I apologize for not being here for the last two months but — let me tell y’all something — if you haven’t had a (COVID-19) shot, you’d better get it.Lamar Allen, Effingham County Board of Education chairman
SPRINGFIELD — A vaguely familiar figure returned to the Effingham County Board of Education meeting room Thursday night.
Chairman Lamar Allen sat in his chair the way he always does, tilted backward with his arms folded firmly across his chest. He sported his customary smile and sense of humor but, still, something was clearly missing.
“If anybody knows anybody who needs to lose weight, I can tell them how to do it,” Allen said after leading his first board meeting since last December.
Allen’s humorous remarks drew guffaws from the audience of about a dozen teachers and administrators. Earlier, however, the chairman set a serious tone.
“I’d like a little statement to start with,” he said. “I apologize for not being here for the last two months but — let me tell y’all something — if you haven’t had a (COVID-19) shot, you’d better get it. These people that don’t take the shot — they don’t have a clue what they are in for if they (contract the virus).”
Allen knows all too well about how the respiratory ailment that has claimed the lives of 539,000 Americans can ravage a person’s body. He dropped 32 pounds during a 75-day hospital stay, spending much of that time on a ventilator.
“You may be lucky like me wife and just get a little fever or something but you may be like me and that’s not good,” said Allen, who remains weak from the ordeal.
Allen expressed gratitude for the many cards and letters he received during his recovery before urging hesitant citizens to get vaccinated one more time.
“I don’t understand not taking the shot,” he said. “Anyway, that’s not my call.”
During his first chance to speak after the meeting started, Superintendent Dr. Yancy Ford gave Allen a warm welcome.
“We’re glad to have Mr. Lamar back,” Ford said. “You guys don’t realize how he keeps us all straight until he’s gone. Sometimes we take for granted how important people are to you.”