Good morning, everyone.
Be sure to check out Jerod Hollyfield's excellent work on 'The Dollar Tree Economy' that we published on Monday. The piece exposes an aspect of Middle American life that progressive media outlets completely misunderstand. We call these folks "armchair cosmopolitans" content in their ignorance. It's also worth noting that both NPR and CNN denied Dollar Tree an interview, but granted one to us. Dollar stores have become a weird fixation of the Left in their efforts to advocate rural reforms from, well, their armchairs.
In other news below, we review the results of last night's council meeting, introduce another story in the Tales from the ER series, and show you why red and blue are more valuable than all the other colors.
Thanks for reading.
❍ ON LAST NIGHT'S COUNCIL MEETING ❍
Davidson County joins Hamilton, Sumner, Rutherford, Wilson, and Williamson in eliminating emissions testing. After 40 years, emissions testing will no longer be required to pass inspection in Nashville. While emissions testing will be terminated as of January 14th in the other counties, Davidson County will not be able to end testing until February 4th.
Emissions testing was initially put in place to improve air quality by regulating registered vehicles. The process also allowed the local government to charge a fee and make a penny or two. Practical in the past, vehicles have improved through the years, air quality has gone up, and emissions testing has become obsolete.
Davidson County repeatedly kicked the emissions testing can down the road while the other five counties that eliminated the test made more timely decisions. An unfortunate consequence of this decision is that emissions test sites in Davidson will be putting their employees out of work in a month's time. The decisiveness of the other counties gave their emissions workers more runway to anticipate losing their jobs.
Other Things To Consider
- MNPS will be getting their tasers.
- Juneteenth is to be a paid holiday.
- Mario Avila & Jasper Hendricks are two new nominees that were presented last night to become Nashville Fair Board Members. The discussions surrounding the appointments of fair board members have been plagued with points of contention regarding diversity issues. Mayor Cooper has now properly signaled to his political coalition making it clear that he fulfilled his duty by nominating a hispanic man and a black man. Axios has a helpful article summarizing each gentleman's actual background and credentials.
- Dr. Gill Wright from the Health Department came to speak. He cited some statistical data about the recent Omicron spike and also went on record projecting that Nashville should start recovering from the spike mid-February.
- Councilmember Bradford couldn’t help but call charter schools in Davidson County “parasitic.” Discussions surrounding funding/supporting charter schools were the most contentious of the evening.
- The committee meeting regarding License Plate Readers set for January 5th has been canceled — a hot button discussion that will be rescheduled.
- Councilmember Glover was not able to attend last night’s meeting and his bill regarding parameters for transportainment vehicles and where they can operate in regards to schools was deferred.
- Utility district withdraws effort to confiscate private land from influential Williamson Co. family (Lookout) A small water utility company has stood down from its legal fight to seize private property belonging to a prominent Williamson County family who waged a fierce public campaign against the plans to install large tanks holding millions of gallons of water on their land.
- Tennessee lawmaker concerned new school funding formula could lead to administrative bloat (Center Square) If and when the funding formula change occurs, Tennessee would become one of 39 states with a student-based funding formula. Instead of receiving funds based on the district’s characteristics, the schools would receive a set amount of funding for each student and bonuses based on the student’s learning characteristics.
A TALE OF TWO HEADLINES
Two different headlines covering the same issue show us the difference in how local outlets cover the pandemic.
- Nashville COVID-19 testing sites see long lines, high demand as omicron spreads (USA Today)
- Workers ask for patience as COVID testing lines grow (Main Street)
- Gulch commercial building sells for $4.97M (Post)
- Midtown surface parking lot property sells for $1.5M (Post)
- Boston developer pays $35M for SoBro property (Post)
- Taco restaurant to take space in Five Points (Post)
- Boston company pays $36M for airport-area warehouse (Post)
- Developer pays $10.5M for Wedgewood-Houston property (Post)
- North Nashville commercial building sells for $2.67M (Post)
- 362 Unit Mixed-use Development Proposed To Transform Dickerson Pike (Now Next)
✙ TALES FROM THE ER #2: We Got a Runner! ✙
“County ER this is Rescue 4, we are incoming from a nursing home with a 76-year-old male. He’s a COVID alert AND a stroke alert. He has baseline dementia so staff unable to say how altered he is, but last seen normal two days ago. Also has cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Oxygen is 92% on 4 liters nasal cannula. We’ll be at your back door in 5 minutes, over.”
Early reports from China on the clinical manifestations of COVID-19 focused on lung disease. However, for clinicians like myself, it became apparent very early in the pandemic that there were also blood clotting and neurologic issues in severe COVID-19 infections. Many scientists now believe that COVID-19 primarily damages blood vessels, causing dysfunction in the lungs, heart, brain, kidneys, etc. That explains why this nursing home resident coming to the ER was experiencing altered mental status and difficulty breathing.
