RALEIGH – You could almost see Governor Roy Cooper’s finger twitching at his last COVID briefing with the virtual press. He ominously declared that a return to tighter restrictions and more lockdown is only a ‘strong recommendation….for now.’
Now, with positive test results continuing their climb, Cooper seems half-cocked as he targeting another statewide shutdown. While his administration has tried to avoid the PR associated with a statewide lockdown order by twisting the arms of locals to go hard on enforcement of mask mandates and gathering limits with civil penalties, he may be close to the puling the trigger himself.
John Trump of Carolina Journal (CJ) sees the squeeze, and says we should do all within reason to prevent that shot from being fired upon the North Carolina people again.
From Carolina Journal:
“[…] Cooper may return North Carolina to March, with draconian lockdowns and closures. That would be a mistake, for myriad reasons, to our economy and to our general well-being.
In lieu of more oppressive shutdowns, Cooper and Dr. Mandy Cohen, state health department secretary, in a news conference Tuesday, Nov. 17, announced the implementation of a County Alert System – that aforementioned opportunity.
The system pinpoints counties with the highest levels of viral spread and offers specific recommendations to bring numbers down. Counties are coded as red, orange, and yellow, with red classified as “critical.” They’re assigned respective colors according to the rate of cases — the number of new cases in 14 days per 100,000 people — the percentage of positive cases, and impacts to hospitals. […]”
He goes on to outline how such a system may offer an opportunity for most counties and communities to show they can take care of themselves most responsibly locally. That’s how personal responsibility is supposed to work.
Unfortunately, they may not have time. Cooper told a group late this week that current case trends, along with his permanent sense of disdain for those that don’t follow his suggested guidelines, may necessitate statewide action.
More from CJ:
“[…] This comes after two weeks of telling North Carolinians what to do concerning Thanksgiving plans, tightening gathering limits, warning against holidays-as-usual, and transparently wishing they could come and force all of us into compliance.
In Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, this week announced new restrictions on people and businesses. Schools will close, and restaurants will close to indoor dining. Residents are told to work from home, and indoor gatherings will be limited to eight people. In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, enacted a curfew, mostly closing the state from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
People in the Cooper administration are having similar thoughts. About enacting extreme measures to slow the spread of the virus. About more fines for people who fail to comply with this order or that. Threats of criminal charges. […]”
After eight plus months of Pandemic Panic, the reception afforded a new statewide lockdown will hardly be as cooperative as it was in March. Back then, the high uncertainty levels spiked fear and widespread willingness mitigate. Now, knowing so much more about the risks of the virus AND the consequences of shutdowns, it’s doubtful the North Carolina people will submit to the micromanagement of their lives and livelihoods so readily.