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JAC K S O N March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms





March 18 - 31, 2020 Vol. 18 No. 15

ON THE COVER illustration by Kristin Brenemen

4 Editor’s Note


andra Shelson has served the Jackson area, and Mississippi at large, in her position as executive director of The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi for the last 16 years. However, the road to finding her passion was not a direct one. Born in Shreveport, La., Shelson and her family moved to Jackson when she was only 18 month old, and they moved to Brandon some years later. After graduating from Millsaps College in 1982, she spent the next several years changing professions, looking for the right fit. She first tried selling real estate. “I wasn’t very good at it because I kept telling people that they couldn’t afford it,” she says. Next, she worked for a catering company, “which was interesting because I couldn’t cook,” she adds. Eventually, she ended up pursuing law, attending the University of Illinois College of Law. “At that time, I still wasn’t convinced that I wanted to come back to Mississippi,” Shelson says. After earning her law degree, Shelson moved to Carlisle, Pa., to teach at The Dickinson School of Law, now Penn State Dickinson Law. There, she met her husband, Jim, who followed Sandra when she returned to Jackson, and the couple married in 1992. Shortly thereafter, Shelson began her life of public service within the Mississippi Attorney General’s office, eventually rising

8 Coronavirus:

Facts v. Myths

To be informed is to be prepared. Review the research on COVID-19.

14 JXN’s Local Brews

Sandra Shelson

Learn about LD’s BeerRun and the home-crafted brews the store offers.

16 summer activities to head the children’s division, which then-Attorney General Mike Moore created. In addition, she engaged in volunteer work—with the Junior League of Jackson, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta, the Rotary Club of Jackson and other organizations. “I began my transition from traditional law to prevention. I wanted to be on the front line of helping kids,” she says. In 2004, the executive director position with The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi opened, and the organization selected Shelson for the role, which she describes as “a dream come true.” The nonprofit aims to tackle major issues that affect the health of Mississippians, such as tobacco use, obesity, student food insecurity on the campuses of Mississippi-based colleges and universities, and recently the dangers associated with vaping, which has increasingly been used as an alternative to smoking. “We are not trying to be a nanny state. We’re trying to provide real information so that the healthy choice is the easy choice,” Shelson says. Shelson and her husband live in Jackson and have two children: Carlisle, who attends the University of Illinois College of Law, and Tucker, who attends the University of Virginia. For more information on The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, visit healthy-miss.org. – Richard Coupe

and CAMPS guide 20 St Paddy Info

21 ‘The Everlasting’ A Jackson author’s book depicts social issues across time.

24 Puzzle 24 Sorensen 25 astro 25 Classifieds

March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms

courtesy The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi

6 opinion


publisher’s note

by Todd Stauffer, Publisher


t’s hard to believe about 10 days ago we were calling this the “St. Paddy’s Parade issue.” But things turned on a dime, and the Jackson Free Press team has done its damnedest to bring you the latest news on COVID-19 as it breaks here in the Jackson and throughout the state, as well as vital safety information. Since late last week, our staff has been allowed to work from home; starting on Wednesday, pretty much everyone plans to stay out of the office except for critical drop-ins. We’ve been implementing remote work in every way we can, and our team has come through well while producing a packed archive of vital COVID-19 coverage at jfp.ms/covid19. You can still reach us on our office lines and extensions (thanks Fuse.Cloud for forwarding our messages!) and obviously through other digital channels.

March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms

Our drive to report the news remains the same …


Speaking of digital channels, we’re updating jacksonfreepress.com multiple times per day and sending the JFP Daily five days per week. If you haven’t subscribed, you can do so at jfp.ms/subcribe/. We’re also sending COVID-19 special alerts when we feel the need, including on weekends. Our drive to report the news remains the same, albeit by watching a few more streaming press conferences and staying out of the office to keep from spreading infection and to help flatten the curve. What is different is pretty much everything else—events, music, restaurants, entertainment, gatherings, shopping and so much more. In this past week, we’ve seen not just a devastated stock market, but the reality has set in that every day people are supposed to stay at home is another day that restaurants aren’t making money, servers aren’t making money, suppliers aren’t making money—even the places where they advertise those services aren’t making money. This can have a devastating effect on the local economy. So what do we do? I encourage you to shop locally as much as

you can given the constraints. See jfp.ms/ covid19 for web editor Dustin Cardon’s growing list of businesses offering delivery or curbside pickup and tip generously. Always choose Mississippi-owned grocery stores and wine shops. Buy gift cards. We’ll be working with local businesses to promote this as much as possible. That revenue tends to go straight into the cash register for local businesses, meaning they can pay the bills and their people. Like a lot of local businesses, the Jackson Free Press could use your help, too. Canceled or postponed events, in particular, mean less advertising revenue, which is the bulk of the way we finance getting the Jackson Free Press to our readers and paying our staff. You’ve got a few options for supporting us and our ongoing coverage. Buy a “gift” ad. If you’d like to buy an ad for yourself in the future or for a favorite charity, we’re offering special discounted one-time quarter-page ads or a week’s worth of digital advertising at special pricing. Go to jfp.ms/giftad/ and make that purchase online. We appreciate it, so will the charity of your choice! Become a JFP VIP. We’ve had tons of people over the past 18 months become direct supporters of the Jackson Free Press, and their help has been invaluable. Now, more than ever, we could use your direct support. Visit jfp.ms/vip to become a VIP—at certain levels, you can also get a mailed copy of the JFP, which you may enjoy if you’re not leaving the house as much these days. Advertise online. JFP.ms is closing in on 1 million pageviews in the first three months of 2020, so if there is a message

Kristin Brenemen

Flatten The Curve, Think Local in Wake of COVID-19

This was going to be the annual issue to celebrate Hal’s St. Paddy’s Parade but things have changed quickly.

that you need to get out, our web advertising or JFP Daily ads is a really good bet to help you right now. Ask us about JFP Digital Services. If you have a nonprofit, medical practice or other local organization that needs help with your website, digital communications, or even online events and fundraisers, get in touch. Nonprofits: We can even help run a digital summit, a virtual fundraiser or create an online course if you need it! In the meantime, I’d like to offer some shout-outs to some very hard-working people who are also doing their best to stay out of harm’s way and keep others healthy, as well as informed. Dustin Cardon, web editor, has been manning the “cancellations” and COVID-19 safety-tips desk while putting up breaking story after breaking story, al-


Nick Judin

Carlton McGrone

Kimberly Griffin

State reporter Nick Judin grew up in Jackson and graduated from the University of Mississippi. He is covering this year’s legislative session. He wrote the cover story on COVID-19. Email him tips to nick@jacksonfree press.com.

Book reviewer Carlton McGrone has earned his bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Southern Mississippi and currently works as an editorial assistant at the University Press of Mississippi. He interviewed Katy Simpson Smith.

Associate Publisher Kimberly Griffin is a Jackson native who loves Jesus, her mama, cooking, traveling, the Callaway Chargers, chocolate, her godson, working out, Mississippi University for Women and locally owned restaurants, not necessarily in that order.

ways willingly working like crazy to find a photo to go with the words. The super-organized Kristin Brenemen, creative director, has directed not just “creative,” but the whole orchestra, from backing up the server and getting things into the cloud to creating new GroupMe channels and keeping all the remote staffers in the loop. Zilpha Young, advertising designer, has taken all the changes of the past week in stride, happily designing new ads, new house ads and re-doing the flat plan a few times to accommodate all the changes. Nate Schumann, deputy editor, is as always prepared to go into editorial battle against anything thrown his way. Kayode Crown, events editor, gets a special mention because, well, it’s been the craziest week of event changes in our 18-year history as a publication. And, of course, it goes without saying that we wouldn’t be doing the work we’re doing without Donna Ladd, Nick Judin and Seyma Bayram on point, and the trains wouldn’t run without Azia Wiggins Kimberly Griffin and Mary Kozielski doing their thing hour-by-hour. Stay safe out there. As much as it pains me, I discourage you from doing much shopping, travel or dining out— buy gift cards, order curbside and let’s see if we can “flatten the curve” as quickly as possible by doing the right thing. Here’s to your health and the health of our local economy. Slainte! Send business news related to COVID19 to todd@jacksonfreepress.com and dustin@jacksonfreepress.com.



