Category: Commentary

June 30th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

On June 23, 2020, after a Public Hearing; the New Bern Board of Alderman denied a request to rezone 2409 Oaks Road from Residential R6 to Commercial C4. Only the owner of the property was in favor, and all others were opposed. A previous request to rezone this property from Residental to Commercial C3 was denied in 2019 (corrected year).

As Craven County has no zoning, the property had been used commercially in the past. When 2409 Oaks Rd became part of the City it was Zoned residential. This amounted to a promise to the community, that there will be no future commerical use. Citizens throughout New Bern pay taxes for the benefits that zoning provides. All residents of New Bern are lawfully entited to equal protection of the law.

The next two items on the agenda were essentially the same for other properties, both were denied after unamious opposition from their communities. The above is fact In my opinion spot zoning results in a windall for the property owner and the destruction of neighboods.

After the third denial a recess was called.

After the recess a motion was made to rescind the vote on Oaks Road. The motion passed after all who spoke against the change had left and with only the property owner remaining the descion on Oaks Road was rescinded.

I reccomend checking orginal sources to protect against misinformation, so view the metting here and decide for yourself.

See New Bern TV 3 Board of Alderman June 23 items 6A and 6B.

This is a perfect example of spot zoning from Residential to Commercial, which only creates a windfall for property owner, while neighboring residental properties lose value and neighborhoods go downhill.

Anyone can see Oaks Road is a fragile community, I ask you to help residents who are working to improve it.

I urged all Citizens in New Bern who care about their neighborhoods and open government, to speak at the New Bern Board of Aldernan meeting July 7 at 6 p.m., during the Petition of Citizens and also there may be a future public hearing on this matter.

You may contact members ofthe New Bern Board of Alderman here.

Mike Duffy, New Bern NC
Where every one comes together

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Commentary, Community, Community issues, Mayor, New Bern

June 19th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Craven County released a fresh batch of COVID-19 statistics today (June 19, 2020), and it provides no useful or meaningful information.

Here’s why:

Craven County had a super cluster of family, friends, and co-workers between mid-April and early May, which added more than 150 lab-tested cases to the county’s total, which is 289 by the county’s count, or 292 by state count.

That cluster number is mixed in the overall total, but for privacy reasons, officials only report the total number for the cluster.

Meanwhile, the county statistics about age and gender don’t give you a clear picture because cluster numbers are mixed in.

All I can do is make assumptions, which I’ll do now.

I assume that because the percentage of cases 17 and under, and 25-49 are higher than the statewide averages, then the super cluster included a lot of children and non-elderly adults.

I assume that in general, younger people don’t get tested unless asked to do so by health authorities tracking down an outbreak.

I assume that among super cluster members, COVID-19 skipped young adults, because the percentage of total cases for that age group is the same as the state — 11 percent.

Therefore I assume that the cluster skewed the county numbers away from typical, and that Craven County’s population outside the cluster would more closely adhere to the statewide statistics, which for 0-17 is nine, and for 25-49 is 45.

And I conclude that the county’s percentages for older adults (27 percent for adults age 50 and over) are atypically lower than the state (34 percent statewide), which could lull older residents here into thinking they are safer than they really are.

If the county is going to release information about this pandemic, it would be helpful for that information to be useful and not misleading.

It could be because the county’s hands are tied by HIPAA laws that protect patient identity. The county even stopped issuing race and ethnicity data since the super cluster emerged). But there are other government agencies that are releasing more specific details about their COVID-19 cases so that residents who are in harm’s way can take greater precautions.

Having said that, here are the county stats:

Craven County COVID-19 Cases by Age, Gender, Death Rate, and Mode of Transmission

AGE

0-17

18-24

25-49

50-64

65+

Percent of Total Cases

22%

11%

39%

18%

9%

GENDER

Male

Female

   Percent of Total Cases

54%

46%

DEATH RATE

North Carolina

Craven County

Per 100,000   

         11.2 *data from 6-18-20

4.89

MODE OF TRANSMISSION

Travel

Community Transmission

Direct Contact

Unknown

   Percent of Total Cases

3%

16%

80%

1%

*Rates are calculated using population estimates from the US Census Bureau

Posted in Commentary, Craven County

June 18th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

After working diligently with community leaders from the Duffy field area for two years, receiving 8 million dollars in grant money from FEMA, and designing/quoting the project with an architect in totality, members of the New Bern Board of Aldermen want to re-locate the Stanley White Recreation Center.

This may seem small if you are outside the community, but believe me when I tell you just how much this land means to the people who have grown up in the facility. I am seriously shocked at the city’s adamant attempts to relocate this major asset seeing as every opinion that they have carefully considered has echoed the need to re-build on the existing site.

I want to address a few frequently asked questions, in my opinion —

the new land is built outside of the flood zone, so it won’t flood anymore!

The land at Henderson Park and the streets around it are poorly maintained. That’s why Duffyfield flooded so terribly in 2018. With an eight million dollar investment, the city is able to build Stanley White up to code (for only ~$400k) AND integrate the new building with the retention ponds, ditch renovations, and other proactive responses to basic land maintenance. If this is done correctly, the risk of flooding should be minimized greatly.

But the flood insurance is so high, $100k a year? Just to maintain a community center?

Flood insurance in downtown New Bern will ALWAYS ALWAYS be high. From now until forever. Duffy field still exists, and if this project is moved even 100 feet outside of the current building zone, I fear that the neighborhood will never see the investment that it so deserves. While the population has dwindled due to storm damage, we cannot let it slip through the cracks. This maintenance is long overdue and the money was given because there is a serious need.

If they build the building back where it was, it can’t be used as a shelter anymore. Where will the people stay?

This issue is totally independent of Stanley White Rec Center. City of New Bern should be building a shelter that can house thousands of people or multiple community buildings that are more centrally located. Yes, they will be able to find funding for this. Yes, there are plenty of undeveloped buildings that would be available to accommodate this. No, it is not the burden of the community in Duffyfield to hold. If they put the center out on Gaston Blvd. they will totally neglect the issues that remain in the community and it will flood horribly again and the neighborhood will fall to disrepair and the city will clear the land and it will suddenly be a bougie park or a shopping center or some other form of gentrification that does not serve the community that it surrounds. It may seem like a proactive decision, but it totally ignores the complexities of the land and the neglect that it has faced over the years.

The land will always be a park! They can’t build a road through it.

The fact that they felt compelled to re-state that a road could not be built through it proves their intentions in “finding” this new land to begin with. If they’re just going to build a park on the land, why can’t they rebuild Stanley White? Why are they so quick to use the 8 million elsewhere? Why do we have to kill two birds with one stone when it comes to investing in low-income neighborhoods? It’s a shame. Especially after dragging the community along for the last two years.

Curious to know what everyone else thinks and even more interested in how much money has been granted to the city using the statistics of low-income neighborhoods, and how much of that money was actually seen by the people it was supposed to serve. I have SO MUCH TO SAY about housing in New Bern — but let’s talk about this for right now.

— Kelly Rogers, used with permission

Posted in Civil Rights, Commentary, Community, Community issues, Parks and Recreation

May 27th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

@JeremyKonyndyk wrote:

Alright. There is a LOT of chatter on this website bashing those who are saying most of the country still isn’t ready for a safe reopening. So, as we approach what would normally be summer pool season, here’s a short analogy about pooping and accountability.

Imagine you’re at the pool, and a kid poops in the water. It happens a few times every summer. What happens next? Everybody clears the pool. That’s the initial step to protect people from the poop.

But it’s not the end of the story.

There’s a next step – some poor soul on pool staff has to go fish out the poop. It’s a pretty thankless job.

Then they have to shock the pool with chlorine to kill off bacteria.

And then everyone waits half an hour or so til it’s safe to swim again.

You can see where I’m going with this.

If the lifeguards tell everyone to clear the pool, but the pool staff declines to actually get rid of the poop, what happens?

No one can go back in. The poop is still there. Limbo.

Whose fault is it that it’s not safe to go back in the water? Who is accountable?

Do you focus on the people saying “clean up the poop before we can go back in safely!”?

Or do you focus on the staff whose job it is to clean up the poop?

And what would you think if the staff started saying – look, just get back in. Be a warrior.

The answer is pretty obvious

Jeremy Konyndyk is a global outbreak preparedness and humanitarian response expert and former director of USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance.

Posted in Commentary, Health, New Bern

May 21st, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

I’ve been doing almost all my grocery shopping at Publix over the last few months, and yesterday, I felt like I was Billy in a Family Circus cartoon.

I blame the cereal aisle.

The late Bil Keane (yes, that’s how he spelled his first name) drew Family Circus cartoons for years, and a highlight were the intricate mazes that he would draw depicting young Billy’s winding journeys.

Since the local Publix store started putting one-way directional arrows on its aisles, there were several seemingly out of kilter, and the first was the cereal aisle.

Once you finished in the produce section (because everyone starts in the produce section), you would expect the next aisle to keep you headed in a forward direction.

But the cereal aisle had other plans. You couldn’t make a left turn into the cereal aisle without going the wrong way. You had to go one aisle down (sauces, I think), then circle back in the cereal aisle, and walk back down the second aisle to be on the right path for the third aisle.

But Publix workers switched things up on me. They reversed direction on many (most?) of the aisles, but I was halfway down aisle two before I realized I was going the wrong way.

Sorry, I told another shopper headed the right way. Well, at least I was wearing a mask, because she wasn’t.

I was going through Sarah’s shopping list and trying to organize it in my mind, but I missed some spots. For example, barbecue sauces are not in the sauces aisle. There were many other examples.

Hence, Billy’s maze.

I was worn out by the time I was done, and spent half-past $200 — and I STILL forgot the curry powder.

The reason I like Publix is because all the workers wear masks as do most of the customers. The shelves are fully stocked and I nearly always find what I want.

Except toilet paper, paper towels, and Lysol products. Come on, people — quit hoarding.

Plus there’s the added benefit of all the steps I log while I’m there.

I’d go to Harris Teeter (the world’s biggest), but I have back problems, and there I wouldn’t be measuring my steps. I’d be measuring the miles.

Randy Foster runs New Bern Post.

Posted in Blog post, Commentary

May 21st, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Around a decade ago, banks’ “deposit advance” products put borrowers in an average of 19 loans per year at more than 200% annual interest

Important FDIC consumer protections repealed

On Wednesday, four banking regulators jointly issued new small dollar lending guidance that lacks the explicit consumer protections it should have. At the same time, it does require that loans be responsible, fair, and safe and sound, so banks would be wrong to use it as cover to once again issue payday loans or other high-interest credit. The guidance also explicitly advises against loans that put borrowers in a continuous cycle of debt — a hallmark of payday loans, including those once made by a handful of banks. The guidance was issued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Federal Reserve Board (FRB), National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) Senior Policy Counsel Rebecca Borné issued the following statement:

“The COVID-19 crisis has been economically devastating for many Americans. Banks would be wrong to exploit this desperation and to use today’s guidance as an excuse to reintroduce predatory loan products. There is no excuse for trapping people in debt.

“In conjunction with today’s guidance, the FDIC jettisoned explicit consumer safeguards that have protected customers of FDIC-supervised banks for many years. These commonsense measures advised banks to lend at no higher than 36% annual interest and to verify a borrower can repay any single-payment loan before it is issued.

“It was this ability-to-repay standard released jointly by the FDIC and OCC in 2013 that stopped most banks from issuing “deposit advance” payday loans that trapped borrowers in an average of 19 loans a year at, on average, more than 200% annual interest.

“The FDIC’s 2005 guidance, updated in 2015, remains on the books. That guidance limits the number of days lenders can keep borrowers stuck in payday loan debt to 90 days in 12 months. There would be no reasonable justification for removing this commonsense safeguard, and the FDIC should preserve it.

“Today, as banks are now borrowing at 0% annual interest, it would be deeply concerning if they would charge rates above 36%, the maximum rate permitted for loans made to military servicemembers.”

 

Wednesday’s action includes the rescission of two important FDIC consumer protections: 2007 affordable small loan guidelines that advised a 36% annual interest rate cap (again, similar to a law that prohibits interest rates above 36% for loans to military servicemembers) and a 2013 guidance that advised banks to verify a person could repay short-term single-payment loans, which are typically unaffordable.

The FDIC also announced that a 2005 guidance from the FDIC, updated in 2015, will be resissued with “technical corrections.” This 2005 FDIC guidance addresses bank involvement in short-term payday loans by advising that borrower indebtedness in such loans be limited to 90 days in 12 months. This standard is important to ensuring that borrowers are not stuck in payday loan debt traps at the hands of banks, and the FDIC should preserve it.

The joint bank regulators’ guidance is part of a trend of regulators weakening consumer protections for small dollar loans. The four agencies, plus the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), previously issued a disappointing statement on small dollar guidance during the COVID-19 crisis. Also, the CFPB is expected to gut a 2017 rule that would  curb payday loan debt traps. Finally, the FDIC and OCC are working together on joint guidance that could encourage banks to initiate or expand their rent-a-bank schemes, whereby banks, which are generally exempt from state usury limits, rent out their charter to non-bank lenders, which then offer loans, some of which are in the triple digits and have default rates rivaling payday loans.

