Viewpoint | Who is in control of your school?

Over the last two years schools, along with everyone else, have navigated territories that have not been experienced in our lifetime. While global pandemics are not new in history the context of each has brought its own unique challenges.

Most recently, in Illinois, we have watched a battle unfold between various groups that traditionally are all working towards the same end. A great deal of that battle has centered on who is in control of schools. Last night, just before midnight, the Illinois Appellate Court for the 4th District spoke to this question and concluded that the state's authority will remain restrained per a lower court decision, which was established in the Sangamon County Circuit Court case, and also indicated that the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), per their vote this week, did not extend the ability of for Illinois Department of Public Health (IDHP) to implement the emergency rule.

Ultimately this all answers the question of who is in control of schools, and the answer, in regard to these topics and many more, is that locally elected school boards have that authority. In this case, while the state has been restrained from implementing mitigation measures, locally elected school boards, in publicly held meetings, have full authority to determine the context of the conditions in their communities and make decisions that are in the best interest of the students and families that have elected and represent them.

Illinois is a local control state, which is an important characteristic in order to best meet the needs of students around a very diverse and large region. We all know that the "one size fits all" mentality does not work well and the same is true for schools. What "fits" well in Robinson, Illinois, where there is a Hershey's Chocolate Factory, which employs a great deal of people in the region, likely doesn't fit well in Vienna, Illinois, which is located in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest.

Unfortunately there seem to be constant attempts to erode the control of locally elected school boards. I believe that a great deal of these attempts at eroding local control are not ill intended. For example, when state level officials, whether in the legislature, governor's office, or other state level agencies see a perceived need and or problem they attempt to address it, which is good. However, the means by which we address those perceived needs and or problems is extremely important.

You need not look far to find examples of this beyond the one at hand. If you were to look back over the last few years of attempted, and unfortunately, many adopted state level curriculum mandates, then add up the minutes that it would take to effectively implement each of those items into the classroom, you would quickly find that students would need to go to school 24/7 in order to have time to cover them all. This is not reasonable.

We have a tendency to go for the "nuclear option" of making a new statewide rule and or law that impacts everyone, as opposed to going through a process that honors an effective and well built system. That well built system has local schools boards, local teachers, local administrators, and a plethora of other components that can solve problems and better enhance opportunities for students around that state.

While this appellate decision centers on one narrow issue it serves as an example of the need for us to continue the decision around local control of schools in our community.

Joshua W. Stafford
School Superintendent

Joshua W. Stafford is the superintendent of schools for Vienna District 13-3.


This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to


Wedding on a budget? Save money with a smart plan

Photo: Sergio Souza/Pexels
NewsUSA -- The to-do list for newly engaged couples can be daunting. Finding a venue, booking a caterer, choosing a dress -- there are many details that need to be factored into a wedding budget, regardless of who is paying. Starting a new life together is a perfect opportunity to establish solid financial habits that will serve you well throughout your marriage.

With the pandemic slowly fading into the rearview mirror, most young couples probably won't have the budget or resources to have that storybook ceremony the bride has dreamed of since she was a child. An intimate setting with 40-50 guests may be a better option. Today's wedding budget should be something the bride and groom pay for comfortably. After all, there's no need to go into debt to impress a gathering of family and friends.

Setting your priorities as a couple early on will set the tone for financial decisions in the future.

A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can help couples develop a smart plan to manage engagement and wedding expenses. Setting priorities early on can help avoid conflicts as the big day approaches. Start by considering these four elements of planning for wedding expenses:

  • Make a list. Write down everything you both need or want for your dream wedding. That includes items large and small, from the number of guests to the types of flowers or favors.
  • Rank the list. Now that you have your list, put things in order of priority. Assign a number to each item in order of importance, such as a live band, sit-down dinner or elaborate cake. Or start by sorting needs and wants into categories, using 1 as most important, 2 as moderately important and 3 as least important. You will need to agree on the most important items, whatever those may be.
  • Budget the list. Assign an estimated price to each category or item, according to how much you are able and willing to spend. Consider cutting back on flowers in order to fund a sit-down dinner, for instance, or opt for a buffet-style dinner so you can invite more guests.
  • Listen to the lists. This is the time to be a good listener. Hear what your partner has to say about needs and wants; what is important to one of you may not be as important to the other. Financial compromise is a skill that will serve you throughout married life.

