It Was A Very Strange Year

It Was A Very Strange Year

By Ron Munden — 01/01/2021

Normally during the last week of each year I post “Year In Review” articles on the website.  This year I did not do that because in some ways 2020 did not happen.  To be more precise the last 3-months of 2020 did not happen.

2020 did start off like years always do.  In January and February I shot events on my normal shoot list.  In late February we left for Florida as we have done for the last 5 years.  When I returned in mid-March the world had changed.

By the time I returned to Marshall, all of the events I normally shoot in the Spring had been cancelled.  Cancellations continue through the rest of the year.  My photography year was over.  Normally I shoot between 30,000 and 40,000 images a year.  This year the number was less than 5,000.

In the past I tried to write an article every week or two.  I don’t recall writing any articles in 2020.  I am sure that some of you are now thinking — well at least one good thing happened in 2020.

It was a very bad year for EastTexasExposed.  In a regular year at least 60 percent of the content for the site is driven by event photography.  That went to zero.  I quit writing about the city when they move to virtual meetings.  One thing have we learned for sure is content drives readership.

In early March the site had 3000 to 5000 unique visitors per day.  By September the number had dropped to 500 to 1000 visitors.  While the numbers have improved some in the fourth quarter, the number of visits is still below 2000 visits each day.

So has a hole to dig out of in 2021.

We have used our time over the last few months to enhance the site:

  • During the last quarter of 2020 we completely rewrote the “php” code for EastTexasExposed.  The code was over 5-year old and badly in need of attention.
  • We have worked to change the graphic mix of the site from 100 percent photos to a mix of photos and videos.  Since surveys show that more people now prefer video, we will continue to increase the video percentage.
  • We have integrated the website with social media including facebook, instagram, youtube, twitter and a WordPress blog.  We feel this will increase our  potential audience.
  • Finally, Dr. Jim Harris allows us to publish his COVID-19 Update daily.  This is a valuable document that should be read by all of us.

In summary, like most people and organizations, 2020 was not a good year for EastTexasExposed.  We recognized that things don’t change overnight.  There is very little difference between December 31, 2020 and January  1, 2021.  All the problems we faced yesterday are in large part still there today.  But there is finally light at the end of the tunnel.  Six to nine months from now we will reach the “new norm.”

Happy New Years 2021!


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Stray thoughts as we start a new year

Stray thoughts as we start a new year

By George Smith — 01/01/2021

Stray thoughts as we start a new year:

— Yo! 2021. What took you so long? 

— At 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1, for the first time ever, everything was truly hindsight 2020.

— Buckle your seatbelts. 2021 won’t be 2020 but then, no other year has been either. One thing is sure: “Different” has been a way of life for almost a year. Everybody is ready, I believe, for a different “different” than the “different” experienced last year.

— if you are a member of the Republican Party, after January 20, you have a decision to make: Are you going to be a traditional “Republican” or join whatever party Trump will form? Either way, your influence in national politics will be severely curtailed.  

If you stay a loyal member of the GOP, you must figure out how to expand your base in order to be relevant; if you are a die-hard MAGAist, you are a cohort of racists, neo-Nazis, crazed evangelists and QAnon conspiracists.

— Remember: There is a difference between a socialist and a democratic socialist. America is a democratic socialist republic. It is. Seriously. Look it up. Go on! Google it!

— If you are tired of old rich men and women like McConnell, Schumer, Pelosi, Collins, Gohmert, et al, gumming up the works of the federal government…we are on the same page.

— Ditto if you believe it is wrong for one person to have the power to prevent a bill, any bill, from coming to a vote so our elected officials have to record a vote.

— Ditto again if you believe that politicians who lie, lie about lying and refuse to own up and label themselves a liar should not only be summarily dismissed from the public position they hold but also should be publicly flogged with a graphite fly rod.

May 2021 be the Year of the Do Right Revolutions, a movement where folks pledge to “do right” in their personal and professional lives.


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Looks like Super One on 59, Brookshires in Hallsville, and Christus Hospital in Marshall. I don’t know when. BUT WE ARE GETTING VACCINE!


COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Hangover Myths Slideshow: Hangover Cures, Herbal Remedies, Hair of the Dog, and More

(J. Harris: Non covid reference that might be more helpful on New Years Day than the usual. Of course, I have no personal knowledge about the subject of this article)

Only one covid-19 treatment is designed to keep people out of the hospital. Many overburdened hospitals are not offering it.

“The treatments must be given within 10 days of the onset of symptoms — a time when many patients are hunkering down at home, hoping to get better. Clinics and hospitals need to set up a special infusion space to keep contagious patients away from other people….Questions about the drugs’ effectiveness further complicate matters. The Infectious Diseases Society of America recommends against routine use of the drugs, citing a lack of evidence, and the National Institutes of Health says “insufficient data” exists to recommend for or against the medications. Clinical trials of the two antibody treatments continue….Demand was expected to surge when Trump made a laudatory video after receiving the Regeneron medication and promised to make the antibody treatments free to patients needing them.

As a doctor in the Covid-19 era, I’ve learned that judging patients’ decisions comes easier than it should

J. Harris: A think piece that is easy to read and contains some of the doctor-patient interactions regarding taking chances with Covid. By now, most health care workers have trouble believing that others can be so defiant and careless and dangerous. However, both sides are considered. Good Read. True Life. 

Dallas’ Parkland hospital is ‘completely full’ with COVID patients, top doctor says

J. Harris: Parkland has never been completely full in ICU before now. 

Bodies pile up, patient care falters as COVID-19 devastates L.A. County hospitals

“…No one would believe this is in the United States,… It’s just that it’s too overwhelming for everyone….Hospital morgues are so full that the National Guard is being called in to help county workers as corpses are moved into storage…County officials have been concerned about patients suffering from things such as strokes, heart attacks and seizures waiting in ambulances outside hospitals…The early intervention, in some of these cases if you don’t get it, may lead to worse outcomes,…” There have been patients passing away who were in their 20s and 30s,..”


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