Daily corona round-up

From the back patio

I’m writing from the back patio this evening, amid the roar of a riding mower from the neighbors’ yard and a balmy breeze that’s floating across the dwindling sunlight. There’s a small orchestra of birds, too, settling their business in bursts of chirps before tucking in for the night.

There’s unrest everywhere else — protests in our nation’s cities over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, including efforts in Greensboro and Winston-Salem that are going down more calmly than the action in Charlotte last night. We’ve got live action on our Facebook page now from Greensboro, with more reporting to come in the days ahead.

Here in my backyard I can pretend my biggest problems are the droning of a leaf-blower and bird crap on the outdoor furniture. But out there I know there’s pain, anxiety and fear underneath the pandemic’s toxic blanket. And I know we’re in for a long, hot summer.

The only news I’ve got to report — besides the pandemic and the protests — is some action by the NC Bar & Tavern Association, who feel shorted by recent exceptions to Phase 2 that include restaurants, breweries, wineries and distilleries, but not basic barrooms that don’t make booze and don’t serve food. A bill saying as much passed both houses of the state General Assembly and awaits the governor’s signature, but he has not yet capitulated.

Oh, and the gym owners are pissed off too.

The numbers

  • We have a new single-day record for lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina: 1,185, making 27,673 total diagnoses.
    • At least 14,954 have officially recovered; 929 have died; 638 are hospitalized.
    • Those 1,185 new cases come off 12,926 completed tests: 9.16 percent positive rate.
    • More stats, if you’re interested:
      • The death rate in NC is 3.35 percent — the amount of people who die from COVID-19 after a positive diagnosis.
      • The saw 9,234 cases of four different strains of influenza, and 203 deaths, for a death rate of 2.1 percent.
  • Forsyth County continues its pace with 50 new cases to report today, 1,257 total; 1,147 are considered active cases.
    • Forsyth County’s death rate is 0.8 percent.
  • Guilford County has 32 new cases, 1,227 total, with at least 635 recoveries and 65 deaths, leaving 527 active cases
    • Guilford’s death rate is 5.29 percent.
  • Zooming back out to the big picture: We’ve got 1,805,641 total diagnoses in the US, with 105,175 deaths and 389,489 recoveries. Death rate: 5.82 percent.

A diversion

As a companion piece to last night’s episode of “The Gong Show,” I bring you a spin-off of sorts: “The $1.98 Beauty Show,” a televised beauty pageant featuring all the usual categories: poise, “abilities” and a swimsuit round, and the winner received $1.98 for her troubles. It’s horrible, I’m sure — I haven’t watched it since it was on TV from 1978-80 — but Rip Taylor, who died last October, was the host and his act is timeless. I’m going to give this episode a shot, in the name of cultural anthropology… and confetti.

Program notes

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