I recall this patient very well. When EMS arrived, he was breathing heavily but looked sleepy at the same time. His oxygen levels bounced around from 89-95%, so we kept him on the supplemental oxygen through his nose, rather than escalate respiratory support. Fortunately for this patient, it was mid-2020 and early intubation had fallen out of favor, at least in my hospital. It was still early enough in the pandemic, however, that I had to argue with the radiology technicians about doing a computed tomography (CT) scan of his head to evaluate what was causing his altered mental status. Until the Delta wave in 2021, many hospital personnel were quite choosy about whether they would come into contact with a COVID-19 patient. In the ER, of course, we had no such luxury of choice. I told the techs they could leave the room while we put the patient in the scanner and figured out what buttons to push ourselves. They relented.
In the ER we joke about CT scans emitting “therapeutic radiation,” and this patient did become more awake after the CT. No brain bleed on the imaging, and he was fairly stable, so I went off to make a host of phone calls to neurology, the hospitalist, and his family to confirm his baseline mental status and update them on a likely hospital admission. Meanwhile, in and out of his dark, closed-door room went masked, gowned, and gloved nurses drawing blood and tinkering with his oxygen support. As the patient became more and more alert, to him it must’ve seemed like a bunch of evil scientists from some horror film were poking and prodding him. Making matters worse was the TV in his room was set on our default hospital channel, with creepy and tone-deaf public service announcements about lockdowns, social distancing, and hospital visitor restrictions. The patient in his COVID-19 and dementia-induced haze looked around an unfamiliar and bizarre environment and must’ve thought he’d been kidnapped by aliens.
“Sir! Sir! STOP! Get back in your room! You have COVID!!”
When the charge nurse started yelling, I looked up from being on hold on the phone to see the man standing outside his room in the ER hallway. Wearing his hospital gown completely open in the back and barefoot, his IV was dripping blood, and the nasal cannula tubing had been ripped from the oxygen port and was twisted around his neck. He looked scared, darting his eyes around wildly. It was mere seconds before he tore off his hospital gown and took off running completely naked down the ER hallway.
“Go stop him! Call security!”
Charge nurses, the medical Karens, live for moments like this. To the patient’s credit, he made it as far as the ER waiting room where the security guard posted at the entrance quickly stopped him and escorted him back into the ER. The patient’s naked, COVID-positive appearance in the waiting room caused more than a few people to reassess their emergent need for medical care and leave. And the patient’s sprint down the hall confirmed for me that his oxygen needs were minimal.
All joking aside, the instinct of this nursing home resident with dementia to literally run away from our medical system was correct. We in the ER had become so used to our dystopian doctoring in space suits that we failed to anticipate how terrifying the situation looked to the patient. Beyond terrifying appearances, the odds of medical care doing more harm than good are also scary. That was true before the COVID-19 pandemic, and very true during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately for this patient, he only suffered from the lack of logistical support for nursing home survivors of COVID-19. He was admitted to the hospital and required oxygen for 5 days. He stayed in the hospital for 4 weeks, however, because he couldn’t go back to the nursing home until he had 2 negative COVID-19 tests 48 hours apart, and there was simply nowhere else for him to go.
FROM THE ARCHIVE
The “Tales from the ER” series is based off real cases. Identifying information and certain medical details have been altered to protect privacy.
🟦 WHAT'S BLUE TO YOU? 🟦
A study indicates that art wherein the color blue or red dominates tends to sell for up to 18% more than comparable paintings of a different color.
Colors, Emotions, and the Auction Value of Paintings
28 December 2021, Read Study
⚔ MISSIVES ⚔
- Apple briefly hit a market cap of $3 trillion during intraday trading on Monday, before dropping back under the mark shortly afterwards. Apple broke the barrier when its share price hit $182.86.
- Federal Reserve officials are beginning to map out how and when they could shrink their $8.76 trillion portfolio of Treasury and mortgage securities, which more than doubled amid efforts to stabilize the economy over the past two years.
- North Korean officials are demanding handwriting samples from thousands of Pyongyang residents after graffiti appeared insulting supreme leader Kim Jong-un, a rare sign of discontent among the elite in the capital.
THINGS TO DO
View the full calendar here.
⭐ Cheekwood’s Christmas lights exhibit is running until January 9th.
🖼 At the Frist, Medieval Bologna: Art for a University City is running until January 30th.
🎸 Regi Wooten & Friends @ Rudy’s Jazz Room, 9p, $15, Info
🍸 Electric relaxation @ Bar Sovereign, 9p, Free, Info
NEW THIS WEEK
FROM THE ARCHIVE
Around the Web
✸ Is this the end of progressive America? Multiple fronts of resistance are taking shape
⚛︎ Finally, Bloomberg Admits Renewables Mania Caused Energy Shortages Plus, new Environmental Progress Analysis finds German emissions rose in 2021 and in will rise again in 2022
⎋ Kansas City's Fateful Suburban Experiment We are living in the aftermath of an unprecedented experiment in how we build and inhabit cities.
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- New York teacher arrested after being accused of injecting minor with Covid vaccine
- JK Rowling’s name erased from schoolhouse over transgender row
- Charlamagne tha God blasts Fox News guest for ‘politicizing’ vasectomies
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Words of Wisdom
The junior hoodlums who roamed their streets were symptoms of a greater sickness; their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of ‘rights’ . . . and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure.
Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers