Editor’s note: My dad is 93 and sheltering in place in a nursing home in coastal Oregon. I live in North Carolina. I write him nearly daily.

Hi, Dad,

Sarah and I went for a drive in the convertible yesterday. It has become our main source of entertainment during this pandemic, in that it allows us to get out and get some sun or breezes without exposing ourselves or exposing ourselves to others.

It was truly a generous gift in many ways. Thank you.

The governor of North Carolina unveiled Phase 1 of the softening of restrictions intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

I still wonder what the proper style for COVID-19 is. I think it should be CoViD-19 or Covid-19, but I posed the question to other editors I know and most voted for COVID. But I digress.

The number of cases in our state continues to increase, and in our county, Craven County, named for the Earl of Craven, we’ve been adding two to three cases a day for the past week. We continue to lead the region in the number of deaths at four, even though there are two other counties half to twice again our size in population.

As you know, I run a news website and I have been paying close attention to this since January.

We’ve been getting mixed messages from the White House on down to the mayor’s office, and conflicting numbers from our county Health Department and the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Meanwhile, people cherry-pick information to suit their politics or personal preferences.

One reader posted something that does a good job of illustrating that. She said:

“If you stay six feet or more from me then a mask is not necessary. I am not sick and will not wear a mask. No law says I have to. I wont make you sick either. I want statistics on the patients. Did they have pre existing co-morbidity? Were they diabetic, asthmatic or have coronary disease or COPD? Were they over the age of 65? All relevant. Especially when numbers are bring skewed in an effort to instill fear. Of course this is my opinion. Yes I have done lots of my own research But the spread is not because people won’t wear a mask.”

This person has clearly done research, maybe even some of the same places that I have used. And yet, she leaves things out or interprets information to support her effort to keep from inconveniencing herself.

This is where the danger lies, and why lies present such danger.

As this virus has spread and the numbers of cases and deaths have increased, the lies are changed to suit the narrative.

Now people don’t die of COVID-19, they die of asthma or whatever preexisting condition they had that tagged-teamed them to death.

Now the virus magically disappears at six feet or 10 minutes or less than 10 people. Masks do no good but going without masks does.

Here in Craven County, we only have 54 confirmed cases, but the number of locally caught cases is increasing, we lead the region in deaths, new cases are outpacing recoveries, and there is no telling how many people are out there with few or no symptoms or who know they are sick but can’t afford to visit a doctor or take time off from work.

Because restrictions on stores were lifted yesterday, Sarah and I thought we would stop by the Farmers Market. It was crowded when we got there and we decided not to stop.

I fear what we will see in a week or two, and I hope I am wrong.

But I think it is better to hope I am wrong, than to ignore precautions and hope I am right.

Love, your son

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