Daily corona round-up

Marking time

Apologies for missing yesterday’s update, folks. I was out covering the protest in Winston-Salem, where four of the leaders were arrested by the Forsyth County Detention Center. Read all about it (with video!)

It’s been 112 days since I started making this more or less daily post about the coronavirus in our state and our counties — sometimes I can’t wait to type it out and sometimes I resent the hell out of it. But it’s become something of a habit.

It’s given a staccato rhythm to my week, in between writing time, production, zipping out to cover protests, sales meetings and other business — I’m still the publisher, and putting out a weekly newspaper is still a huge pain in the ass.

From this perch I’ve watched the disaster unfold in slow motion. I can remember when we had barely any cases in Forsyth and Guilford, going days without any new cases. Now we get around 50 a day each. I’ve watched the hospital beds fill, read the executive orders, witnessed rampant masklessness throughout the state, clocked the numbers and done the math.

And I will tell you, my friends: Today I am truly worried.

We are nearing the end of the $600 weekly unemployment bonus. The PPP program was designed to last until about the middle of this month. What happens then?

COVID-19 is running wild in our state, where some people are still talking about opening up bars and rock shows, and our kids are supposed to start school in a few weeks with no real plan in place and very few prospects for a safe semester of in-person classes. As you’ll see, our college campuses are already experiencing outbreaks.

I must stress again: There doesn’t seem to be any plan — for schools, for businesses, for the cliff over which our economy is headed, for reduction of the virus or even for the election, a big one, which is coming up sooner than you think.

It’s a lot. Sometimes, all I can do about it is write the night’s update. Thanks for being here with me.

Some news

  • Since we last met, Gov. Cooper vetoed a slew of bills, some of which would have hastened the reopening of the state.
    • Two would have reopened bars and skating rinks.
    • Another would have allowed for concealed carry in churches and their affiliated schools.
    • Another would have prevented the governor from canceling Fourth of July fireworks displays.
    • He also vetoed the controversial Senate bill that would have tightened up public death records.
    • The House was unable to override these vetoes.
    • Gov. Cooper still has SB 226 on his desk, that would allow bar owners to delay their ABC permit payments.
  • Five Black Lives Matter protesters were arrested last night in Winston-Salem.
  • Hops Burger Bar has temporarily closed all it locations due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
  • A number of student athletes and athletic staff at NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill have tested positive for COVID-19. The ACC has suspended all fall sports until at least Sept. 1.

The numbers

A diversion

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the premiere country-western troubador for our times and others: the great Unknown Hinson, in a recorded performance just made available today — a live one from the Visulite Theatre in Charlotte back in January 2020. For the uninitiated: Unknown must be seen to be believed.

Program notes

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