RALEIGH – As unbelievable as it may have sounded a couple weeks ago, in the midst of nationwide riots that fully dislodged the Pandemic Panic for a while, the fear mongering over the Wuhan virus has again returned to a fever pitch.
After a surge in confirmed cases and hospitalizations creeping higher in North Carolina (a surge NOT attributed to reopening according to federal authorities), Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen is now warning of the possibility of returning to Phase 1. As in, a return to statewide Stay-at-Home orders.
“If we need to go back to stay-at-home [orders], we will,” Mandy Cohen, the secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, told NPR’s Morning Edition on Thursday. “I hope we don’t have to. I think there are things we can do before we have to get there, but yes, we are concerned.” […]
The second phase of reopening, which began May 22, lifted the state’s stay-at-home order and allowed certain businesses to open back up or expand operations in a limited capacity. But one day after the start of phase two, North Carolina reported its largest single-day spike since the start of the pandemic.
Nearly three weeks later, North Carolina is again seeing an increase of COVID-19 cases, according to state data, and currently has more people hospitalized for the disease than at any point since the start of the outbreak. In all, the state has had more than 38,000 confirmed cases and 1,000 deaths.
“We never got a first surge or a first wave, and that was really good — we were able to use that time to build our capacity to respond,” Cohen said. But in the last two weeks, she said, the state’s numbers have been “going in the wrong direction.”
“In the last week, we’ve had four days of more than a thousand new cases in each one of those days,” Cohen said. “And importantly, we are seeing our hospitalizations go up, so more people [are] having serious illness. Now, we know we still have capacity in our health care systems. And, you know, but this is an early warning sign for us that we really need to take seriously and make sure that we don’t forget that COVID-19 is with us.” […]”
TDLR: ‘the horrible thing we hysterically warned was going to happen, did not happen. So now we are warning of another horrible thing that will happen, please believe us this time, because thought we’re not sure what’s going on, we know exactly what we’re doing.’
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Of course, any and all increases in confirmed cases and/or hospitalizations will be attributed to reopening efforts, despite the fact that no evidence exists to suggest reopening as a cause of increased transmissions. In fact, the now famous Dr. Birx of President DOnald Trump’s COVID-19 task force suggests that the feds do not believe reopening has anything do with it.
From North State Journal:
“[…] In briefings this week, Cohen has tied an increase in positives and hospitalizations back to reopening activities, but White House Coronavirus Task Force officials said that North Carolina’s reporting issues were going on long before reopening began.
Murphy said that in his conversations with Birx, she said that in the case of North Carolina there was “some kind of systemic flaw” that had led the state to have a “defined slope in the number of cases” that goes back to the start of the pandemic. […]”
(If we’re not careful, that ‘systemic flaw’ may be attributed to ‘systemic racism,’ but we digress.)
Being that over 60 percent of North Carolina COVID-19 deaths have been in nursing homes and/or assisted living facilities, and the rate of exceptionally elderly and infirm victims has remained a bulk of the impact throughout the crisis, letting you open your business to patrons, or eat in a restaurant with your family probably isn’t the aggravating factor here.
Yet, the reflexive response from Cohen and Cooper is utterly one dimensional, built on the arbitrary notion that lockdowns are the answer to any concerning spread of the disease.
Cohen, to her credit, appears reticent to make that call, perhaps knowing how simultaneously destructive and ineffective it is. But when you’re a hammer; everything looks like a nail.
If cases continue to rise, no matter if they’re all in nursing homes, you can expect Cooper and Cohen to start swinging away. They will hammer businesses, hammer livelihoods, hammer ways of life, and they will it do it sanctimoniously despite the clear lack of a connection between shutdowns and viral spread.