RALEIGH – By now you’ve seen that
Governor King Roy Cooper followed through on leaked reports that he would extend Phase 2 Reopening Lockdown Restrictions for five weeks, through September 11. Under the restrictions bars, gyms, movie theaters and high-capacity venues are not allowed to reopen, assuring that a great many of them stay closed forever.
While the numbers related to COVID-19 would appear to be totally manageable for hospital systems in the state, the arbitrary metrics used by the Cooper administration to judge success are still too high for their liking. The improvement in those numbers, Cooper and Health Secretary Mandy Cohen argued at the press conference, is reason to double-down on restrictions, not let up.
They believe the restrictions — the business closures, limits on crowds, face mask mandates — are working. Correlation is causation to Cooper and Cohen, who’d likely believe it was their authoritarian compassion that made the sun come up this morning. After all, it WAS dark outside, and now it’s not; must be the face mask mandate.
One thing that can be directly attributed to Cooper’s Pandemic Panic edicts is the record number of unemployed, the foundering economy, and destroyed livelihoods. The bars and gyms that Cooper forced closed months ago, at least the ones still hanging on, must now figure if they can survive another month or more with absolutely no income.
Cooper has just as much access to these economic numbers as he does the daily hospitalization levels from COVID-19, yet he consistently chooses to further the Pandemic Panic to the detriment of North Carolinians and their livelihoods.
In the Carolina Journal, notable N.C. State University economist Michael Walden, warns that the state economy could take as many as three years to recover from the mandated recession.
From Carolina Journal:
“[…] Some 40% of businesses targeted with restrictions for health risks won’t survive, says Michael Walden, N.C. State University economist and member of the governor’s N.C. Economic Recovery Group.
“We do have a conflict between the economy and health,” Walden said. “If you allow more businesses to reopen, you are going to add to the economic activity of the state, which would help increase income and jobs. But you have to balance that with concerns about the spread and the deaths.”
Walden predicts North Carolina’s economy won’t recover until 2023, when it will still face a slightly higher unemployment rate. He believes 15% to 25% of all U.S. businesses won’t make it through the pandemic and the shutdowns. […]”
More than 1,200,000 North Carolinians have filed unemployment claims since restrictions were first issued in March.
But we’ll certainly get back toward normal after Labor Day, right? Wrong.
Cooper suggested in the Wednesday press conference that he may not feel comfortable restoring North Carolinians freedoms until there is a vaccine! A vaccine that is unlikely to be available before 2021.
And if we impatient residents of the First in Freedom state want to reclaim our liberty sooner, Cooper lectures us that we should just do what he tell us.
“If people will do the things that we continue to tell them to do — wear masks, social distancing, washing frequently — we can drive down these numbers. … We would hope that we could move along with our phases, even before a vaccine is in effect.”
‘Just do as your told,’ says King Cooper. ‘Leave the rest to me.’