Posted in Commentary

May 20th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

COVID 19 UPDATE 

  • Internationally – total confirmed cases 4,892,550. Deaths 322,821 Gives a death rate of 6.59%. That is 66 people out of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus.
  • United States – total cases 1,527,355 Deaths 91,845 Gives a death rate of 6.01%. That is 60 out of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus.
  • North Carolina – total cases 19,700 Death 691. Gives a death rate of 3.51%. That is 35.1 out of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus. 585 hospitalizations.
Surrounding counties.
  • Lenoir – total cases 160 death 5
  • Jones – total cases 22 death 2
  • Greene – total cases 50 death 2
  • Pitt – total cases 221 death 2
  • Onslow – total cases 80 death 2
  • Beaufort– total cases 30 death 0
  • Bertie – total cases 95 death 3
  • Craven – total cases 133 death 4
  • Carteret – total cases 35 death 3
  • Wayne – total cases 879 death 16
  • Duplin – total cases 462 death 12
  • Nash – 156 death 3
  • Wilson – 251 death 9
Now for some education:
Now that hydroxychloroquine is back in the news again, I am compelled to report studies that have been reported in the British medical journal and the New England journal of medicine.
Study number 1 – 150 Chinese patients with COVID 19 with mild to moderate or severe symptoms were divided randomly divided into two groups group A – standard treatment. Group B – standard treatment with hydroxychloroquine. There was no difference in the time it took for the body to eliminate the virus or clinical improvement. Essentially the drug did not do anything.
Study number 2 – 181 French patients with severe COVID 19. 84 patients were treated with hydroxychloroquine + standard therapy versus 89 patients were treated with standard therapy alone. There was no difference.
Study number 3 – 1446 patients with COVID 19in New York who were compared according to use of hydroxychloroquine did not show any difference.
Study number 4 – 368 patients divided according to hydroxychloroquine use, hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin use and standard therapy group did not show any difference.
The original recommendation for hydroxychloroquine was based on 20 patients. This is what happens when you base recommendations on small studies. Reading the above evidence you might think hydroxychloroquine is worthless in treating COVID 19. No, that is not what you should get out of this. What you should get out of this is that with the limited evidence we have hydroxychloroquine does not show any benefit and does show harm but large scale trial results need to be resulted before we throw the drug out completely.
Hospitals and physicians have stopped prescribing this drug for COVID 19 and they should never have prescribed it in the first place.
The Remdesivir study is yet to be published. The vaccine trial has also not been published. I hope they work but I am skeptical of small studies.
Dr. Pradeep Arumugham is a Greenville, N.C., cardiologist and East Carolina University faculty member. His updates are used with permission.

Posted in Commentary, Health, State news

May 20th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

As COVID-19 cases skyrocket in Craven County, county health and political leaders continue to act as if nothing is wrong.

With all eyes on the Governor’s Mansion and Gov. Roy Cooper’s decision on Friday whether to enter Phase 2 relaxation of measures to prevent the spread, Craven County’s number of cases more than doubled in a week.

This follows a vote by the Craven County Board of Commissioners asking Governor Cooper to make exceptions for Craven and other supposedly less affected counties, and allow them to reopen regardless of what happens elsewhere in the state.

It also follows a unilateral decision by Sheriff Chip Hughes refusing to enforce a legally binding governor’s executive order against large group gatherings that, among other things, includes churches. A court order saved Sheriff Hughes in the nick of time from becoming a lawbreaker himself by exempting places of worship from the executive order.

Meanwhile, in Pitt County, commissioners rejected the idea of reopening the county earlier. Someone does care.

Craven County officials started off during the pandemic by resisting any proactive moves, instead waiting for state and federal orders, which compared to other nations can best be described as leisurely.

County officials said they couldn’t take action on their own, which was a bald-faced lie. Other counties in North Carolina were already taking preventive measures.

Waiting for the state to act was a risky gamble in the face of a growing pandemic, but it paid off — in the short term. The number of cases in Craven County grew slowly, but the death rate outpaced nearby counties, even the larger ones, until just yesterday, when neighboring Lenoir County’s death toll rose to seven.

Now, with COVID-19 fully entrenched in the community, Craven County and New Bern leaders think it’s a good time to act as if nothing is wrong.