Data from loan services show that approximately 45% of couples racked up debt to pay for their wedding, and that ultimately the debt resulted in consideration of divorce. Nip that risk in the bud by avoiding debt when you assess your wedding expenses. A CFP® professional can help you think outside the box and guide you in making smart financial choices during the wedding planning process.

Visit for more information about managing wedding expenses and planning your financial future.

College scholarships available for future Illinois teachers

Photo: Janko Ferlic/Pexels

Do you like working with young children or have an interest in pursuing a degree in the education field?

The Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) is offering college scholarships to students and daycare professionals that plan to teach or become administrators in the early childhood care and education field in Illinois once they have earned their degree. The scholarship is available for students studying at any one of 63 colleges and universities in the state.

If you currently work or have worked in the early childhood education field and want additional credentials like a 2- or 4-year degree, you may be eligible for the scholarship. The award is designed to help cover college costs for an academic year - including a summer session - after financial aid from other sources has been received by the applicant.

"The program was created to address the shortage of qualified early childhood educators by encouraging the pursuit of credentials and advancement of already-held degrees in early childhood education, with an aim toward building a strong, well-prepared workforce," according to scholarship announcement on the

The application deadline for the upcoming academic year is March 1. For more information and to apply, follow this link: ECACE Scholarship Program.

Memory Monday | Spartan wrestlers suffer home loss to Falcons

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Spartans' Jordan Hartman pins Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley's Jeremy Smolek during their match on November 27, 2012. Before the Spartans fell in their home match 54-30, Hartman took just 40 seconds to stick Smolek for his first win of the season.

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
St. Joseph-Ogden's David Trewyn fights to stay in a neutral position in his match against Falcon's Dylan Donner during their 126-poound match. Trewyn was later pinned by Donner.

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Matt Knipfer tries to take down GCMS' Austin Dill during their 132-pound match. Dill prevailed with at a third-period pin.

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Going at it hard in their 145-pound match SJO's Gage Haga vs GCMS' Aaron Carter maneuver for position to score points. Carter pinned Haga in the second period for a win.

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Austin Hedrick tosses Falcon's Austin Rosenbaum to the mat during their 160-pound match during the SJO's home opener in 2012. Despite Hedrick's first period pin, St. Joseph-Ogden lost their season opener to Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley.

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Spartans' Austin Upton sticks Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley's Michael Cler during their 170-pound match. Except for the three forfeits, every match ended in a pin for the Falcons or the Spartans. It took Upton just 55-second to earn his first win of the season.

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Future state champion Wesley Kibler pins GCMS's Jacob Franklin in the first match of his prep wrestling career. Kibler won his 195-pound match in the first period at 1:47.

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
After the varsity contest, St. Joseph-Ogden's Gunnar Meeker wrestles Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley's Will Donner in a junior varsity match.

Prepare for a healthy pregnancy

Photo: Amr Taha™/Unsplash
Family Features -- If you are thinking about becoming pregnant, now is a perfect time to make a plan. There are steps you can take to increase your chances of having a healthy, full-term pregnancy and baby - and part of that includes learning about birth defects. Understanding birth defects across the lifespan can help those affected have the information they need to seek proper care.

Each year, birth defects affect about 1 in 33 babies born in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Mainly developing in the first three months of pregnancy as a baby's organs form, birth defects present as structural changes and can affect one or more parts of the body (heart, brain, foot, etc.). They can cause problems for a baby's overall health, how the body develops and functions, and are a leading cause of infant death.

Common birth defects include congenital heart defects, cleft lip, cleft palate and spina bifida. An individual's genetics, behaviors and social and environmental factors can impact one's risk for birth defects. Even though all birth defects cannot be prevented, there are things you can do before and during pregnancy to increase your chance of having a healthy baby.

"It's critical that women who are planning to conceive or are pregnant adopt healthy behaviors to reduce the chances of having a baby with birth defects, which are a leading cause of infant death," said Dr. Zsakeba Henderson, March of Dimes senior vice president and interim chief medical and health officer. "We also encourage these women to get the COVID-19 vaccine since high fevers caused by an infection during the first trimester can increase the risk of birth defects."

To help prepare for a healthy pregnancy and baby, consider these tips from the experts at March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit fighting for the health of all moms and babies, and the CDC:

1. Have a pre-pregnancy checkup. Before you become pregnant, visit your health care provider to talk about managing your health conditions and creating a treatment plan. Talk about all the prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and supplements you're currently taking. You should see your provider before each pregnancy.