Open Doors to Curiosity. Discovery. Belonging.

Shine Light on the Power of Courage.

Step through our doors today. Come explore the many stories that connect us all as Mississippians.

Explore the movement that changed the nation—and the people behind it.

222 North Street, Jackson museumofmshistory.com

222 North Street, Jackson mscivilrightsmuseum.com

March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms



Dr. Corey Wiggins


very year Mississippians head to the polls to exercise their right to vote, and the primaries in early March were only the first of those visits. We will return to the polls in November and cast ballots for president, congressional offices and Mississippi Supreme Court seats. Countless times, many of us exercise our civic duty and head to the polls to make sure our voice is heard through the ballot box. For some, Election Day is just another day to awaken and go about the business of trying to survive and make a living. The struggles of life do not stop for an election. Whether you vote regularly, infrequently or do not vote at all, we all experience the onslaught of campaign rhetoric that is high on promises. We are bombarded with campaign events and commercials from politicians hoping to be elected. We see community advocates and leaders with meager resources working tirelessly to host community education events to help inform communities on important issues. Volunteers use their time to knock on doors for get-out-the-vote campaigns and drive people to the polls to vote. Some organizations and political campaigns spend tons of money on clever slogans designed to move and motivate us to vote. It doesn’t require well-rehearsed promises and clever slogans to increase African American voting. The reality is the unfortunate truth that we should vote because our lives depend on it.

March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms

We must all ensure full access and use of the ballot box.


Far too many African American communities in Mississippi do not experience full benefits of the American dream that remains confined to distant daydreaming without materializing into a reality where individuals have access to equitable opportunity. African Americans comprise 38% of the state’s population, which represents the largest proportion of black Americans of any U.S. state. However, the diversity of our state is not maximized when many communities across the state continue to be left behind and out of opportunities for better-funded public schools, employment

Photo by ElEmEnt5 Digital on UnsPlash

Black People: Vote Like Our Lives Depend on It

Editor-in-Chief and CEO Donna Ladd Publisher & President Todd Stauffer Associate Publisher Kimberly Griffin Creative Director Kristin Brenemen REPORTERS AND WRITERS City Reporter Seyma Bayram State Reporter Nick Judin Culture Reporter Aliyah Veal Contributing Reporters Ashton Pittman, Mauricio J. Quijano State Intern Julian Mills Contributing Writers Dustin Cardon, Bryan Flynn, Alex Forbes, Jenna Gibson, Tunga Otis Torsheta Jackson, Mike McDonald, Anne B. Mckee EDITORS AND OPERATIONS Deputy Editor Nate Schumann JFPDaily.com Editor Dustin Cardon Executive Assistant Azia Wiggins Listings Editor Kayode Crown Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY Senior Designer Zilpha Young Contributing Photographers Seyma Bayram, Acacia Clark, Nick Judin, Imani Khayyam, Ashton Pittman, Brandon Smith

Executive Director Dr. Corey Wiggins writes that far too many African American communities in Mississippi do not experience full benefits of the American dream—and they must vote this year to bring change.

that offers livable wages and access to health care that is affordable. We cannot run from the stories and pictures depicting the atrocities and deplorable conditions happening in our prisons. To date, 24 deaths have occurred of mostly African American inmates under the supervision of the state’s prison system. The conditions sit squarely in the laps of the elected officials who have neglected to pay correctional officers a living wage, and they have promulgated a system of mass incarceration built off African American bodies. These officials have also opted for a system of taxation that gives our limited resources to the wealthy and corporations, while the state’s attempt at rehabilitation of returning citizens is laughable at best. Each year, residents in Humphrey County recognize the work of Rev. George W. Lee, a co-founder of the local NAACP branch, to register African American to vote in the 1950s. Due to that work, Rev. Lee was murdered in May 1955 when an assailant fired three shotgun blasts into his car. Rev. Lee’s ultimate sacrifice and that of so many others paint a grim reality of just how dangerous it has historically been to register voters in Mississippi. Building upon this the legacy of voterregistration programs, every year there are statewide efforts to make sure Mississippians are registered to vote. Today, 79% of eligible African American voters in the state are registered. Voting because our lives depend on it should not be taken as political rhetoric. It is a call and reminder of the

importance of why we must all ensure full access and use of the ballot box. While voter-registration programs have been successful in making sure people are registered, more must be done. We must move with a sense of Medgar Evers and Fannie Lou Hamer urgency in our voter mobilization efforts. Medgar Evers once said, “Our only hope is to control the vote.” It should be our communal duty in making this hope a concrete reality. We must face our problems and not run away from them as Fannie Lou Hamer insisted. We must do more to mobilize registered voters to ensure democracy works for our communities. Mississippi NAACP and Mississippi NAACP Youth & College Division members from across the state worked to mobilize voters in 2019. Our members knocked on more than 78,000 doors, made over 42,000 phone calls, and sent 249,000 text messages with the specific intent to mobilize voters and get them to the polls. In 2020, we are working to sustain and expand our impact. We don’t have an option because our lives depend on it. More importantly, as we all begin to look forward to casting our vote in the November general election, we should all be thinking about how to mobilize our families, friends and communities to vote in November. Dr. Corey Wiggins serves as executive director of the Mississippi NAACP. He is driven by a simple mission of being a servant leader. This column does not necessarily reflect the views of the JFP.

ONLINE & DIGITAL SERVICES Digital Web Developer Ryan Jones Web Editor Dustin Cardon Social Media Assistant Robin Johnson Web Designer Montroe Headd Let’s Talk Jackson Editor Kourtney Moncure SALES AND MARKETING (601-362-6121 x11) Marketing Writer Andrea Dilworth Marketing Consultant Mary Kozielski Advertising Designer Zilpha Young Events Assistant Leslyn Smith DISTRIBUTION Distribution Coordinator Ken Steere Distribution Team Yvonne Champion, Ruby Parks, Eddie Williams TALK TO US: Letters letters@jacksonfreepress.com Editorial editor@jacksonfreepress.com Queries submissions@jacksonfreepress.com Listings events@jacksonfreepress.com Advertising ads@jacksonfreepress.com Publisher todd@jacksonfreepress.com News tips news@jacksonfreepress.com Jackson Free Press 125 South Congress Street, Suite 1324 Jackson, Mississippi 39201 Editorial and Sales (601) 362-6121 Fax (601) 510-9019 Daily updates at jacksonfreepress.com The Jackson Free Press is the city’s award-winning, locally owned news magazine, reaching more than 35,000 readers per issue via more than 600 distribution locations in the Jackson metro area—and an average of over 35,000 visitors per week at www. jacksonfreepress.com. The Jackson Free Press is free for pick-up by readers; one copy per person, please. First-class subscriptions are available to “gold level” and higher members of the JFP VIP Club (jfp.ms/ vip). The views expressed in this magazine and at jacksonfreepress.com are not necessarily those of the publisher or management of Jackson Free Press Inc. © Copyright 2020 Jackson Free Press Inc.

Email letters and opinion to letters@jacksonfreepress.com, fax to 601-510-9019 or mail to 125 South Congress St., Suite 1324, Jackson, Mississippi 39201. Include daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, as well as factchecked.