On one hand, you can’t blame them. The economy is tanking, people are running out of money, and the Senate is resisting any further stimulus payments to individuals because doing so might buy time to further slow the spread I mean increase the deficit I mean keep non-essential businesses closed I mean jeopardize President Trump’s reelection.

So as we prepare to reopen restaurants, bars, hair salons, and nail salons, are we doing anything out of the ordinary to keep watch in case this turns out to be a bad idea?

No, actually.

The most effective way to prevent the spread is early detection and isolation.

But there are no plans for mass testing and never were.

County Health Director Scott Harrelson resists mass testing of people without symptoms.

“This has been done regionally and the results are what one might expect,” he told the Sun Journal. “The results come back negative. This is a poor use of resources. Personal protective equipment like isolation gowns and N-95 respirator masks are still difficult to obtain.”

He added that, while a healthy person may test negative one day, that is no proof he or she wouldn’t test positive a couple of days later.

He’s right, but he’s wrong.

The point of mass testing is to identify fairly rare cases of contagion and isolate them before they become common. That way people are less likely to test negative one day and test positive a couple of days later.

Craven County is doing the exact opposite.

“We are doing a lot of tests on symptomatic people and close contacts of positive cases,” Harrelson told the Sun Journal. “Recently 65 percent of the people we tested came back positive. In my opinion this is a much better use of resources.”

Testing has required a medical professional in full PPE, which must be discarded after each test. PPE was and continues to be in short supply, which is why Dr. Harrelson is right.

So we are limited to reactive testing … testing only those who we know are sick and probably have it, or who we know were exposed.

The best illustration on why isolation and testing are important and effective are being demonstrated in South Korean.

South Korean had its first case on the same day the United States had its first case. How the two nations responded were night and day.

South Korean instituted a vigorous program of testing and isolation, whereas the United States waited more than a month, and even then never approached the level of measures that South Korea deployed early on.

The result? Today, South Korea, a much more densely populated nation than the United States, has 11,018 confirmed cases, and 260 deaths. The United States has 1.5 million confirmed cases and 93,558 deaths. North Carolina, by the way, has had 19,700 cases and 691 deaths.

Naysayers point out that, well of course the United States has more cases and deaths; it has a population of 328.2 million and South Korea has a population of just 51.6 million.

OK, then explain why North Carolina, with a population of just10.5 million, has more cases and more deaths than South Korea.

Besides, the question isn’t how many tests have been administered. The question is how many tests have been administered PER PERSON.

By March, South Korea had tested 3,692 people per million compared to the United States testing 5 (yes, just five) per million. The United States caught up by April, but the point of preventing a pandemic is early intervention.

And that means testing early and testing often.

As far as the rest, as Dick Cheney once said, we don’t know what we don’t know.

So with cases skyrocketing, we go blindly into relaxed preventions and will feel our way around.

Hopefully what we wind up touching isn’t contagious.

If you feel you need to be tested, you should contact your doctor or, if you do not have one, the Craven County Health Department at 252-636-4920. Results usually come back within two days.

 

 

Posted in Commentary, Craven County, Health

May 15th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

It is unfortunate that attempts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have become such a political hot potato.

I hold New Bern Post readers in high regard. Regardless of their politics, they provide helpful insights and reasoned arguments when they make comments on the New Bern Post Facebook page.

Generally.

I banned two readers on Thursday, however, one for verbally abusing another New Bern Post reader, and one because I don’t have the time to engage in unending online conversations with unreasonable people.

So how do I describe unreasonable?

This specific reader concluded that I am satisfied with how Gov. Roy Cooper is handling North Carolina’s corner of the pandemic.

I hadn’t actually given it much thought up to that point. I have written commentaries after many hours of research, including studying measures being taken — or not taken — by other countries hit hard by the pandemic.

In many cases, I have commented that state and local officials were not doing enough to prevent the disease from spreading. I’ve been doing this since early March.

But I was curious. How effective IS Governor Cooper’s efforts?

It is a very simple comparison.

North Carolina is the ninth largest state in population, but it ranks 20th in the number of COVID-19 cases. That in itself should indicate some level of success.

But here’s the thing. In number of COVID-19 deaths per 100,000, North Carolina ranks 36th.

Based on that DATA, you can conclude that North Carolina is performing better than average in terms of preventing the spread of COVID-19 in a high-population state, and doing an even better job of keeping COVID-19 patients alive.