2. Get vaccinated. Speak with your health care provider about any vaccinations you may need before each pregnancy, including the COVID-19 vaccine and booster, and flu shot. Make sure your family members are also up to date on their vaccinations to help prevent the spread of diseases.

Pregnant women are at a higher risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 compared to those who have not been impacted by the infectious disease. Research shows babies of pregnant people with COVID-19 may be at an increased risk of preterm birth and other complications. High fevers caused by any infection during the first trimester of pregnancy can also increase the risk of certain birth defects. The COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people ages 5 and older, including those who are pregnant, lactating, trying to become pregnant or might get pregnant.

3. Take folic acid. Folic acid is a B vitamin that prevents serious birth defects of the brain and spine. Before becoming pregnant, take a multivitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid every day to help ensure your baby's proper development and growth. While pregnant, increase to 600 micrograms daily.

Add to your diet foods containing folate, the natural form of folic acid, such as lentils, green leafy vegetables, black beans and orange juice. In addition, you can consume foods made from fortified grain products, which have folic acid added, such as bread, pasta and cereal, and foods made from fortified corn masa flour, such as cornbread, corn tortillas, tacos and tamales.

4. Try to reach a healthy weight. Talk to your health care provider about how to reach a healthy weight before becoming pregnant, as excess weight can affect your fertility and increase the risk of birth defects and other complications. Maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes eating healthy foods and regular physical activity.

5. Don't smoke, drink alcohol or use harmful substances. Cigarettes and e-cigarettes contain harmful substances that can damage the placenta or reach the baby's bloodstream. Smoking cigarettes can cause certain birth defects, like cleft lip and palate.

It is also not safe to drink alcohol at any time during pregnancy. This includes the first few weeks of pregnancy when you might not even know you are pregnant. Drinking alcohol can cause serious health problems for your baby, including birth defects. Additionally, do not take opioids, which are drugs that are often used to treat pain. Opioid use during pregnancy can lead to neonatal abstinence syndrome, preterm birth and may cause birth defects. Consult your physician before stopping or changing any prescribed medications.

Find more resources to support your family across the lifespan at and

Understanding Common Birth Defects

Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects in a baby's lip and mouth that can be repaired by surgery. Additional surgery, special dental care and speech therapy may be needed as the child gets older.

Clubfoot is a birth defect of the foot where a baby's foot turns inward, so the bottom of the foot faces sideways or up. Clubfoot doesn't improve without treatment, such as pointing, stretching, casting the foot or using braces. With early treatment, most children with clubfoot can walk, run and play without pain.

Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are heart conditions babies are born with. They can affect how the heart looks, how it works or both. CHDs are the most common types of birth defects. Babies with critical CHDs, which can cause serious health problems or death, need surgery or other treatment within the first year of life.

Hearing loss is a common birth defect that can happen when any part of the ear isn't working in the usual way and may affect a baby's ability to develop speech, language and social skills. Some babies with hearing loss may need hearing aids, medicine, surgery or speech therapy.

Families are not happy with states requiring Covid tests for nursing home visits

This is a huge inconvenience, but what’s most upsetting is that no one seems to have any kind of long-term plan for families and residents

As covid-19 cases rise again in nursing homes, a few states have begun requiring visitors to present proof that they’re not infected before entering facilities, stoking frustration and dismay among family members.

Officials in California, New York, and Rhode Island say new covid testing requirements are necessary to protect residents — an enormously vulnerable population — from exposure to the highly contagious omicron variant. But many family members say they can’t secure tests amid enormous demand and scarce supplies, leaving them unable to see loved ones. And being shut out of facilities feels unbearable, like a nightmare recurring without end.

Photo: Avelino Calvar Martinez/Burst

Severe staff shortages are complicating the effort to ensure safety while keeping facilities open; these shortages also jeopardize care at long-term care facilities — a concern of many family members.

Andrea DuBrow’s 75-year-old mother, who has severe Alzheimer’s disease, has lived for almost four years in a nursing home in Danville, California. When DuBrow wasn’t able to see her for months earlier in the pandemic, she said, her mother forgot who she was.

"This latest restriction is essentially another lockdown," DuBrow said at a meeting last week about California’s new regulations. "The time that my mom has left when she can recognize in some small locked-away part of her that it is me, her daughter, cleaning her, feeding her, holding her hand, singing her favorite songs — that time is being stolen from us."

