OVER IT: New Mobile Data Shows North Carolinians Travel Ticking Back Up

RALEIGH – Stay home. That is the executive order in place statewide, and double layered in many places. All travel, except essential travel for supplies or otherwise, is prohibited and discouraged under these orders. While North Carolinians certainly did suppress their activity in a major way, new mobile data shows that adherence to these draconian orders peaked a couple weeks ago.

A lot of people are simply over it.

From ABC11:

“[…] According to the anonymous cellphone location data analyzed by Safegraph– the percentage of people staying home started to peak across the state in mid-April at 37.7 percent. By April 24, that number went down two percentage points with 35.7 percent of people staying home the entire day.

The decreases align with the time President Donald Trump began talking a lot more about reopening the country and Governor Roy Cooper was about to lay out a phased plan to reopen North Carolina’s economy.

These statistics do not show a huge decrease in the amount of people staying home. But, counted up over days and weeks and experts fear more potential for the spread of COVID-19.[…]”

The 2 point decline in compliance is enough for some to start fear mongering all over again. This news channel pegs the transition to when President Trump started talking about reopening the economy, slyly implying he is responsible for increased dangers of spreading the virus. In actuality, Trump’s mood was probably following that of restless citizens, not leading it.

Looking at this numbers another way, about 65 percent of North Carolinians are leaving their house every single day. Perhaps a lot of citizens’ daily activities are ‘essential’ after all. Amazingly, those people aren’t currently overwhelming our hospital systems by spreading the coronavirus. It’s almost as if the danger of overrunning hospitals with an out of control severe contagion was oversold…

Not so fast. Naturally, the media brings in the authoritative truth tellers to shame people for living their lives and taking responsibility for themselves. Then they finish it off with an extra helping of fear mongering, just so you don’t get too bold.

“[..] ABC11 asked Dr. Betsey Tilson, the state health director, whether the numbers suggest more North Carolinians are moving too fast to abandon the message that we’re safer at home.

“I haven’t seen that specific data you’re referring to, but we are continuing to stress that people need to stay home,” Tilson said.

Back on the sand at Peace, the guys say they’ve heard the health warnings and are being safe by staying “mostly” at home and limiting the size of any gatherings. But they are fighting off a growing impatience with stay-at-home. And it’s mixed with a dose of invincibility that comes when you’re in your 20s.

“I mean if we do get sick, it’s not gonna be anything serious,” Hinton said. “We’re in great health. We can get through it quick. I have no problems.”

Of course, there are numerous examples of younger Americans fighting serious bouts with COVID-19. But, the main point came from Dr. Tilson: if we all stay home we continue to flatten the curve of new cases. And the sooner we all can go back out.”

The more we flatten this curve, the more we widen the damage. The state health director, the Secretary of DHHS, and Governor Roy Cooper all told North Carolinians a month ago that the goal of Stay-at-Home orders was to flatten the curve SO THAT HOSPITALS WOULD NOT BE OVERWHELMED.

The fear of overrun hospitals with patients dying in hallways amid absolute mayhem was how the Stay-at-Home orders were sold. We have to do it, they said, because we cannot allow our healthcare system to fail. But now many healthcare systems are facing failure because they have so few patients they are furloughing employees. Hospitals are only half full, when they run at 90-100 percent capacity in a normal month.

Admittedly, there must be an honest curiosity and urge from some reporters to cover the angst a lot of people are feeling after weeks of lockdown, but the purpose the article, and others like it, serve is one of propaganda.

Stay home. Save lives. Obey Authority. Don’t Be Selfish. Don’t Question the Collective. You might die of COVID-19 if you’re too independently minded and dismiss the orders of public health experts.

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