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March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms



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COVID-19 in Mississippi: A Primer by Nick Judin

Who does COVID-19 affect? Experts say everyone is at risk of infection, serious illness, permanent respiratory damage and death from COVID-19. There has been much discussion of the cat-



Happy Birthday X 2



Groups Self-Quarantine



Postponed Recession


Idris Elba

Tom Hanks



Flatten the curve

State of Emergency


Social distancing

Word Cloud: Our New Reality Purell Telecommute

Is COVID-19 in Jackson? Yes. The Mississippi Department of Health reported the first detected case of COVID-19 in Mississippi March 11, detected in a Forrest County man who recently traveled to Florida. He sought testing at a Hattiesburg clinic and is currently recovering in isolation at home, Dobbs said at a March 12 press conference. MSDH announced the first cases of COVID-19 in Hinds County on March 15. Two students—one from Jackson State University and the other from the University of Mississippi Medical Center—are the capital city’s first positive cases of the novel coronavirus. The two Jackson residents who acquired the virus were also in quarantine at press time on March 17, but they clearly did not represent the only cases of the virus in the Jackson area. Recent research from Columbia University published in Science

egory of people considered at “elevated risk” for acquiring and suffering a severe case of the virus, but its rapid spread in China and Italy in particular shows that COVID-19 is capable of maiming and killing the youngest and healthiest among us. Still, we must not discard the group especially at risk from the virus. They include anyone over age 65, as well as anyone suffering from an immune system-compromising disease, including heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and more. Medical professionals worldwide have stressed that individuals with previously existing respiratory conditions are at particular risk of serious complications or death from COVID-19. This does not mean the virus is a death sentence. Information sourced from China’s Centers for Disease Control from the COVID-19 outbreak beginning in Wuhan revealed a 2.3% death rate across all

magazine estimates that “86% of all infections were undocumented,” meaning that testing may reveal only a fraction of the virus’ actual spread. More distressingly, Dr. William Shafer, professor at Vanderbilt University, told CNN on March 16 that “asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic transmission are a major factor in transmission for COVID19,” meaning individuals are capable of passing on the disease up to two weeks before displaying symptoms of their own infection. In fact, by March 17, Hinds County had six confirmed cases.



What is COVID-19? COVID-19 is a “novel coronavirus,”

meaning a previously unidentified type of coronavirus, so named for the menacing spiked “crown” along its surface. Coronaviruses in general are a common affliction, and include the common cold. But COVID-19 is different, more comparable to the Spanish Influenza pandemic of just over a century ago, which infected half a billion people worldwide, killing between 50 million to 100 million of them. Modern medicine will prevent the earth-shattering death toll of that pandemic, but we must not understate the virulence of COVID-19, its danger to everyone who acquires it, and our lack of preparedness for its arrival and spread.


March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms


lease, if you’re ill— if you have fever, please don’t go to work. Stay home, and protect your coworkers,” State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs pleaded from the open room in the core of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency’s Pearl headquarters. The March 16 press conference in the fortified recesses of the MEMA building, flanked by National Guardsmen, reflected the dire threat facing the state and the world at large. Gov. Tate Reeves followed the presser with a video address of his own, delivered from isolation—Reeves had just returned the Friday before to the U.S. from a family trip to Spain, a country the virus hit hard. “Our goal is over the next several days to stand up additional testing centers throughout Mississippi. And we’re going to give the Department of Health as well as the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency access to Mississippi National Guard personnel to ensure the safety of our health care workers,” Reeves said in the video address. COVID-19 is here. And as the United States virtually shuts down amid fears of an overwhelmed health-care system and an unchecked pandemic, understanding the virus, its history, and how to mitigate its effects becomes an issue of national and local importance.

National Guard COVID19 Toilet Paper Hysteria

The Italian Model WHO’s data on COVID-19’s spread through Italy paint a stark, sobering picture for the rest of the world. Confirmed cases in

for the country’s 24,747 confirmed infections: a death rate of roughly 7.3%. These numbers almost certainly do not reflect the many mild cases that went undiagnosed or unexamined, but they still represent an ever-escalating nightmare. Experts in the U.S. and abroad say any attempt to address COVID-19 without the mass testing of countries like China and South Korea could spiral into the Italian catastrophe. “What is very clear,” Richard Neher, a biologist at the University of Basel told the news site Vox, is that “without a drastic reduction in transmission of the virus, health systems will be overwhelmed.” Mississippi Reacts As of March 17, MSDH had run 389 COVID-19 tests in Mississippi, 21 of them returning positive results. Early on, it appeared that many of the cases were the NICK JUDIN

The Chinese Model But numbers from the Chinese experience with the outbreak still weigh a majority of cases worldwide. And public-health experts like Dr. Bruce Aylward, senior adviser of the World Health Organization, assert that China was far more prepared for this virus than America is now because they acted quicker than the U.S. government to control the outbreak. “They actually changed the course of a respiratory-borne outbreak without a vaccine, which was extraordinary,” Aylward told NPR on March 8. Early testing was important in China, even as the U.S. is woefully behind on having enough tests or other needed medical tools like ventilators. Donald G. McNeil, science and health reporter for The New York Times, explained the breadth of the Chinese model to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on March 12. “(China’s strategy was) Testing, testing, testing. Find the virus. … If you go into any bus, train station, building, your temperature is taken.” China sent individuals displaying symptoms to specially designed fever clinics, created during the SARS outbreak and mothballed for just an occasion such as this pandemic, McNeil said. At the clinics, the Chinese are heavily isolated, given a bacterial pneumonia test, a flu test, a CT scan and finally the COVID19 test currently in such short supply in America. The entire process takes around four hours, with no exposure to the outside world, and critically, to their own families. “And that is the key element,” McNeil said. “There is no home isolation. There is no home quarantine. (Because) 75% to 80% of the transmission in China was in family clusters.” The most recently updated total for COVID-19 cases in mainland China was 81,077, with 3,218 deaths, which WHO reported March 16. Notably, that is an increase from the last report of only 29 new cases. As China arrests the virus’ spread, it continues to explode elsewhere, and so far nowhere more virulently than Italy.

Italy lingered around a hundred or so until late February. By the beginning of March, that number was over 1,000—then a week later, almost 6,000. WHO’s most recent situation report at the time of this article’s writing only places the total infections in the country at 24,747. That number will continue to rise, and the rapidity with which it spiked has plunged the country’s medical system into chaos. Shortages of ICU beds, ventilators and medical professionals alike have left the afflicted desperate for care and without the equipment necessary to receive it. On March 11, The Atlantic reported new guidelines for Italy’s worsening crisis, a morbid form of triage more suited for trench warfare than municipal hospitals. “Informed by the principle of maximizing benefits for the largest number,” The Atlantic’s translation of the document

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs regularly addresses the advance of COVID-19 in Mississippi, sharing the state agency’s recommendations for slowing the spread of the virus.

reads, “the allocation criteria need to guarantee that those patients with the highest chance of therapeutic success will retain access to intensive care.” In plain English, this means some of the most vulnerable patients—the oldest and weakest victims of the virus—must simply be left to die. This is precisely the reason for the nationwide shutdown, first in Northern Italy, at the outbreak’s epicenter, then across the country and now here in the United States, which CDC data show to be on a horrifyingly similar trajectory to Italy’s. The potential for a 2% death rate for COVID-19, itself a dizzying prospect that could leave millions dead in the worst case scenario, requires a functioning health-care system that is capable of actually serving all of the critically infected at once. The newest data from Italy at the time of this article’s writing showed 1,809 deaths

result of outside transmission to Mississippi residents returning from out of state before coming down with the virus. This will not be the case for much longer. “There will be cases from individuals who did not travel outside of Mississippi. That will be the new norm,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said at a March 13 press conference. UMMC enacted a strict new visitation policy this week, limiting entrances and exits to the hospital complex and preventing visitation for most adult patients, mirroring the heightened security at UMMC facilities in other counties. “This will test all of us like nothing we have experienced in many years,” UMMC School of Medicine Dean LouAnn Woodward said in a March 15 email to faculty, staff and students. “I know you will join me in remaining calm and professional, and at all times serving our patients and each other

with the very best we have to offer.” On March 12, Dobbs announced expanded access to the Public Health Lab’s COVID-19 testing procedures. The testing services available at MSDH mean all primary-care providers in Mississippi may use courier services to send potential COVID19 samples to the state’s testing facility as well as private facilities capable of confirming or dispelling a potential infection. Preparedness for COVID-19 sample collection and testing in the capital city came in fits and starts. As of early afternoon Friday, March 13, the Jackson Free Press had yet to successfully reach a single healthcare provider in the Jackson metro capable of ordering a COVID-19 test. That was the same day that state health officials said they had been calling clinics all day to explain the procedure. Some institutions referred the Jackson Free Press back to MSDH, still unaware that they had the capacity to collect samples for COVID-19. That afternoon, MSDH acknowledged it was still reaching out to clinics and physicians to instruct them in addressing the pandemic, making over 400 calls on March 13 alone. By Monday, March 16, some of that confusion seemed to have abated. Clinics and hospitals the Jackson Free Press called Monday morning had a much better grasp of the process of COVID-19 sample retrieval and testing. Some, but not all clinics contacted, could confirm that they had the capacity to gather COVID-19 samples. On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control announced new guidelines advising against gatherings of 50 people or more, specifically targeted at “large events and mass gatherings (including) conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies.” By Monday, President Donald Trump amended that number to 10 people: a much more stringent advisory that pressed many states to shutter bars and restaurants after weekend photos of crowded weekend revelry shocked a scared nation. At a press conference on March 16, however, Dobbs declined to recommend the closure of Mississippi’s restaurants and bars. That same day, Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba declared a civil emergency in the City of Jackson, closing down nonessential government services and sending many state employees to work from home. Lumumba also urged businesses like restaurants to, at minimum, begin take-out and delivery only services to curtail large groups. “Do what is necessary to limit crowds and to ensure adequate spacing between patrons sitting down at your restaurant,” Lumumba MORE



