When Gerald Sander began working at Monroe Tufline Manufacturing in Columbus, Miss., in 2017, he received a starting salary of $8 an hour. At first, Sander felt this was fair. Six months later, Sander was still making $8 an hour, despite the fact that he had long outstripped the 10 weeks that a temporary worker is expected to stay on a job. Motivated by his need to provide for his young child, Sander says he approached the management of the plant to ask a difficult question: “I ain’t tryin’ to offend nobody, but is it the color of my skin?”
Gov. Tate Reeves is rushing to declare victory in the fight against COVID-19 in Mississippi for the third time. His apparent determination to lift the last social restrictions on April 30 runs the real risk of a Final Wave in May and June, which will likely prolong the pandemic well into the summer. That last 10% would mean another 30,000 new infections and approximately 750 deaths. Such should not be considered “acceptable” or merely “manageable.”
Two weeks after a temporary, nationwide halt on the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, the Mississippi State Department of Health is encouraging health-care providers to continue delivering the single-shot vaccine, with an advisory for women under 50 to consider using Pfizer or Moderna’s formulation.