"This is a huge inconvenience, but what’s most upsetting is that no one seems to have any kind of long-term plan for families and residents," said Ozzie Rohm, whose 94-year-old father lives in a San Francisco nursing home.

Why are family members subject to testing requirements that aren’t applied to staffers, Rohm wondered. If family members are vaccinated and boosted, wear good masks, stay in a resident’s room, and practice rigorous hand hygiene, do they pose more of a risk than staffers who follow these procedures?

California was the first state to announce new policies for visitors to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities on Dec. 31. Those took effect on Jan. 7 and remain in place for at least 30 days. To see a resident, a person must show evidence of a negative covid rapid test taken within 24 hours or a PCR test taken within 48 hours. Also, covid vaccinations are required.

In a statement announcing the new policy, the California Department of Public Health cited "the greater transmissibility" of the omicron variant and the need to "protect the particularly vulnerable populations in long-term care settings." Throughout the pandemic, nursing home residents have suffered disproportionately high rates of illness and death.

New York followed California with a Jan. 7 announcement that nursing home visitors would need to show proof of a negative rapid test taken no more than a day before. And on Jan. 10, Rhode Island announced a new rule requiring proof of vaccination or a negative covid test.

Patient advocates are worried other states might adopt similar measures. "We are concerned that Omicron will be used as an excuse to shut down visitation again," said Sam Brooks, program and policy manager for the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, an advocacy group for people living in these facilities.

"We do not want to go back to the past two years of lockdowns in nursing homes and resident isolation and neglect," he continued.

That’s also a priority for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which has emphasized since Nov. 12 residents’ right to receive visitors without restriction as long as safety protocols are followed. Nursing homes could encourage but not require visitors to take tests in advance or provide proof of covid vaccination, guidance from CMS explained. Safety protocols included wearing masks, rigorous hand hygiene, and maintaining adequate physical distance from other residents.

With the rise of omicron, however, facilities pushed back. On Dec. 17, an organization representing nursing home medical directors and two national long-term care associations sent a letter to CMS’ administrator asking for more flexibility to "protect resident safety" and "place temporary visitation restrictions in nursing homes." On Jan. 6, CMS affirmed residents’ right to visitation but said states could "take additional measures to make visitation safer."

Asked for comment about the states’ recent actions, the federal agency said in a statement to KHN that "a state may require nursing homes to test visitors as long as the facility provides the rapid antigen tests, and there are enough testing supplies. … However, if there are not enough rapid testing supplies, the visits must be allowed to occur without a test (while still adhering to other practices, such as masking and physical distancing)."

Some relief from test shortages may be at hand under the Biden administration’s new plan to distribute four free tests per household. But for family members who visit nursing home residents several times a week, that supply won’t go very far.

Since the start of the year, tension over the balance between safety and residents’ rights to visitation has intensified. In the week ended Jan. 9, 57,243 nursing home staffers reported covid infections, almost 10 times as many as three weeks before. During the same period, resident infections rose to 32,061, almost eight times as many as three weeks earlier.

But outbreaks are occurring against a different backdrop today. More than 87% of nursing home residents have been fully vaccinated, according to CMS, and 63% have also received boosters, reducing the risk that covid poses. Also, nursing homes have gained experience handling outbreaks. And the toll of nursing home lockdowns — loneliness, despair, neglect, and physical deterioration — is now far better understood.

"We have all seen the negative effects of restricting visitation on residents’ health and well-being," said Joseph Gaugler, a professor who studies long-term care at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. "For nursing homes to go back into a bunker mentality and shut everything down, that’s not a solution."

Amid egregious staffing shortages, "we need people in these buildings who can take care of residents, and often those are visitors who are basically functioning as unpaid certified nursing assistants: grooming and toileting residents, turning and repositioning them, feeding them, stretching, and exercising them," said Tony Chicotel, a staff attorney at California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform.

Nearly 420,000 staffers have left nursing homes since February 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, worsening existing shortages.

When DuBrow learned of California’s new testing requirement for visitors, she arranged to get a PCR test at a testing site on Jan. 6, expecting results within 48 hours. Instead, she waited 104 hours before getting a response. (Her test was negative.) Eager to visit her mother, DuBrow called every CVS, Walgreens, and Target in a 25-mile radius of her home asking for a test but came up empty.

In a statement, the California Department of Public Health said the state had established 6,288 covid testing sites and sent millions of at-home tests to counties and local jurisdictions.