March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms

age groups, a number Our World in Data noted is 12 to 24 times higher than the flu. That death rate, broken down into age groups, reveals that around 18% of COVID-19 infections are fatal in individuals over age 80. Elsewhere, that number is proving to be higher. “Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died,” World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing on March 3.


COVID-19 from page 9

Flatten the Curve number of cases número de casos

Aplanar la curva

without protective measures sin medidas de protección

healthcare system capacity capacidad del sistema sanitario

with protective measures con medidas de protección

time since first case tiempo desde el primer caso

adapted from the CdC adaptado del CdC

said at a March 16 press event. He did not discount taking more draconian steps, if warranted. “If need be, we will implement more extreme measures or more severe measures going forward,” he said. Those restrictions, as well as those of the CDC, do not apply to the Mississippi Legislature, both chambers of which gaveled in at 4 p.m. March 16. The week before, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann announced new restrictions on legislative attendance, preventing access to the Capitol for most of the public, sending pages home and barring lobbyists from the Capitol rotunda. State of miSSiSSippi


he above graph illustrates why the entire nation is shutting down. COVID-19 is a dangerously virulent disease. What’s worse, it is also transmissible for up to 14 days before symptoms begin to show. A new study in Science Magazine reports that up to 86% of COVID-19 cases go undetected. Severe cases of the disease require hospital beds and ventilators, both of which are in limited supply. These facts, taken together, explain why social distancing, intense hygiene and limiting public gatherings may be our best defense against the worst-case scenario, the kind presently unfolding in Italy. If we take all measures to slow the spread of the virus through the population, hospitals will have the time and space needed to properly treat the afflicted. If we are not vigilant, however, and allow the virus to spread through large social gatherings and public spaces, the severely ill may overwhelm our hospitals’ capacity. There is no silver bullet for defeating COVID-19. Sham treatments, like self-diagnosis through a breathing test or snake oil “cures” hawked online, are useless. Only a series of professional medical tests can discern between COVID-19 and the common flu, and scientists developing a vaccine say it is still a year or more away. What you can do now to protect yourself and the most vulnerable members of your community is to follow CDC guidelines, limit contact with others and practice strong hygienic habits.

March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms



a gráfica de arriba es la mejor ilustración para explicar por qué la nación entera está tomando medidas de contención. El Covid-19 es una enfermedad peligrosa y contagiosa. Lo peor es que se puede transmitir hasta 14 días antes de que los síntomas comiencen a aparecer. Un nuevo estudio en Science Magazine indica que hasta 86% de los casos del Covid19 pasan desapercibidos. Los casos más graves de esta enfermedad requieren camas de hospital y ventiladores, cuya disponibilidad es limitada. Estos hechos, en conjunto, explican por qué practicar el distanciamiento social, mantener una rigurosa higiene, y evitar los lugares concurridos, pueden ser nuestra mejor estrategia contra el peor escenario posible, como el que actualmente se desarrolla en Italia. Si tomamos todas las medidas para retrasar la propagación del virus a través de la población, los hospitales tendrán el tiempo y el espacio necesarios para atender a los afectados adecuadamente. Sin embargo, si no somos cuidadosos y dejamos que el virus se propague a través de reuniones multitudinarias y espacios públicos, los pacientes más delicados podrían superar la capacidad de nuestros hospitales. No hay una cura mágica para vencer al Covid-19. Los tratamientos improvisados, como el autodiagnóstico con una prueba de respiración, o los remedios milagrosos que se anuncian en internet son inútiles. Solo mediante una serie de exámenes médicos es posible distinguir el Covid-19 de la gripe común, y los científicos que están trabajando en el desarrollo de una vacuna dicen que esta tardará un año o más en estar lista. Lo que puedes hacer en este momento para protegerte y proteger a los miembros más vulnerables de tu comunidad es atender las recomendaciones de los CDC, reducir el contacto con otros, y seguir una higiene muy rigurosa. tranSlation by: Carla mariana fernández de la Cruz

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency over the weekend, activating the National Guard to assist in the expansion of testing sites and facilities. Following federal guidelines, the governor urged an end to gatherings of more than 10 people.

“We intend to work as long as is humanly possible,” Hosemann said at a Friday press conference in the Capitol press room. As of Monday morning, March 16, legislative sessions in 20 states across the U.S. had postponed or adjourned to avoid providing a vector for the virus to spread. By mid-day on March 17, the Mississippi legislative session was on hold. The Legislature passed bills before adjourning that extend the session and provide state employees with pay during the quarantine period. But House Republicans killed a bill by Rep. Robert Johnson III, D-Natchez, that would have required the Mississippi Department of Employment Security to provide paid leave for employees of private businesses laid off or furloughed because of COVID-19.

Part of the initial hesitation to suspend the session, one source told this reporter, was a desire to pass emergency legislation to “ease the burden on citizens.” Such legislation could pass quickly before the Legislature shuts down to weather the global pandemic’s spread. Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, acknowledged the threat the virus posed to public health and the unique danger of the disease spreading through the Legislature. “We each represent a different part of the state—If somebody were to be infected there it would certainly be possible for us to take it back to our districts,” he said in a phone interview on March 16. By Tuesday, March 17, plans to indefinitely suspend the legislature were underway, with House Speaker Philip Gunn telling the chamber that “We have decided to work to suspend the session.” Later, in a livestream press conference from the Capitol rotunda, Gunn and Hosemann joined to explain the session’s suspension, planned for Wednesday, March 18. “The House is adjourned for this time period,” Gunn said. “This has not been going on in a vacuum,” Hosemann said. “We have met with the state economist, and the Department of Revenue.” Hosemann said regular Thursday meetings with state financial officials would help project the cost of the quarantine period. Hosemann wrapped up the press conference with words of encouragement for Mississippians preparing for a long quarantine. After weathering this “most unusual” pandemic, Hosemann promised that “we will again join our friends and our neighbors at church, social gatherings, sporting events—at the things we normally do as a society to make our lives fulfilled. Our lives will return to normal. They’re going to return to normal when we get through this. These challenges are temporary. But our persistence is permanent. And we will survive this.” Hosemann closed his remarks with characteristic optimism. “Hope to see y’all in two weeks,” he said. Read full, ongoing coverage of COVID19 in Mississippi at jfp.ms/coronavirus. Email state reporter Nick Judin at nick@jacksonfree press.com. Reporter Seyma Bayram and state intern Julian Mills contributed to this report. MORE


sEE pagE 12

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Dear Loyal Customer and FriendsPlease know that we are closely monitoring COVID-19 and the impact on our community. Aladdin continues to follow the highest standards for hygiene and food safety. We continue to receive an A rating from the Mississippi Department of Health. If you are unsure about dining with us consider ordering using one of our delivery partners. Waitr, Grubhub and Door Dash are all great ways to make keep your family safe and our economy thriving.

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Coughing tos


Body Aches dolor corporal

Shortness of Breath dificultad para respirar

YES / SÍ Have you been directly exposed (within 6 feet, or coughed on) to a confirmed case of COVID-19? ¿Recientemente, has estado en contacto directo (a menos de 6 pies, o cerca de gotas de saliva) con algún caso confirmado del Covid-19?



