After 4 hospital nights, I can say, ‘Remember Covid?’


An explanation is in order. The has been bereft of news posts since last weekend. For the first time in more than four decades, I missed voting in any primary elections, in addition to not reporting on their outcomes. This one-man, one woman operation shut down for the passage of a virus having surreptitiously entered our lungs.

On Saturday, Joyce felt bad generally with a cough but thought it was just a cold. I, now with my 80th birthday in the rear view mirror, had a bad sore throat and a dry cough that popped up overnight. By Sunday afternoon after missing church, Joyce wanted me to go to urgent care.

The urgent care doc wanted me to go to the ER, so we headed to Piedmont Newnan Hospital, where the wait time was under 20 minutes. Their ER wasted no time admitting this 80-year-old guy who seemed like he was somewhat confused.

I got a room with a view from eight floors up (really, they could sell sight-seeing trips to view the Newnan countryside). That’s also when I was told I had tested positive for my third time with Covid-19, whatever version is now circulating. At the time I was admitted, there was one other patient in the entire hospital with confirmed Covid, so it wasn’t like there was a sudden mass outbreak.

For the next four nights, I had at least two IV drips delivering antibiotics and steroids, defensive weapons of choice to prevent Covid complications of strokes and increased inflammations, even after the major viral load had officially departed.

That Piedmont Newnan staff — all shifts — delivered expert care via teams of responsive, kind and always helpful nurses and support staff, down to the guys who wheeled me to X-rays and MRI scans. There was not one time — not once in four nights and four days — that I ever got a surly or disinterested response from any of the multiple teams that cared for me. And — bonus — the coffee was good and the food was almost good but always edible every meal.

I had not been an overnight hospital patient since back surgery in 1990 at the now-defunct South Fulton Hospital in East Point, so I haven’t had a lot of personal experience with which to compare my half-week at Piedmont Newnan. And as my wife reminded me, I’d been pumped full of steroids my entire stay, so that I brought my Happy Cal home with me (no steroid rage for me; take the happy side when you can).

I’m also grateful for prayers from multiple members of my church, Flat Creek Baptist, and others, particularly my drive-thru prayer line partners Dean and Gene and the newest servants who stepped up to aid them in my absence this past Wednesday.

Now about The It’s mostly a one-guy operation for editing and uploading stories, occasionally writing some of them. My wife does unheralded work on feature stories, ads and administration details, at which I am less than competent.

For the first time since 2019, the site did not receive attention for four days because one was hospitalized and the other was at the hospital with him or being sick herself at home alone.

Time for a reality check.

My wife is five years into her continuing career of writing other people’s stories: ghostwriting a selected few, developmental editing others, advising and coaching other writers from beginning a story to producing a for-sale-on-Amazon printed book. Every hour spent working for no pay on a small local news site is an hour taken away from paying jobs in her chosen career.

Did I mention that I just turned 80?

Despite my well-documented ability to ignore the obvious for going on decades, it might be time to consider a plan for beginning to contemplate a possible change in life goals for one entering his ninth decade.

I thank you all for hanging on with The Citizen as it went from a 16-page broadsheet first edition in February 1993 to its final print edition the last week of August 2019, and then its continuation as an online local news edition that first appeared on the World Wide Web in November of 1996 as a pure html version and continued in newer code through its current WordPress version overseen for more a decade by Joe Domaleski and his crew at Country Fried Creative. We also thank our continuing reading audience, ranging from 70,000 to 90,000 unique visitors per month (so says Google Analytics).

More later, as I have some getting well still to do.

[Cal Beverly has been editor and publisher of The Citizen since its creation in 1993.]


  1. Cal, I am so glad that you are out of the hospital and on the mend. Your contributions (and Joyce’s) to the community are much appreciated and voices that are greatly needed. Thank you for all you have done and do.

    David Epps

  2. Like all things that stand the test of time, it would be sad to see The Citizen go, but beyond Steve Brown opinions and Board of Education regurgitations, what is truly worth it anymore? For me, I look to see if someone I grew up around died, but mostly there isn’t much compelling me back here. Time to sell the intellectual property to Steve Brown and let him have the toybox.

    Enjoy your retirement, Cal, because you most certainly deserve it!

  3. Speedy recovery and thanks for keeping The Citizen published all these years. I know it’s been a labor of love because it’s certainly not for money. And it’s a needed local forum IMO. Whatever the future brings thanks for your commitment to our community.

  4. I’ll echo a bit here Cal what STF conveyed and wish you a speedy recovery as well. Remember Covid? I remember how diligently you reported on the Covid pandemic a few years back with daily statistics and reported information for print and reader consumption. It was yeoman’s work then that you truly assisted and served our community well.

  5. Cal – I wish you the best in your recovery. It is grand that you received superb care at the hospital and that you are now on the mend.

    I appreciate your tireless work on The Citizen, and I know that you realize its value to our community. No one wants to see The Citizen decline, but you have earned your right to enjoy your ninth decade anyway you choose.