It is a given at this point that Russian interference was prevalent throughout the Presidential election, but those involved in the Trump campaign claim the investigation will continue to unearth evidence that points away from anyone involved with the President and his team.
After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida last week, students and teachers from Parkland and other parts of the United States have staged walkouts, spoken publicly, and descended upon Washington and their own state capitols demanding action from lawmakers to end gun violence in schools.
Students from Marjory Stoneman have become regulars on talk shows and news segments, and many right wing groups have taken to accusing them of being “crisis actors,” or simply attacking them online for their appearance, their statements, or their ideologies. To say this past week has shed light on the worst of us is an understatement.
The NRA has taken a massive hit this week as many around the country call upon members of Congress to reject their money and influence, and the organization has been accused of politicizing the shooting to forward its agenda. The NRA, in return, has accused politicians on the left of doing the same, claiming that their only agenda is to take away our 2nd Amendment rights.
Local schools have been on edge as well, with threats reported in Southwest Virginia and Unicoi County schools over the past week, where a student made threats “to go in and shoot up the high school.” That student has been detained, but many parents still worry, and for good reason.
It seems that now, possibly more than ever, we are a nation divided.
One thing that doesn’t care about your politics, however, is the flu.
From Oct. 1 through Sunday, Ballad Health’s hospitals recorded 4,152 positive influenza cases and 23 flu-related deaths, with two more this past week. The numbers were only from emergency departments and did not include figures from urgent care providers and private physician offices.
Please folks, if you know or suspect you have the flu, take precautions and spare someone else the chance to become ill. Be responsible, and be aware.
This weekend we should experience warmer-than-usual temperatures, as we have all week, and hopefully that spurs you to venture outdoors.
While you’re out of the house, do yourself a favor and visit your local animal shelter. There are thousand of animals in need of home in our region alone - cats who have been dropped off, dogs who have gotten lost, and many who simply never had a home to begin with. They are all deserving of a second chance, and I bet you could find the perfect pet for your family if you just paid them a visit.
So, if you get the chance this weekend, give it a shot. It could be the best thing you ever do.