Have you recently been to an area with confirmed cases of COVID-19?

Have you been directly exposed (within 6 feet, or coughed on) to a confirmed case of COVID-19?

¿Has estado recientemente en alguna zona en la que haya habido casos confirmados del Covid-19?

¿Recientemente, has estado en contacto directo (a menos de 6 pies, o cerca de gotas de saliva) con algún caso confirmado del Covid-19?

YES / SÍ I have flu-like symptoms AND I’ve been exposed to COVID-19

March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms

You are at significant risk for COVID-19. Begin self-isolation and immediately call your primary care provider or the nearest health care clinic to schedule a COVID-19 test.



I have flu-like symptoms BUT I have not been exposed to COVID-19 OR I do not have flu-like symptoms BUT I’ve been exposed to COVID-19

Tengo síntomas gripales, PERO no he estado expuesto al Covid-19 o No tengo síntomas gripales, PERO he estado expuesto al Covid-19

You are at moderate risk for COVID-19. Strongly consider self-isolation for a period of 14 days.

Estás en riesgo moderado de contraer el Covid-19. Considera seriamente mantenerte en autoaislamiento durante 14 días.

Estás en riesgo de contraer el Covid-19. Toma medidas de autoaislamiento y contacta inmediatamente a tu médico o a tu centro de salud más cercano para programar una prueba de detección del Covid-19.

CALL your doctor BEFORE going to a clinic or hospital for testing.

CONTACTA a tu doctor ANTES de ir a una clínica u hospital para hacerte una prueba.

ONLY go to the emergency room if you are experiencing a health emergency.

Dirígete a la sala de urgencias SÓLO EN CASO DE tener una emergencia de salud.

DO NOT go to the emergency room for COVID-19 testing or treatment of flu-like symptoms.

NO vayas a la sala de urgencias para hacerte una prueba del Covid-19 ni para recibir tratamiento para síntomas gripales.

Self-isolation, for a period of 14 days, should include isolation from individuals in the household who are not at-risk for the virus.

El autoaislamiento, durante 14 días, debe contemplar el aislamiento de los individuos en el hogar que no estén en riesgo de contraer el virus.


Have you recently been to an area with confirmed cases of COVID-19? ¿Has estado recientemente en alguna zona en la que haya habido casos confirmados del Covid-19?


NO Tengo síntomas gripales Y he estado expuesto al Covid-19


COVID-19 testing supplies are limited. You may contact your primary care provider to ask about being tested, but it is likely they will focus on higher risk individuals.

Los insumos para las pruebas del Covid-19 son limitados. Contacta a tu médico para preguntar si debes hacerte una prueba, aunque es probable que se decida destinarlas a los pacientes de alto riesgo.

CALL your doctor BEFORE going to a clinic or hospital for testing.

CONTACTA a tu doctor ANTES de ir a una clínica u hospital para hacerte una prueba.

DO NOT go to the emergency room for COVID-19 testing or treatment of flu-like symptoms.

NO vayas a la sala de urgencias para hacerte una prueba del Covid-19 ni para recibir tratamiento para síntomas gripales.

Self-isolation, for a period of 14 days, should include isolation from individuals in the household who are not at-risk for the virus.

Practice heightened hygiene standards.

El autoaislamiento, durante 14 días, debe contemplar el aislamiento de los individuos en el hogar que no estén en riesgo de contraer el virus.

NO I do not have flu-like symptoms AND I have not been exposed to COVID-19

No tengo síntomas gripales Y no he estado expuesto al Covid-19

You are not at significant risk of COVID-19. Take all necessary precautions to monitor your health.

Es poco probable que estés en riesgo de contraer el Covid-19. Toma todas las precauciones necesarias para vigilar tu salud.

CALL your doctor if your circumstances change BEFORE going to a clinic or hospital for testing.

Si tus circunstancias cambian, CONTACTA a tu médico ANTES de acudir a una clínica u hospital para hacerte una prueba.

ONLY go to the emergency room if you are experiencing a health emergency.

Dirígete a la sala de urgencias SÓLO EN CASO DE tener una emergencia de salud.

Full COVID-19 COVerage: jFp.ms/COVID19

TranslaTion by: Carla Mariana Fernández de la Cruz sourCe: MsdH and CdC / FuenTe: MsdH and CdC

Mantén los más altos estándares de higiene.

WASH YOUR HANDS regularly, and always after public exposure or contact. 20 seconds of handwashing (sing happy birthday twice) is required for effective cleansing of COVID-19. If soap and water is unavailable, hand sanitizer with a minimum 60% alcohol content is the next best thing.

PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING. Keep your distance from others, avoid shaking hands, and take care to avoid public surfaces and objects, such as in public bathrooms.

AVOID LARGE GATHERINGS where possible. Gatherings of over 250 people especially should be reconsidered while the spread of the virus is being assessed. The most recent guidelines strongly recommend avoiding all gatherings of 10 or more people.

LÁVATE LAS MANOS con frecuencia, y siempre que estés en contacto con alguien o expuesto al exterior. Es necesario lavarse las manos durante al menos 20 segundos (puedes cantar Un cumpleaños feliz un par de veces) para llevar a cabo una limpieza adecuada contra el Covid-19. Si no hay agua ni jabón, lo mejor que puedes hacer es aplicar soluciones a base de alcohol gel al 60% o 70%.

PRACTICA EL DISTANCIAMIENTO SOCIAL Mantén una sana distancia, evita saludar de mano y estar en contacto con superficies y objetos de uso común, como en los baños públicos.

ABSTENTE DE ASISTIR A REUNIONES MULTITUDINARIAS siempre que sea posible. Las reuniones de más de 250 personas deben ser reprogramadas mientras se evalúa la propagación del virus. Las recomendaciones más recientes hacen hincapié en evitar todas las reuniones de 10 o más personas.

Dear JFP Readers: Please consider becoming a JFP VIP this week. As Jackson’s go-to media for advertising events, fundraisers, concerts and entertainment, the Jackson Free Press’ revenue is negatively affected in the same way that those venues, artists and non-profits are affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

restaurants and music venues to help them weather the cash flow challenges that this crisis presents.

While you’re doing that, please also consider becoming a JFP VIP. With our advertisers facing these revenue challenges, we face them too.

Thanks for being a JFP reader and, if you’re willing, a JFP VIP! We wish you and your family safety and health.


March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms

We encourage you to donate to charities that are important to you, especially those that feed the homeless, help the unemployed Your support will keep us reporting and those with a focus on children from the front lines and bringing and healthcare through this crisis. you the news you need and expect from the Jackson Free Press, while And we encourage you to buy helping us pay our employees and gift certificates to your favorite freelancers.



Local Brews for Me and You by Richard Coupe

Caleb McCluskey


e are beer geeks,” Larry Voss, co-owner of the capital city’s LD’s BeerRun, proudly proclaims. Voss and Dylan Broome opened LD’s in December 2014 in northeast Jackson initially as a craft-beer retail store to serve the needs of local beer lovers. Over this past summer, however, an entirely new dimension began in LD’s with the collaboration of Chris Edwards and his Bicentennial Beer Co., which has helped LD’s evolve into a popular brewpub in the Jackson metro. Originally from West Lafayette, Ind., Voss moved to Jackson about 15 years ago to work for a local engineering firm. After 30 years in the manufacturing sector, though, he wanted change. “I wanted to do something different, something a little more rewarding in my old age,” he says. Already involved in the local craft-beer scene, Voss saw the need for a craft-beer retail store, ultimately opening LD’s alongside Broom because he “wanted to expose more people to fine brews,” he says. Voss goes on to quote Hunter S. Thompson, who said, “Good people drink good beer.” The store carries more than 300 different beers, including both craft and popular light selections, which Voss views as an opportunity to get customers into the store so that he can then introduce them to bettertasting brews. At LD’s, customers do not necessarily have to buy an entire six-pack,;

Chris Edwards (left), proprietor of Bicentennial Brewery, sips a craft beer while listening to Larry Voss (right), the owner of LD’s BeerRun.

