Daily corona round-up

Free food

I spent the day with Jordan Keiper and some other volunteers at Providence Kitchen in downtown Winston-Salem, handing out boxes of groceries and hot meals to anyone who cared to pull over on Second Street. We had hamburger steaks and rice pilaf with greens, along with mangoes, watermelon, cucumbers, blueberries, packaged potato salad, wedges of Parmesan, copious vac-sealed packs of sandwich meat and sliced cheese and a pantry full of other goods designed to give a group of four a day or two of nourishment.

I’ve been feeling pretty fortunate lately — still working, enjoying my time at home, hopeful about the future — but also a bit squirrelly, too, because of the whole global pandemic thing. Doing for others can be a wonderful balm.

So I’m feeling pretty grounded as we approach Phase 2 tomorrow in North Carolina, though it feels a little bit like we’re doing a statewide science experiment in real time, using our whole population as subjects.


  • Restaurants can open for on-premise service, at 50 percent capacity, with some adjustments. Workers are “strongly encouraged” to wear facemasks. Some sanitization rules too.
  • Hair salons, barbershops and tattoo shops can open, at 50 percent capacity.
  • Pools can open.
  • Childcare centers and camps too.
  • No “mass gatherings” of more than 10 people, socially distanced.
  • Parks and beaches, too. But not playgrounds.
  • No bars. No entertainment facilities. No gyms. No bowling alleys, skating rinks, movie theaters, bingo parlors, museums.
  • Just read the executive order if you need details.

Some news

  • UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State have announced plans for their fall semester, following a similar path laid by UNCG and NC A&T University. The plan involves starting the semester early, running without a break and ending after Thanksgiving to avoid flu season.
  • Greensboro is issuing a new, hassle-free permit for restaurants that want to create outdoor dining spaces.
  • In Altamahaw, Ace Speedway owner Robert Turner has declared that he will have fans in the stands at Saturday night’s opener, despite the state restrictions.

The numbers

  • They’re not good.
  • As we hit Phase 2 tomorrow, we’ve got 738 new cases today in North Carolina. We registered 9,661 new tests. Ballpark math, new cases equals 7.6 percent of tests performed.
    • Remember, too, that most of the people being tested exhibit symptoms or have had contact with a case.
  • Forsyth County contributed 48 of those new cases. 821 total.
  • Guilford County jumps to 962; that’s 31 more.

A diversion

Before coronavirus, I saw Clay Howard almost every day — he works in our office building. And now I never see him, which I barely realized until we actually ran into each other this week. How strange these times are. Anyway Clay never asks me to write about his music, which he’s been making in the Triad for decades with just about every working musician in the game. But his PR man Cliff sent me a new video which is remarkable on a couple fronts. For one, it’s a near-perfect exemplar of Howard’s pop-metal territory. But it also gets… a wee bit political. And Clay Howard never does that! You wouldn’t believe how nice this guy is! Strange times, man.

Program notes

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