Governor John Bel Edwards announced today that Louisiana won't be entering Phase Three anytime soon.

I don't even think furious is the appropriate word. I don't even know how to vocalize how angry I am. Before we dive in here and I air out my grievances, allow me to be perfectly clear... This is my opinion, and my opinion only. If you disagree with anything I say, please contact me directly and we can have a meaningful, forward-moving discussion. My email is Jay.Whatley@townsquaremedia.com.

I have stayed completely quiet during this entire COVID-19 pandemic. Never once have I publicly shared my opinion on it, and like many of you, my opinion on it has changed more times than I care to mention. To be completely honest with you, I'm not upset for any reason other than the many friends and family members that have been tremendously affected by the shutdown.

I'm not upset over the controversial COVID-19 numbers which seemingly no one can agree on. I'm not upset in the slightest with precautions taken to "flatten the curve" within our state and country. I'm not upset over wearing a mask, and I'm not upset with people who choose to protect themselves however they see fit.

I'll tell you why I'm furious.

I'll tell you why I'm angry, sad, confused, irate, worried, disheartened, and upset all wrapped into one.

I'm furious for the business owners who poured their entire life into a business just to be told repeatedly by the Governor and the State of Louisiana that the powers-at-be don't give a damn if they make it or not. These are people and families that chose Shreveport and chose Louisiana as the community and state to serve.

I'm angry for the thousands of employees in the Ark-La-Tex that circled Phase Three on their calendar because that was going to be the phase where things finally started getting back to normal. I'm sad for so many hard workers in Shreveport-Bossier that have not been given any monetary assistance whatsoever while they patiently wait for their lives to somewhat get back to normal, if they can stay afloat until then. I'm confused because like so many of you, I have no idea when this will end. I have no clue when the people of Louisiana will be able to make decisions for themselves, their families, and their well-being. I'm irate because I truly can't fathom how we're not allowed to make these decisions for ourselves yet. I'm worried because, let's face it, the businesses that have closed so far will just be the tip of the iceberg. I know so many businesses here in Shreveport-Bossier that have been doing whatever it takes to make it to Phase Three. Phase Three was supposed to be the light at the end of the tunnel for so many of us, and now the Governor just lengthened that dark tunnel by a minimum of 28 days. I'm disheartened because who's to say that 28 days from Friday, the Governor won't extend Phase Two again. And again. And again.

I'm upset because none of this feels right.

I will end by saying I will continue to do whatever I can personally to keep Louisiana on track to reopening. I'm just worried that no matter what we all do as individuals to continue to "flatten the curve", we could never flatten it enough.

COVID-19, regardless of whether you see it as a killing machine or a lesser-flu, is not going anywhere anytime soon. It would be nice to know where the end-game is, but I'm afraid that's out of our hands