patrons can purchase one beer at a time. The store offers this option as an incentive to try new beers. “This gives them the chance to try a beer they may not have been willing to try otherwise,” Voss says. Upgrading LD’s into a brewpub “wasn’t in the original business plan,” Voss says, although it had been in the back of his mind since opening the store. He and Edwards had been friends for years and, after much discussion, decided to take the plunge. Edwards, a software engineer by

day, brews the homemade creations. After moving to the Jackson area from Macon, Miss., in 2000, Edward says he started out with a simple home-brew kit and was “bit by the bug and just started brewing more and more and more. I’ve been brewing a long time, and I’ve gotten pretty good at it,” he says. As a Beer Judge Certified Professional, Edwards has consistently brewed beer for 12 years. Weekends now for Edwards involve brewing, sometimes alone and other times with friends and other beer enthusiasts. A

Review on Tap: LD’s BeerRun

March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms

W 14

alking into LD’s BeerRun, you quickly notice the homey nature of the store. If you walk in there with any level of beer enthusiasm, you will find a beer you like, because they follow a similar motto to my own, “If you don’t like beer, you haven’t found the right one.” For this review, I sampled four of LD’s own beers that the store keeps on tap. Chris Edwards handed me my first sample of the night, The (L) to the (G), which was sour, but not too sour. You can really taste the way the lemon and grapefruit mingle in the sour mash. I personally have never thought of lemons and grapefruit combining well, but it opened

my eyes and delighted my taste buds. It was not too alcoholic for a craft beer, landing in at 5.5% alcohol by volume and it is super refreshing. It is the perfect beer for sitting out with the boys on a warm summer evening. The second I tried was the Jacktown Hazz. Edwards explained that the Jacktown is their most popular beer, and I can see why. The Jacktown Hazz is slightly more bitter than the traditional New England IPA, which produces a completely different taste and month fill. Coming in at a respectable 7% alcohol by volume, Jacktown Hazz has a lot to love, and it will always be in the store, Edwards says. The interesting thing about Jacktown

brew day takes about seven or eight hours, and he brews with the philosophy that a little goes a long way. “You always want to start small because you can always add more, but you can never take it back,” he says. The brewing is done by barrel size of 31.5 gallons, or half a barrel at about 16 gallons. “The half-barrels give us a lot of flexibility to do different things,” Voss says. Edwards adds, “If a batch does go bad, then there isn’t a lot lost.” Currently, LDs operates 12 taps, of which six or seven are reserved for their own beers, and the rest are used for other local brewers. Their beers have colorful names such as “Bolshevik’s Revenge,” a Russian Imperial Stout; “L to the G,” a lemongrapefruit sour; and their most popular beer, “Jacktown Haze,” an IPA. The beers often at LD’s rotate so that the brewers can experiment with new flavors, and every batch has some changes, allowing customers to have a slightly different experience each time they visit. LD’s BeerRun allows small samples of their draft beers for people to taste. “Our motto is ‘Always good times at LD’s,’” Voss says, which is reflected in the store’s recently being named Best Beer Bar in Mississippi for 2020 by craftbeer.com. For more information on LD’s BeerRun (5006 Parkway Drive), call 769-208-8686 or find the business on Facebook.

by Caleb McCluskey

Hazz is that every time Edward brews it, he changes something, making each new batch kegged a whole new beer, but still squarely in the vein of the original. Next I had a taste of their newest beer, “The Wee Bit of Highland Heavyn,” which is a pun considering that it is actually a wee heavy ale. It was by far my favorite beer. It was creamy and strong with hints of Scotch. As I sit here writing, two things are going through my mind. One: I wish I had gotten more of that beer. And two: there is no way I can do it justice in such short-form writing. The fourth beer I tried was the “Bolshevik’s Revenge” RIS, another recurring drink on the menu, but it had a twist as

well. Edwards added chocolate and black currants to the mix, which served to just slightly sweeten this hardy beer. The amount and love and care these men put into beer is incommunicable. Edwards can spend the better part of a night talking about beer, and Voss is like everyone’s grumpy uncle. He seems a bit curmudgeonly, but he is just as nice and easy to talk to as anyone in the store. If you love craft beer, you will love LD’s BeerRun. The LD’s guys were nothing but welcoming and helpful, and if you go in there wondering what beer to drink, just talk to them. They know a beer that will fit with any taste and personality.

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every two weeks (while lockdown lasts) Give us a call at 601-362-6121 x11 if you'd like to participate or have questions. You can e-mail todd@jacksonfreepress.com or kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com. And, yes, you can pay with JFP Deals! Let your customers pay for your marketing. Ask us how!

March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms

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summer activities


Summer Activity Guide 2020 Ballet Mississippi p 19

Mississippi Youth Media Project p 19

Jackson Academy p 17

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March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms

Jackson Academy Summer Camps have something for everyone, from rising sports or stage stars to future artists and scientists. With more than 30 camps to choose from, there is fun to be had by all rising K4 through ninth graders. Camps are open to JA and non-JA students. Lunch Club is also available for campers attending both a morning and an afternoon camp.


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ince COVID-19 made its way to the continental United States, the virus has forced organizations to cancel or postpone events that have been embedded into the lives of citizens. On Wednesday, March 11, the pandemic halted the production of a Jackson staple, Halâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s St. Paddyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Parade & Festival, as Hal & Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s announced that this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s iteration of the event has been cancelled under the advisement of the Mississippi State Department of Health and the CDC, soon followed by most other scheduled events. The parade and festival typically draws between 70,000 to 80,000 people into the area, both locals and those from beyond Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s borders. Meanwhile, in the wake of COVID-19, the CDC was advising against large groups (now itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s down to 10 people), which influenced owner Malcolm Whiteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s early decision. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The great concern is the potential spread of the virus, and the idea of assembling a crowd this large with people coming from many places was just more risk than I was willing to take,â&#x20AC;? White said at a March 12 press conference. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This conversation started about public safety back in June when I said I could not put the parade on any longer without the proper barricades, proper insurance (and) proper police safety. It would just be irresponsible to now disown my interest in public safety.â&#x20AC;? Sub-events directly affiliated with the parade similarly cancelled, including the childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s festival, the pet parade and the 5k run, following as we go to press by most scheduled events in the Jackson metro area. The Doo Dah Day New Car Giveaway will still take place. Patty Peck Honda offers a new 2020 Honda HR-V 2WD LX to the winner, who will be

announced at Hal & Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on Friday, March 27, at 6 p.m. Raffle tickets are $15 apiece and may be purchased through foch.org. All proceeds go toward Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of Mississippi, otherwise known as the Batson Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hospital, which had been the planned beneficiary for this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parade, as it long has been. As of press time, Hal & Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still intended to have some sort of celebration on March 28, albeit on a much smaller scale, by hosting a variation of the originally organized after-party, with further details to be determined and announced at a later date. White did say in the conference, though, that the planned event would feature live music and that attendees will be invited to wear costumes. The time, money and effort that many have put into their floats and other investments for the parade have not been entirely wasted, though. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s theme, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Looking at You, Rude,â&#x20AC;? and grand marshal Trace Alston will carry over into next yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s iteration of the event. All float registration fees, however, will be fully refunded. To avoid confusion, Hal & Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s prefers to not hold registrations until next year, White said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been doing something for 36 years, and suddenly you realize youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not going to be able to do it, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heartbreaking,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heartbreaking because the city appreciates, loves, expects and really loves doing this. â&#x20AC;Ś (But) I think with each passing day Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll feel more and more assured that this was the right thing to do.â&#x20AC;? To keep up with Hal & Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s upcoming events, call 601-948-0888 or find the business on Facebook.


Katy Simpson Smith on ‘The Everlasting’ by Carlton McGrone

Yeah, no one’s ever asked me about the dedication. It is both a cry and complaint against the way that masculinity so often performs in our society, but it also … invite(s) men into this world and asks them to participate in it. So, it’s loving and a little bit admonishing, I think. And I wrote this book, in some way, to all the boys that I know.

