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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.