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Column: Some things make me scratch my head in puzzlement
Harris Blackwood
Harris Blackwood

I have a few points to ponder that I really can’t explain.  For example:

Gas prices: I find the swings in gas prices very interesting. On one street in Gainesville there are three stations of the same company. One has the lowest price. The next one, about a mile away, is a dime more and the third one, about a mile further, is 20 cents more. They have the same stuff inside and the newest of the three has the lowest price.

I love to watch the gas wars that break out at various times. I guess some person is in one store with a pair of binoculars and watches the prices at their nearby competitors.

Help wanted: Is there a business that is not looking for help? I went to one retailer the other day and, sure enough, there was a sign on the door that they were not hiring at this time. I went to another place and they had an electric sign emblazoned with the words “Now Hiring.”

I think those that are not looking far outnumber those who are looking for labor. Maybe it’s time to get a neon sign like hotels had years ago. They said vacancy or no vacancy. You could have a sign that said hiring or not hiring.

I heard a news story the other say about how many people quit their jobs during the first couple of years of the pandemic. One day, the government payments will run out and those who have been staying at home will be out there on the job market.

The cargo: Where is all the stuff that was on boats waiting to come into port before Christmas? It seems that as the ships continue to unload there would be more items on the once-empty shelves.

When will people go back to various food processing jobs? My wife had to go on a searching expedition to find formula for our youngest grandson. The same is true for other products, such as diapers. The big box retailers are unfortunately becoming much emptier boxes in some cases.

I was in Lula the other day and a freight train came by. All the cars were cargo containers from big ships. Where is all that stuff going?

The prevention: There are a lot of gurus who are saying that we may face the challenge of COVID-19 for many years to come. They suggest it may be like influenza and the variety may change from year to year. When they announce an influenza vaccine each year, it changes based on the type of flu they expect to see.

I hear so many people say that they don’t get a flu shot, because the last time they took it, they contracted the flu. I’m not going to try to convince anyone differently, but 100 years ago we had a flu pandemic and it was just as deadly as COVID-19.

There are so many vaccines available these days. The best advice is not going to come from some site on the internet. It should be a decision made between you and your doctor.

Which brings me to my last point to ponder:  If you’re a roofer, should you get a shingles vaccination?

I’ll leave it right there.


Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns publish weekly.