Sunday Reads – May 29, 2022

It’s the weekend that marks the beginning of summer, and usually your overly optimistic Reads editor is thrilled about that. But this week has been another one to make us all stop and consider what’s around us and what we want the world to be. So here’s a day of perspectives to help do that. And, please be safe this holiday.

Georgia’s average daily Covid positive test rate

Georgia’s average positive test rate (14-day average). Credit: Mayo Clinic

Assess your vacation risks

No one wants to be alarmist, but the numbers are rising. Again. The spring weather is warming to summer hot, driving us all inside to the cooler air. Combined with that and proms and graduations and other seasonal gatherings, Covid cases quietly surround us. Again. According to Georgia Department of Public Health, there are more cases now than at this same time last year. While numbers are harder to compare day-to-day now that the DPH has stopped daily reporting, there is a consistent 7-day moving average number for total cases. So, on May 28, 2021, the average was 565.7 for Georgia. On May 25, 2022 — the weekly posting from DPH — it was 2163.4. That’s nearly four times the same case average at this time last year. In Chatham County, the average was 15.7 for the same time in May 2021, and 50 this week. So, consider your risk and the risks to others as you gather with others. Any level of Covid can develop into Long Covid, and many people remain at risk. If you want deeper Covid data and research, here’s a link to COVID-19 Daily Dispatch with expertise and clear info on all things Covid. In the meantime, consider masking up when you are in a group or in places with poor ventilation.

Data from 2020.

Finding a balance on firearms

This week’s school shooting in Texas that killed 19 4th graders and two teachers has burned through many of us while we’re still dealing with the 10 killings in a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y. Both gunmen were 18 and acquired their guns legally. The Texas killer ordered his guns online from a manufacturer here in Coastal Georgia that employs around 200 of our neighbors. Daniel Defense sells its weapons online, and that’s how the Uvalde murderer purchased his guns legally two days after he turned 18. Under federal law, he was too young to buy handguns. (Daniel Defense has been in this situation before. The man who killed 60 people and wounded 411 when he opened fire on a crowded concert in Las Vegas in 2017 also had four of their products.) Closer to home, Savannah police continue to chase a spike in gun violence leaving at least 14 dead and incidents ranging from road rage to random shots. As of May 21, 358 gun assaults were listed, year to date, by Savannah Police. The problem is deep, wide and ever-expanding.

Here’s a collection of data and perspectives on balance from the week. It may seem random, but it circles various issues around guns, gunmakers and safety. You won’t find screaming advocates or people who want to rip away all your armaments, just discussions and data to consider toward citizen action and governmental policy to stop something we all know is wrong: mass killing of innocent people. So far, there have been 213 mass shootings and 27 school shootings in the U.S. this year. It’s only May.

And lastly, take some time to listen to Friday’s edition of GPB Radio’s Political Rewind for some insight into how this could be stopped while allowing guns for protection. Dr. Mark Rosenberg, former director of the Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control, says he believes that the violence can be stopped, gun safety is possible and he details how science can help if we approach the problem through a public health lens.


With all the havoc in the world, it’s up to you to make an informed decision about your government. The May 24, 2022, primary election is over and choices are made. Candidates running in non-partisan races are decided except for a few runoffs on June 21, so they’ll be waiting in the wings and learning the jobs until January when they can officially take office.

Our attention now turns to the General Midterm Election in November and what your choices there could mean. In the case of Trump-backed Republicans, GOP voters were clear that candidates need to bring more than the former president to succeed. They rewarded Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for standing against political force to enforce elections law while sending election-result doubter Burt Jones to run for lieutenant governor. Reporter Craig Nelson talked to Republicans in Chatham County to see how they appraised the results locally and statewide.

In the other races, there will be some sorting to do. The Public Service Commission seat for District 2 remains in limbo as Democratic winner Patti Durand is challenging a messy election-eve disqualification in court. The PSC determines how utility bills are regulated across the state, so it’s fair to say this office directly affects every household budget and business ledger in Georgia. It’s important to know how each vote you cast will empower policy. In our form of government, votes send messages and select your representatives for policy and lawmaking. Nothing changes if you don’t participate.

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Educators Rising students at a Michigan high school discuss what they learned from classroom observations. Credit: Tracie Mauriello/Bridge Michigan/Chalkbeat

Your second cup: Students as teachers

Michigan, like most places, is facing a teacher shortage and it’s using a new national program to recruit new instructors from high school students. Educators Rising is an elective for juniors and seniors considering careers as teachers with a goal to make the pool of teachers deeper and more representative of the communities they serve. Students learn from observing and from testing their own skills in the classroom. Chalkbeat Detroit/Bridge Michigan bring us the story from the students’ perspectives as they learn that teaching is more than a lesson.


Georgia COVID-19 daily statistics

Today’s cases, change, deaths, hospitalizations, testing, vaccination sites and tracker

Mass shootings leave behind collective despair, anguish and trauma at many societal levels

In addition to those who experience direct loss, such events also take a toll on […]

Asian-American Georgia lawmakers call for gun reforms after recent mass shootings

Speakers bring personal experience to call for background checks, 5-day waiting period and repeal of […]

Chatham GOP stalwarts debate meaning of Trump candidates’ rout

Outcomes do not end the rift among state GOP members between what one Chatham County […]

Last minute election snafu in Georgia’s public service commissioner race

Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State disqualified PSC candidate Patty Durand hours before Tuesday’s primary. She […]

Update: Georgia voters have their say

“Voting is your power, it’s your voice, to get elected officials who create change for […]

Short on teachers, Michigan schools try to grow their own

Michigan faces a teacher shortage at a most inopportune time: when students need more educational resources to […]

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Susan Catron is managing editor for The Current GA. She has more than two decades of experience in Georgia newspapers. Susan served as executive editor of the Savannah Morning News for nearly 15 years,...