privacy) got a call from the Virginia Department of Health.
It started with coughing, which I think maybe still was allergies. That was middle of the [first week of March], and by that weekend I started getting flu-like symptoms, just chills and fevers and full body ache, that kind of stuff.
One year’s slight population decline could be a blip. But two years in a row – as is now the case in Harrisonburg, according to the Weldon Cooper Center – looks more like a trend.
As you probably know, this is the age of shuttered newsrooms and ex-reporters taking PR jobs and wistful talk about the good old days when local papers were thriving. Liking being a reporter, and being somewhat good a being a reporter, were no longer enough. I have no doubt that many former coal miners were committed and skilled themselves.
In the summer of 2015, days before I moved away to Brazil, I took my son and went to say goodbye to my grandparents. He was 1. They were past 90. They saved him packs of cookies from the retirement home cafeteria, and I let him eat all he could because it made both parties so happy. After a hug and goodbye, as I closed their apartment door, I wondered whether it might be the last time I’d see either of them. They seemed healthy enough, but past 90 is past 90. And as it turned out, Grandpa had less than two months left.
It’s Tuesday and voting is on in the 2019 state legislative elections. For Harrisonburg voters, names on the ballot in the two General Assembly races should look familiar, as both the House of Delegates and State Senate races are rematches from last time around.