Nolte: My North Carolina Lockdown’s Been Extended for No Valid Reason

1Lt. Robert Logan Sugar Valley Composite Squadron - Civil Air Patrol takes inventory of supplies during COVID-19 Emergency Relief 2020 in western North Carolina, April 8, 2020. The North Carolina National Guard has been working with the State Emergency response partners on COVID-19 response since March 2020, while over 300 …
North Carolina National Guard / Flickr

Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC) just extended North Carolina’s statewide stay-at-home-order to May 8 — and has done so for no valid reason I can think of.

As of the end of April, we will have been in total lockdown for a full month, and now we face another week of this, and nothing about it makes sense.

Throughout our entire state, there have been only 8,830 confirmed coronavirus cases, 305 deaths, and, as of now, our state’s hospitals must look awfully barren with only 451 people hospitalized for the coronavirus and all elective procedures and surgeries canceled.

Our worst hot spot is Mecklenberg County, home of Charlotte, but that urban area saw only 1,482 cases and 41 deaths.

So with these numbers, what is the point of continuing the lockdowns?

Isn’t the whole point of the lockdown to ensure our health care system doesn’t crash? So where in North Carolina is there any fear of the health system crashing — I mean, other than from bankruptcy, because the hospitals are all empty due to the outlawing of elective procedures?

Okay, maybe Charlotte and Raleigh and some other cities are a concern. Fine, extend their lockdowns… But why my county?

I live in Western North Carolina, and in my county and the four surrounding, we’ve had exactly 63 confirmed coronavirus cases — and not one death. Let me add that each one of those counties has a hospital, so what is the risk of opening us up right now? Nothing is going to crash here.

According to the models — and we’re supposed to be a slave to the data, correct? A slave to the experts, correct? — if we did not lockdown, things would be ten times worse. Okay, fine… Even if you double that to 20 times worse, that’s still fewer than 1,300 coronavirus cases spread over five counties and five weeks… Fewer than half of those cases would have required hospitalization, which means that even if we had not locked down, our system would not have crashed.

So maybe I’m asking the wrong question.

Instead of asking why our lockdown is being extended, maybe I should be asking why we were shut down in the first place?

Let me rephrase… We have five hospitals in my five-county area, I just doubled the worst-case scenario without a lockdown, and our health system did not crash, so why the hell was our lockdown extended?

What is it with this one-size-fits-all policy across a wide and diverse state?

So now you’re going to tell me lockdowns save lives. Well, of course they do! And if we locked down the whole country forever and ever, we’d save a ton of lives. No more car accidents! No more deaths from the seasonal flu!

But are we really saving lives..?

I mean, come on… This is an infectious virus with no cure, no vaccine; and by all accounts, it’s a very infectious virus, so how are we going to avoid catching it, unless, of course, we’re willing to quarantine for the 12 to 18 months until there’s a vaccine?

And what if there’s no vaccine? That’s a possibility, you know… What if after locking down for 12 to 18 months we come up with bupkis, no vaccine, which means it’s still not safe to emerge? Well, at least we’ve turned our once vibrant country into a ravaged moonscape for no reason.

We were told that the whole point of these lockdowns was to slow the spread (not stop the spread — which is impossible without a vaccine) so that our health system doesn’t crash. That makes perfect sense to me. We do not want people to die who can be saved. I get that. I also get that it was a good idea to lock down hotspots like New York and Detroit, etc. But the health system in my five counties was never in any danger of being overwhelmed, and now we’re extending the lockdown?

I’m sorry, but this is utter nonsense. If anything, as soon as it became clear our local health system would not be forced into triage, things should have started reopening. But instead, we’re extending this madness…

One more week for countless small businesses to die. One more week of people living with unbearable toothaches. One more week of my wife being half-blinded by cataracts. One more week of record unemployment… And for what?

If we’re not going to lockdown until there’s a vaccine, what is the point of locking down one more week?

If there’s no danger of the health system crashing, why aren’t we reopening?

Maybe there’s an answer, but up ’til now, no one’s given enough of a damn to explain it to me. 

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.

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