Thumbs down: To a severe, current and ongoing flu season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the best way to help prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated, but covering your cough and washing your hands can help stop the spread of germs. Avoiding close contact with someone who has the flu — of course, you should stay home if you are sick — is always good medicine.

Thumbs-up: To a 38th birthday celebration for the Hunger and Health Coalition, complete with cake and community good cheer. That the local nonprofit has been serving Watauga and surrounding counties for almost four decades, including more than 37,000 visits annually, could only come from the continued support of neighbors helping neighbors.

Thumbs-up: To our future farmers as the Watauga High School Future Farmers of America was recognized by the Watauga County Board of Education for its state and national awards in 2019. Of course, the hard work of the students in this group is no secret — Watauga’s FFA has a ranking that puts it in the top 3 percent of chapters in the nation.

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