Tom was, I think, the hardest character for me to write. That’s the thing; he’s living in my era, so I should know where he’s coming from, (but) I think it’s hard for me, in writing him, that he is a heterosexual white man. I think one of the things fiction does so beautifully is allow us to have empathy with, and to root for, the underdog. As an author, it’s much easier for me to write about women, queer people, people of different races who are marginalized or oppressed in some way, and I had to figure out how to make Tom sympathetic. I give him an overthinker’s brain, and I put him in this difficult situation, and I burden him with this dark progression he needs all in an attempt to figure out what can bind me, as a woman, to him, as a male

Something that really struck me is the theme of “layers,” both literal and metaphorical, that covers Rome, layers of grime and history. It’s the fishing hook that’s the central theme throughout these narratives, but going beyond that, these mirroring struggles interlock these characters that are thousands of years apart. Have you ever thought about your book in terms of layers?

Absolutely, when I first traveled to Rome several years ago, one of the strange things I noticed was the “layered” quality that you picked up on. It’s a city that doesn’t throw its history in the trash bin; it keeps it and builds on top of it and on top of it so that when you’re walking around, you see a 21st-century hair salon in a Renaissance Palace that’s build on top of an ancient Roman temple, and it’s all visible. It’s different from in the South where we have some visible architecture, but you don’t see a lot, and it can vary. That was very exciting for me, and it reinforced my own philosophy about history, which is that it’s all circular and we’re Harper Publishing

This is a woman’s novel in the best ways possible. It’s powerful for women, for their sexual desires, so going off of that, why Tom? I found him—and maybe from my severe projection onto your character—to be the most interesting character, ironically, despite his section being very modern. How you implanted his story among these ancient tales is very exciting to me.

all smooshed together. All of these things that happened to people in the past are still, in some ways, happening to us now. So, I love the idea of setting a novel in a place that embraces those layers.

Elise Smith

I would like to start before the book even begins. Can you talk about the very striking dedication, “To the Boys,” that you wrote at the beginning of the book?

character. It was a weird but fun challenge to give myself. Near the end of writing him, I fell in love with him the way I can with all of my characters. He is a more passive character than the other three, which maybe speaks to our modern condition. He’s allowed to kind of drift along without really taking a stand for anything, perhaps until it’s too late, which is maybe a position a lot of us find ourselves in.

Smith’s “The Everlasting” uses a historical lens to engage with social issues relevant across the ages.

Katy Simpson Smith answers questions from Carlton McGrone regarding her recent book.

Was there a process to writing “The Everlasting”? Trying to understand how you decided to start the novel with Tom and work backward threw me for a loop.

The structure was definitely the hardest part. I initially wrote this book as four separate novellas and then realized that I didn’t want them to be so distinct from one another. … I also knew that I didn’t want to move chronologically forward in a way that would allow people to say, “Okay, that was the past, and this was slightly more recently, and this is the present day. We’re all fine and only moving upward in terms of civilization and evolution.” I wanted to somehow convey the sense that what happened in the seventh century is very relevant. Maybe this ninth-century monk is a little bit more civilized than this 16th-century woman. It’s all relative, basically. So I had this borderline mapped out on how this could all work. Fortunately, I had some friends who read the manuscript and listed my various options to help me think about what would make the most sense to readers but also achieve the structural mission that I had. I love your constantly shifting stances on religion, sex, sexuality, gender, crumbling marriages and pregnancy, to name a few highlights. Is there

a message that you want to shine above the rest or anything that you’re especially proud about in this novel?

I think at its very core, I was trying to figure out what it means to be good, specifically in the context of love. I think I was feeling confused when I was writing it about the ways in which love makes us do bad things so often and yet how it’s a thing that turns us into our better selves. What does it look like when you fall in love? How can love make you better? How can it make you perform these sacrifices that are extraordinary? Also, how can it mislead you and take you by the nose down this very dark path? The novel speaks on the love of God, the love of family, romantic love with a person and the love of an unborn child. I think my favorite voice has to be your Satan character. Can you explain whether there was a process of writing him? Did you finish the manuscript and then add in the Satan monologues? What role do you see him playing throughout the novel?

He came in very early on in the process. When a character I was writing asked a rhetorical question and I didn’t want to leave the question hanging in the air—but I didn’t know, as the author, how to answer it—a very sarcastic voice came in and answered it for me, and I was like, “Oh, that’s definitely the devil.” Then it became this kind of combo where anytime a character would ask a rhetorical question, he would answer it. He started out as more of a malign presence trying to lead them astray to cause mischief in their lives, but through the writing process, I realized that he was a character, too, who had had his heart broken. God had casted him out of heaven. Here was the deity who had chosen to forgive literally every single person on Earth but not Satan, like the exboyfriend or whatever. I thought, “Oh, that makes him so human, and he’s so able to relate to these people who are going through similar things.” Katy Simpson Smith will be signing copies of “The Everlasting” on Tuesday, March 31, at Lemuria Bookstore (4465 Interstate 55, Suite 202) beginning at 5 p.m. For more information, call 601-366-7619 or visit lemuriabooks.com. The novel is available for purchase in physical, digital and audiobook versions at Amazon or harpercollins.com.

March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms


ackson native Katy Simpson Smith’s third novel “The Everlasting” is, at its core, a centuries-long story of love and equality. Four distinct characters, separated by time, find themselves in precarious tangles with not only the main setting of the novel, Rome, but also within themselves. Smith, an expert in history, offers questions surrounding topics such as salvaging a doomed marriage for the sake of one’s child, abortion within a Roman royal court and being a gay corpse preserver. Smith recently talked about what went into writing this incredibly ambitious narrative.


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46 “Ballers” network 48 “All Songs Considered” network 49 Compensate 51 Mediterranean or Baltic, e.g. 52 Othello foe 53 “Back at One” R&B singer with 16 Grammy nominations and no wins 57 Involving both sides of the body 58 “Camelot” collaborator 61 Idyllic setting 62 Ride share amount, maybe 63 Distraught 64 Cranberry color 65 Go along with 66 Allots, with “out”



“It’s an Honor to Be Nominated” --yet they never won. Across

1 “Who’s there?” reply 6 Sitcom set in suburban Houston 10 Org. overseeing summer and winter competitions 13 NASCAR participant 14 “___ Through the Gift Shop” 15 “It’s ___ sham!” 16 Maker of the 2600 17 Late arrival 19 “1984” actor with 7 Oscar nominations and no wins 21 President between Roosevelt and Wilson

23 “Carte” or “mode” preceder 24 “Watchmen” actor Jackie ___ Haley 25 Go to hell ___ handbasket 26 Jost cohost 27 Practice figures, for short? 29 Committed response 30 Chocolate source 32 Most negligible 34 Composer/lyricist of “Godspell” with 6 Tony nominations and no wins (not counting an honorary Tony) 40 Lacking enthusiasm 41 Lift with force 42 Brandenburg Concertos monogram 45 Freestyle, perhaps

March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms



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1 George Gershwin’s brother 2 Inked art, for short 3 1983 Pacino pic 4 Raise reason 5 “Tim and ___ Awesome Show, Great Job!” 6 Consignment shop transaction 7 Especially 8 Part of the Woodstock logo 9 Run up ___ (drink at the bar) 10 “Allow me ...” 11 Soccer stadium chant 12 “Bette Davis Eyes” singer Kim 15 “Slumdog Millionaire” locale 18 Milton Bradley game featuring facial features 20 “Yeah right!” 21 Muscular contractions 22 Art sch. class 26 Intelligible 27 12th of 12 28 Crowd noise 31 On point 32 Timothy Leary’s hallucinogen 33 ___ kwon do 35 Org. that’s supposed to be green

36 Little drink 37 Did some diagnostic work, maybe 38 “Modern Family” rating 39 One of many in a googol 42 Talk incessantly 43 Giant step 44 Prepared, as water for pasta 46 “The End of the Innocence” singer Don 47 “The Crow” actress ___ Ling 50 Bread from a tandoor 51 Take to the rink 52 “Fingers crossed” 54 “Desus & ___” (2019 late-night

Showtime TV show) 55 Seafood dip ingredient 56 Dour 59 Tiny 60 Romulans, e.g. ©2019 Jonesin’ Crosswords (jonesincrosswords@gmail.com)

Last Week’s Answers

For answers to this puzzle, call: 1-900226-2800, 99 cents per minute. Must be 18+. Or to bill to your credit card, call: 1-800 655-6548. Reference puzzle #928. Editor’s Note: Psycho Sudoku by Matt Jones has been discontinued.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):

