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.
- 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 Ivy League has already canceled all sports until January 2021.
- NC hospitalizations have surpassed the 1,000 mark — we’ve got 1,034 as of today.
- We’ve added 2,039 cases today, our second-highest total yet, for 79,349 total diagnoses.
- Best we know, 55,318 have recovered (69.71 percent).
- Our positive testing rate has dropped to 9 percent
- 1,461 dead in NC (1.84 percent).
- Forsyth County has 75 new cases today. The Dept. of Public Health Facebook page is very helpful.
- That’s 3,525 total, with 2,170 recoveries (61.56 percent) and 37 deaths (1.05 percent).
- Guilford County has added 153 cases since Tuesday, for 3,661 total, with 1,825 recoveries (49.84 percent) and 121 deaths (3.31 percent).
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.
- From the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s public-domain collection, tonight we’ve got “Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Otis and Child,” a family portrait on paper by Joseph H. Davis, 1834.
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