But for whatever reason, a lot of people don’t trust that data. They say the death toll is artificially high because most of those who are dying of the disease have pre-existing conditions.

Well, duh.

Yes, people with respiratory problems, or who are older, or who have impaired immunity, or some combination, are more susceptible to COVID-19.

The question isn’t whether they died because of those pre-existing conditions. The question is whether they would have died in the last two months if they had not had COVID-19.

There’s also the pesky fact that treating COVID-19 patients is overwhelming hospitals and is spreading like wildfire when people don’t take precautions.

So anyway, I gave her data … otherwise known as facts.

Her response:

“So is the flu, HIV and a number of other diseases for which there is no reliable vaccine.
If there was no testing we wouldn’t even know it was there. Honestly you stay home, wrap in bubble wrap if. You need. I refuse to live like that. I won’t judge you. Leave the rest of the world to move on.”

If we didn’t keep track of car accident fatalities or murders, we wouldn’t know they were there, either. As far as flu, there ARE reliable vaccines, and as far as HIV, there ARE effective treatments. COVID-19? Neither are true. Plus, it is so easy to find out why COVID-19 is far more serious than the flu, one must deliberately ignore the facts to believe otherwise.

Moving on.

I then asked her whether she thought Governor Cooper was doing a good job.

“I believe it political for blue state govs to close down their states to destroy the economy. The goal to prevent Trump from reelection. I support states that chose not to shut down or have re opened. I support heard (sic … I believe she meant “herd”) immunity and protect the vulnerable only until that develops. I feels (sic) this is backwards. Cooper will follow whatever the Democrat plan is for sure and does not care who gets hurt. I object to continuing to put $$ packages through Congress. I support getting people back to work. Cooper is a puppet.”

I suppose similar measures being taken to good effect around the world are also part of this Democrat plot. No, I don’t suppose that.

It is very likely that Democrats see this as an opportunity to destabilize President Trump and jeopardize his reelection.

But that doesn’t negate that preventive measures are necessary and effective.

What IS reprehensible is rejecting preventive measures in a pandemic in order to support a favored candidate.

Saying that North Carolina needs to loosen restrictions because its COVID-19 numbers are low ignores the fact that North Carolina’s COVID-19 numbers are low because of the restrictions.

Cooper is not a puppet. He may be a copycat, using effective measures employed by other states and nations, but he is not a puppet.

 

 

Posted in Commentary, Health

May 13th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

News that Craven County COVID-19 spiked by 14 cases in 24 hours is shocking enough.

That these 14 new cases all came from a group of families and friends may help people to better understand how fast COVID-19 can spread under the right conditions.

What are the right conditions?

To understand that, you have to look at what experts in the field recommend to avoid catching the virus:

  • Maintain social distancing
  • Avoid crowds
  • Frequent hand washing and general good hygiene
  • Wear a mask to keep you from spreading the virus, whether you know you have it or not

The Craven County Health Department, which is legally required to protect the identities of patients, provided little information about the cluster that led to the 14 new cases.

All it said is that the group consisted of family and friends, and that after members of the group were tested, seven were confirmed infected on Tuesday, and another seven were confirmed infected on Wednesday. (It will be interesting to see if more cases are revealed later this week.)

If they were infected, you can presume that they either: ignored the recommended avoidance measures; or did a poor job of using the measures; or even if they were diligent in using the measures, they were infected, anyway.

There are a lot of people who are ignoring preventive measures, and in some cases even protesting those measures. People who fit in this category are specifically vulnerable.

There are a lot of people who are not closely following recommended preventive measures. These people may be lulled into thinking they are safe and therefore virus-free. On the contrary, they are vulnerable to both catching the virus and spreading it.

Finally, there are those who are diligent, yet catch the virus, anyway. These people may mask up and head to the grocery store, be exposed to a carrier, and bring it home, where they drop their guard and then pass it on to family and loved ones.

I hope that as Craven County enters Phase 1 of the relaxation of restrictions designed to slow the spread of the virus, that leaders and citizens realize that it is too early to think we are safe from an uncontrolled outbreak.

We are not safe. But government, from the White House to City Hall at Craven and Pollock streets, seem to be doing their best to keep this pandemic going.

That leaves you, the individual, as your last and best line of defense. No matter what anyone else says, do these:

  • Maintain social distancing
  • Avoid crowds
  • Frequent hand washing and general good hygiene
  • Wear a mask to keep you from spreading the virus, whether you know you have it or not

 

Posted in Commentary, Craven County, Health

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