Photo: John Cameron/Unsplash

In New York, Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul has pledged to deliver nearly 1 million covid tests to nursing homes, where visitors can take them on the spot, but that presents its own problems. "We don’t want to test visitors who are lining up at the door. We don’t have the clinical staff to do that, and we need to focus all our staff on the care of residents," said Stephen Hanse, president and CEO of the New York State Health Facilities Association, an industry organization.

With current staff shortages, trying to ensure that visitors are wearing masks, physical distancing, and adhering to infection control practices is "taxing on the staff," said Janine Finck-Boyle, vice president of regulatory affairs at Leading Age, which represents not-for-profit long-term care providers.

"Really, the challenges are enormous," said Gaugler, of the University of Minnesota, "and I wish there were easy answers."

Subscribe to KHN's free Morning Briefing.

5 Easy Ways to Enhance Digestive Health

Photo:Angele J/Pexels

Family Features -- As your social schedule picks up steam and you attend more social gatherings and celebrations, you may find yourself with an unexpected issue: digestive troubles. Problems like this can have a negative impact on your overall wellness, so it's important to make healthy digestion a priority.

According to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of how to live long and be healthy, the health of the digestive system is the core of optimum health. Ayurvedic medicine asserts the digestive system is based on the strength and balance of its Agni (fire), which enables the body to absorb, digest and assimilate food. The teachings suggest an imbalanced Agni creates undigested residues, which form toxins that create imbalances and can lead to disease.

Some of the dietary guidelines for healthy digestion and strong Agni include:

  • Allowing 4-6 hours between meals
  • Avoiding eating between meals
  • Avoiding foods with cold, wet and heavy qualities
  • Drinking ginger tea or hot water to stimulate the Agni
  • Starting a meal with pungent (hot), sour and salty flavors
  • Consuming a small amount of bitter taste before a meal to increase the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach

Take steps to protect and nurture your digestive health with these tips:

Add Fiber to Your Diet Plant-based foods that are high in fiber fill you up faster, so you're less likely to overeat, and they also help with digestive regularity. Increase your intake of high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. Take a gradual approach to avoid upsetting your digestive tract and bump up your water intake as you go since fiber will absorb it and decrease the likelihood you experience gas or cramping.

Stay Hydrated Keeping your body well hydrated is like making sure your car's engine is well lubricated. It keeps all your moving parts in sync and operating for top performance. Some fluids can also help with detoxification, which can be especially beneficial when your social calendar is full and your opportunities to overindulge are greater.

An option like Buddha Teas' Detox Dharma contains detoxifying herbs that stimulate your digestive system. Strengthening and soothing herbs are also incorporated into this balanced formula resulting in an effective yet gentle detox tea. For another solution, Turmeric Ginger Tea contains enough black pepper to make curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) bio-available in hot water, helping build healthy Agni.

Eat Slower In today's busy world, it's easy to scarf down a meal in record time. However, slowing down gives your body more time to process food. You'll give your brain more time to communicate with your stomach and be more aware of when you've satisfied your hunger.

Start Exercising If you need one more reason to get moving, your digestive health could be it. Regular physical activity promotes better digestion. However, if you jump into a workout too quickly after eating, you could actually do the opposite. Eat light before exercising then have a protein-rich balanced meal for recovery afterward.

Manage Stress Too much stress can manifest multiple physical problems, including interrupting your digestion. Try mindful meditation or another method of relaxing and relieving stress. Getting plenty of rest can also help keep stress in check. If you're looking for a good night of sleep, consider Buddha Teas' CBD Sleepy Buddha Blend. Herbs for calming and relieving stress are paired with organic, water-soluble, THC-free CBD to leave you feeling restored and rejuvenated.

Find more solutions for enhancing your digestive health at

Online platform helps indies and gig workers take control of key aspects of their venture

NewsUSA -- Even before the COVID-19 pandemic swelled, the ranks of work-from-home employees, freelancing was on the rise as workers across a range of fields sought more flexibility and control over their work lives, enabled by the latest advances in technology. In 2020, there were 59 million people doing freelance work in the United States. This is an increase from 2014, when there were about 53 million people freelancing according to Statista, a leading provider of market and consumer data.

The demonstrated success of working remotely means that independent workers will be key to the future of work, even as many people return to in-person office settings.

To thrive both professionally and personally, independent workers need support and tools to promote their skills and manage their business.

