I want to start off with a tweet from independent COVID data analyst James Aycock. This tweet makes me sad, and it should make everyone who cares about the Memphis community sad.
The number of new people vaccinated has fallen off a cliff. We’re looking at our lowest numbers since February. This is a huge problem. pic.twitter.com/jOJeulYjk5
— James Aycock 📢 (@firstresponses) April 23, 2021
How do you solve this problem? I’m going to suggest a solution, and sadly it’s going to sound like I’m kidding, but I’m not.
“Free $5 Chalupa Combo Box with vaccine card dated today or yesterday”
From my days teaching at the University of Memphis, it’s my observation that a certain percentage of this community – I’d put the number at around 35% – JUST… DOESN’T… CARE. They’re not going to go get the shot, not because they’re anti-vacc but because they’re anti-turn off the TV, get off the couch, and go do something. They’re not going to read anything about COVID safety. If it doesn’t entertain them in some way, they’re not going to pay attention. They’re the portion of the community that thinks mediocrity is good enough, an attitude I despised as a teacher.
Unfortunately, we don’t get to herd immunity without them.
So we have to step into their shoes, think like they think, and address “what’s in it for me.”
On to the news…
Earlier this week I posted a tweet by Grizzlies TV announcer by Pete Pranica. It was about a GoFundMe for LaVelt Hill, a longtime usher for sections 103 and 104 at Grizzlies games who needs a kidney transplant. This morning the fundraising drive made The Daily Memphian. Team owner Robert Pera chipped in 10 grand, Marc Gasol contributed $5000, and JaMychal Green put in $2000.
Sign of the times: The Silly Goose has DJs this weekend for the first time in over a year. If you’re fully vaccinated, get out there and dance, dance, dance. If you’re not fully vaccinated, go get vaccinated then get out there and dance, dance, dance.
Oh by the way… a little birdie told me that the Goose is about to redo its menu for the 3768th time since they opened, and that the hummus is coming back.
The point guard of the future, Ja Morant, held off the man many consider the current best point guard in the NBA, Damian Lillard, for a 130-128 Grizzlies victory over Portland last night. Ja scored 33 and Jaren Jackson, Jr. added 23 in his second game back. The Grizzlies continue to hold a narrow 1-game edge over Golden State and San Antonio for 8th in the West. Memphis and Portland meet again in Portland at 3 PM Central Time Sunday.
Good to hear: Memphis hotels are seeing increased bookings as the pandemic subsides
One last reminder: Earth Day Riverfront Market today 1-6 PM
Piper Down Music plays Carolina Watershed today 2-6 PM.
Turnstyles plays Momma’s tonight at 7.
I’ll skip the “Buy me a PBR” button today because I’d rather you donate to LaVelt Hill’s GoFundMe. Back tomorrow with more news.