The new normal

So we’re settled in. We’re social distancing. We’re wearing masks. We’re trying not to leave the house. The toilet paper situation seems to have leveled off and gas is at pre-2001 prices, if you know where to look.

It’s Day 20 since we started fighting the coronavirus in North Carolina. And we’re starting to adapt. At least, we hope so. Because the only way to slow the virus down is for everybody to stop breathing on each other for a while longer. Surely we can do this.

And it seems to be working.

An independent study by scientists from UNC, Duke, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, NoviSci and RTI International produced a model for North Carolina based on Gov. Cooper’s executive order shutting everything down until April 29 — which seems a long, long way away.

Short version: The study suggests that if we lift these restrictions as planned, we are likely to exceed capacity in our hospitals, and up to 750,000 North Carolinians could be infected. But if we continue these measures until June 1, we could theoretically stay within the limits of our hospital system, and perhaps only 250,000 North Carolinians would be infected.

The governor hinted at some new executive orders coming down, mostly codifying social distancing and making it uniform across the state. On that note: Winston-Salem finally got a snitch form, if you care to make formal your disapproval of large gatherings.

Anyway, smart money says we’re not going anywhere until June. Which brings us to the numbers.

The numbers

A diversion

This one comes form Senior Editor Jordan Green, who says, “My YouTube rabbit holes are not everybody’s YouTube rabbit holes.” But then he dropped this one on me: A live, televised jam featuring Fats Domino and Clarence White from the Byrds in 1971, from “The Barry Richards Turn On Show.” Musically, meh — it kind of goes off the rails a bit because I’m pretty sure everyone is high. But it reminds us what consummate artist Fats was, and also that he wasn’t even that fat.

Program notes

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