Artist Pierre Bonnard had his live-in girlfriend and future wife Marthe de Méligny pose for him when he painted Blue Nude in 1899. Thirty-two years later, she served as his model for his painting Nude at Her Bath. In fact, she was his inspiration for 384 paintings, many of them while wearing no clothes. I admire their continuity, persistence, and loyalty in collaborating on this work together. I also appreciate the fact that they were able to steadily reinvent a familiar task so as to keep it interesting. These will be great virtues for you to cultivate in the coming weeks.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):

Popular poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861) was a big fan of popular author George Sand (1804–1876). During their first meeting, Browning got down on her knees and reverentially kissed Sand’s hand. A similar exchange had occurred decades earlier, when composer Ludwig van Beethoven knelt and kissed the hand of his hero, composer Joseph Haydn. In the coming weeks, Taurus, you can enhance your spiritual health by summoning feelings akin to those of Browning and Beethoven. You’ll provide yourself with mysteriously practical blessings if you overflow with admiration, appreciation, even adoration.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):

You Geminis can be scintillating friends and helpful allies. People who are lucky enough to be linked to you are often inspired to outgrow their narrow attitudes and think more imaginatively. If there is a downside to your tribe’s social value, however, it may come through inconsistency or lack of loyalty. In accordance with astrological omens, I will ask you to inquire whether you might sometimes be guilty of those shortcomings. If you are, please work on remedying them. Now is a favorable time to bolster the consistency and loyalty you bring to your friendships and collegial relationships.

CANCER (June 21-July 22):

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):

In March 2019, a small town in Belgium hosted the first annual European Gull Screeching Championship. Humans competed to utter cries that resemble the caws of seagulls. Some of them dressed up to resembled gulls, and flapped their wings to provide even greater realism. The next contest is coming up this March 22 in De Panne, Belgium. Do you have any interest in trying out? You Leos now have an extra strong connection with your own animal intelligence. You’re especially capable of calling on your instinctual powers and fostering a resonance with the natural world. I bet one of your tribe will be this year’s winner. (More info: tinyurl.com/ GullScreech)

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

Do Virgo people have demons? Of course! Everyone has demons. Dealing with hard-to-manage pests running around inside our heads is a natural part of being human. I suspect they may even be essential to our well-being. And why do I make that outlandish statement? Because the demons keep

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

Try this experiment: Invite everyone in your world to offer you blessings similar to the best blessings you’re capable of dispensing. Have fun as you playfully teach your allies and cohorts how to imitate a sensitive, attentive Libra who listens well, expresses sincere curiosity, and provides helpful mirroring. Demonstrate to them the secrets of how to create harmonious outcomes, and dare them to honor you with the same kind of magic. Show them your techniques for seeking out and fostering beauty, and ask them to collaborate with you as you pursue that holy quest together.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

Scorpio poet Marianne Moore aspired to do “potent and accomplished work.” She sought the joy that comes from being a skilled craftsperson who offered unique understandings of the world’s bounty. In her words, “There is no pleasure subtler than the sensation” of being a good worker. You Scorpios now have a ripe opportunity to experience that joy and pleasure. Cosmic rhythms are nudging you to do your work with a heightened commitment to excellence and integrity and love.

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SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

Sagittarius genius William Blake (1757–1827) was unsung in his own era. But modern critics treat him as a superstar, an adept of both visionary poetry and the visual arts. London’s Tate Museum just finished a major exhibition of his paintings, prints, and watercolors. I’m happy to inform you that this darling of the intellectual class behaved in ways that the modern intellectual class would regard as bizarre. For example, he believed that the spirits of dead heroes visited him while he was awake. And he insisted that he once saw God gazing at him through a window. I offer these thoughts in the hope that you’ll be inspired to express both your rational brilliance and your crazy brilliance in the coming weeks. Both modes should be working quite well for you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

“Movable type” is a term that refers to the technology used to print symbols or letters on paper. In 1450, German inventor Johannes Gutenberg created a movable-type machine called the printing press that led to the mass production of books. He is rightfully regarded as an influential innovator. To be thorough in our historical understanding, though, we must note that Chinese inventor Bi Sheng printed paper books with comparable machinery beginning in 1040. I bring this to your attention as an example of how to correct old stories that are only partially true. This can be a rewarding activity as you reconfigure your own past in the coming weeks.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

I’m guessing that the imminent future will have a paradoxical quality. On the one hand, it will be a favorable phase to separate and even cut asunder influences that are joined but should no longer be joined. On the other hand, the coming weeks will be a good time to blend influences that aren’t blended but should be blended. What belongs together for the good of everyone concerned? What doesn’t belong together for the good of everyone concerned? Put those questions at the forefront of your awareness. Your discriminatory powers should be working at peak efficiency—preferably with a high degree of kindness and creative imagination.

Homework: Do you know the difference between fear and intuition? Listen: https://tinyurl.com/FearOrIntuition

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I believe that Cancerians like you and me require more slack and silence and spaciousness than most people. It may be inconvenient to regularly give ourselves an abundance of relaxing downtime, but that’s the way we function best. Maybe other tribes can thrive on five hours of sleep per night, but most of us Crabs can’t. And then there’s our fundamental need to be gradual and unhurried: We need to assert our right to be that way. Having said all this cautionary advice, I now want to tell you that you may be able to do without your full quota of those necessary luxuries in the coming weeks. It’s action time! (But don’t overdo it.)

us off-balance in ways that motivate us to keep trying to improve ourselves. They challenge us to continually become smarter and more resilient and resourceful. I bring these thoughts to your attention, my dear Virgo, because I expect that in the coming weeks you’ll be able to have some especially interesting and fruitful conversations with your demons.


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March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms

Lyric poet and Catholic friar Luis de León taught theology at Spain’s University of Salamanca from 1561 to 1571. Sadly, he offended the Inquisition when he translated the Bible’s erotic poem Song of Songs into Spanish. As a result, he was whisked away to jail. Four years later, in a dramatic turnaround, he was freed from confinement and allowed to return to his teaching post, with a warning to be more careful in the future. To begin his first lecture, he told his students, “As we were saying yesterday . . .” I invite you to show similar grace and poise and amusement as you return to the groove after your break in the action.

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APRIL 4 - SEPTEMBER 27, 2020 The 17th presentation in the Annie Laurie Swaim Hearin Memorial Exhibition Series MADE POSSIBLE BY THE ROBERT M. HEARIN SUPPORT FOUNDATION. Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), Young Woman Watering a Shrub, 1876. oil on canvas, 14.5 x 18.25 in. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 83.40. Image © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.





APRIL 26, 2020

March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms




Write stories that matter for the publications readers love to read. The Jackson Free Press is seeking hard-working freelance writers who strive for excellence in every piece. Work with editors who will inspire and teach you to tell sparkling stories. Email and convince us that you have the drive and creativity to join the team. Better yet, include some kickass story ideas. Send to: nate@jacksonfreepress.com

Friends, We remain open and committed to serving you. We continue to follow the most stringent health and safety guidelines. If you are worried about dining in consider take out. Local businesses are the lifeline of our economy and this community. Stronger together, The Green Ghost Team

2820 N State St (601) 487-6082 greenghosttacos.com


Per CDC and government guidelines we’ve canceled nighttime music and dinner during this crisis. Lunch will be served through March 21 but keep an eye on our Facebook and Website for updates. Jackson, we love you! Stay safe and help flatten the curve. - Hal and Mal’s visit halandmals.com for a full menu and concert schedule 601.948.0888

200 s. Commerce St.

March 18 - 31, 2020 • jfp.ms

We remain open and dedicated to offering our great food following the CDC’s best prices. We also offer a number of delivery and take out options. Together we can stay safe and keep our economy thriving.



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Profile for Jackson Free Press Magazine

v18n15 - COVID-19  

COVID-19: The Reality in Mississippi, pp 8-12 • We Vote to Live, p 6 • Parade, Other Events Cancelled, p 21

v18n15 - COVID-19  

COVID-19: The Reality in Mississippi, pp 8-12 • We Vote to Live, p 6 • Parade, Other Events Cancelled, p 21