The government and the media have been successful in scaring New Jerseyans into believing that they will surely die if they contract the Delta variant, a mutation of the COVID-19 virus that is considered highly transmissible.

Although the death rate remains low, the constant barrage of news stories designed to report only the most ominous warnings and very little actual data is serving to make people in the states skittish enough to begin canceling events.

Unfortunately, one casualty of all of this is one of the most famous festivals in New Jersey, one that normally attracts people from all over the country.

One of the first event cancellations, which will surely be followed by many more, is Michael Arnone's Crawfish Fest, originally planned for Aug. 27-29.

While not technically a cancellation since the event has been postponed until next year, this is a sad coming over events. The north jersey festival, which was completely canceled over COVID-19 concerns last year normally attracts thousands of people to the beautiful Sussex County Fairgrounds. According to the Festival website, it features the best music and food that Louisiana and New Orleans have to offer. Cajun, Zydeco, Delta Blues, New Orleans R&B, Brass, Gospel and Jazz on 3 Stages.

The event, with the exception of last year, had been running for 30 years. The overwhelming support from Facebook commenters of Arnone's decision to cancel reflects the mood of the state: Jittery, fearful and overly cautious. And with the news and social media spreading doomsday like predictions about the severity of this variant, who can blame them?

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.

NJ teachers and educators caught in sex crime busts

Over the past few years, state lawmakers have taken on the challenge of dealing with accused child predators among the ranks of teachers and educators.

In 2018, the so-called “pass the trash” law went into effect, requiring stricter New Jersey school background checks related to child abuse and sexual misconduct.

The follow individuals were arrested over the past several years. Some have been convicted and sentenced to prison, while others have accepted plea deals for probation.

Others cases are still pending, including some court delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.