New app helps independent workers and freelancers stay organized and in contact with clients.
Photo: Yan Krukov/Pexels

An online platform known as Indy provides these features and more. Indy offers a complete productivity suite that helps independent workers take the management of their businesses to the next level, with tools and guidance for creating contracts, generating invoices, and everything in between. Additionally, their blog, The Independent Worker, is focused on addressing topics of interest to freelancers, ranging from business development to managing burnout.

"We proudly empower today's 'Indies' - including solopreneurs, freelancers, consultants, contractors, microbusinesses and side hustlers - to streamline the most time-consuming parts of operating their businesses. We help them work smarter, get paid faster, and thrive," says Sebastian Gyr, CEO and co-founder of Indy.

The Indy app offers freelancers a suite of tools designed to help them own three key aspects of their business: :

  • Marketing. Indy provides templates for proposals, project briefs, and profiles to help you organize your pitches, and showcase your unique skills.
  • Organization. Time tracker and task management tools help you keep everything organized, and Indy also offers a chat feature that freelancers can use for quick communication with clients.
  • Business management. Templates for legally-binding contracts and non-disclosure agreements take a lot of the effort and stress out of contract creation, so you can get right to work and invoicing tools will let you quickly and easily send highly professional invoices to the client directly to be paid either electronically or the old-fashioned way - via a check in the mail.

Indy takes pride in empowering an inclusive and diverse community of freelancers, including the LGBTQ community, Black Americans, BIPOC, and workers with disabilities, who are often underserved in the workplace despite the recent rise in equity initiatives. Leaning into these tenets, Indy recently launched a new, digital series called 'Miss Independent' featuring a Black drag queen who offers short videos commenting on freelancing and the freelancing life.

"We're spotlighting what's currently missing for today's virtual workforce and are boldly embracing the opportunity to drive conversations and narratives around equitable pay, diversity, and inclusion, by enabling the success of all workers, especially those from underserved communities," according to the company.

"We celebrate the uniqueness of those human beings that we serve by providing the products, services, space, and the megaphone for them to be their authentic selves, shine, and thrive."

Visit for more information and to create an account for free.

Guest Commentary: Can you imagine what it would be like if American truckers went strike?

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Grocery store shelves are not like they used to be. Before the pandemic there was plenty of whatever we typically wanted. It’s not like that today.

Car dealerships have changed. Before the pandemic most dealers had plenty of new and used cars to sell. We were accustomed to browsing several lots as we shopped and compared models and prices. It’s not like that today.

When you needed your car fixed, parts were readily available or just an overnight order away. Today, you might wait three or four months for a part.

I recently looked into adding an additional heating unit to my house and was told, "Order it now and you might have it by summer."

A friend of mine ordered a small boat last August with the hopes he will have it by May or June this year, maybe.

The pandemic has changed our lives in more ways than sickness and death. The new normal is having to wait longer on what used to be so available.

If you think America’s products, food and merchandise are difficult to get now, then can you imagine if our American truckers all went on strike?

Canadian truckers have recently blocked the flow of goods into the United States. The protest follows rallies over opposition to COVID-19 mandates in cities across Canada. In a show of solidarity with a demonstration in Ottawa that has gone on for more than a week by the so-called Freedom Truck Convoy. The protests have paralyzed the Canadian capital’s business district and led the mayor to call for 2,000 extra police officers to quell the nightly demonstrations.

Several people involved in the protest Tuesday in Canada said the demonstrations had expanded from its original purpose, opposing mandates for cross-border truck drivers, and were there in opposition to all vaccine mandates, in addition to supporting truck drivers, the Windsor Star reported.

"Any delay or disruption in the supply chain creates problems, not just for agriculture but the state economy," said Chuck Lippstreu, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association, which represents businesses that support farmers, early in the closure.

The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association, which represents the Detroit Three automakers, called for an end to the protest, citing its effect on the country’s economy. (

If the American truckers stopped driving today, the grocery stores would dry up and the movement of most everything you would want or need would not be available.

Truckers work hard. They have long hours. They sacrifice a lot by being gone so many hours, days and weeks. They deserve whatever they are paid and I’m sure in many cases are deserving of more. However, to our truckers, I have this request, please help us keep this country moving. We have enough problems in this country. A shut-down of any kind by America’s truckers would create severe hardship on the people everywhere in America.

We respect you. We appreciate you. We need you to keep this country moving. Furthermore, God bless you for what you do.


Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of Grandpa's Store, American Issues, and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.


This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to


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