Sixth Annual Your HHRS News “Jersey-est” Awards Part 2: Top Stories

PART ONE

It’s been a covid of a year, to say the least: that’s because the pandemic’s victims were not limited to the sick, dying, deceased and their loved ones. Covid has also infected the very foundations of America’s economic, governmental, and free speech processes, plus sabotaged the credibility of political, medical, and scientific leaders and experts by the dozens.

Ironically, Covid did the opposite of locking down and distancing Your HHRS News from its reason for being: delivering fact-based and politics-free information about the pandemic turned out to be cause for working overtime. So with gratitude for eight years of your support, and a salute to Closer Social Distancing for getting to the “heart” the matter, here are more of 2020’s most noteworthy Your HHRS News stories.


With the help of a public referendum, New Jersey has finally decided to legalize marijuana. But it won’t happen overnight — issues like how local governments can spend the revenues, the status of medicinal marijuana, and the rights of both home and commercial growers have yet to be resolved.


The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office’s Growth Through Opportunity initiative has graduated five cadets with special needs who were trained with employable office and courthouse job skills. Elsewhere in the county, Union Beach’s Julie Coker battles anxiety and depression by heading the chapter of Active Minds, a mental health advocacy group, at Stockton University. Her efforts resulted in her favorite singer donating $100,000and in person!


Actor/comedian Tracy Morgan, who was nearly killed in a crash on the New Jersey Turnpike in 2014, presented an award of excellence to one of his nurses at the Hackensack Meridian Health JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison. And when a physical therapist became an intubated Covid patient at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, his doctor — who the therapist had rehabbed through a heart attack five years earlier — told him, “You’re not going to die on my watch.”


The deans of Rowan University’s medical schools have asked Gov. Phil Murphy to address the threat of a shortage of 3000 physicians in New Jersey. Most fourth-year students have already accumulated enough clinical hours to obtain accreditation, but something must be done to ensure that other students don’t fall behind: Rutgers University’s medical schools say they’ll send their students to other states if necessary. Needless to say, the pandemic and its chronic shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) certainly haven’t helped.


“A pandemic within a pandemic” is how a counselor describes being at the crossroads of Covid and addiction. Relapses, overdoes, and calls for help have skyrocketed so high that New Jersey addiction support groups were exempted from the Covid 10-person indoor gathering limit.
Though the company that created Oxycontin has pleaded guilty, been fined, and will shut down, it turns out that an over-the-counter laxative ingredient has opioid-like properties. And by the way, did you know that vaping ALCOHOL is now a thing?


One scientist who wouldn’t tolerate being intimidated about Covid was Bill Nye, “The Science Guy.” On his TikTok page, he posted videos explaining why and how masking does help — and in the raucous style of flag-waving, gun-toting, high-decibel “anti-maskers.” The videos racked up views and likes by the millions — indeed, you could say that they went “viral!”

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Sixth Annual Your HHRS News “Jersey-est” Awards