In a sea of negativity, count me among those trying to see the positives in our coronavirus fight. It's a positive that we are still finding ways to try to have school.

That's a credit to Dr. Bryan Johnson and his peers in the school systems in our region. It's also a tribute to the brave folks showing up to teach and help and support our kids.

In fact, if you know a teacher, call them and say thanks. If you are a teacher, God bless you and stay safe. As my friend David Cook wrote last Sunday, it's an amazingly trying time with unlimited opportunities.

Normally it would take a month of Sundays for David and I to agree on an issue. But I do agree with him that there is no better time to be a teacher than now.

The vitriolic, bombastic, crude nature of our national politics has seeped into our local communities.

It has led us to discount or reject outright the perspectives of those who hold differing outlooks, those whose world views are not yours or mine. David's column made me think (and I hope it made you think, too).

If now is a great chance to grow as a teacher, the rest of us should make the best of this opportunity to be better students. Students of life, students of society, students of the lives of the ones we love.

It's a scary time, but the growth that comes from dealing with fear is undeniable.

That's a positive, and I can do a better job of embracing it.

It's a positive that we are a day away from trying to have high school football on Friday night in Tennessee.

Like many of you, I pray it goes off without a hitch. Of course, that's little different from the similar prayer we have offered every Friday night for as long as 17-year-old boys have wanted to be the quarterback because 17-year-old girls wanted to date the quarterback.

I know that lifetime memories are made on and around high school football fields on Friday nights in the fall. And while the coronavirus threat is real, so are the rewards.

Forfeiting the lifetime memories of these players and students — and I'll bet if you polled, 95%-plus of high school football players in our area would say, "Yes, I want to play regardless of the risk," and that may be low — without exploring every possible alternative is a failure in leadership and compassion.

If an outbreak happens, we may have to adjust, not unlike how the Chattanooga High volleyball team has had to adjust.

Again, I pray that doesn't happen. But I'm grateful that these athletes are going to get the chance to make those lifetime memories.

Good luck to every team. When toe meets leather under the lights tomorrow night at your football stadium, we can all feel like we've won.

Contact Jay Greeson at

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Jay Greeson