Agonizing: Cooper’s response to pandemic inconsistent, clumsy, hurtful

"The lack of leadership, at all levels, is stark, brazen in its incompetence and contraction."

Agonizing.

These lockdowns, mandates, and suppressions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Logically inconsistent, clumsy in their application, and impossible to enforce.

We’ve become prisoners of this virus, without imminent hope of reprieve. Potential treatments are enmeshed in politics, thrust into a media culture replete with influencers and pundits spewing confusion and toxicity.

We wear masks, stay six feet apart, and commit to washing our hands as if it was the latest trend in personal hygiene. 

Each day we face the world as it is, and life as it has become. We become agitated, impatient, depressed. It didn’t have to be this way.

The lack of leadership, at all levels, is stark, brazen in its incompetence and contraction.

Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, in March ordered a statewide lockdown in response to the pandemic. It was part of a three-part plan, he said then, to “flatten the curve” and to prevent overwhelming hospitals with patients. Cooper in May enacted a modified Phase 2, opening restaurants, breweries, hair salons, tattoo parlors, and other businesses at limited capacity. 

But the state, as of mid-August, has remained stuck in an excruciatingly abstract Phase 2, per Cooper’s orders. Myriad businesses, including bars, gyms, bowling alleys, and theaters, are closed, until at least Sept. 11, when Cooper will revisit the issue.

News outlets in all their iterations each day repeat pandemic numbers first reported by the respective health departments. Media report daily cases with little or no context, offering samples accounting for a couple of days. Comparing and gauging the imminent and provincial threats, for the average reader, become an unnecessary challenge. Rather than tracking outbreaks and addressing them specifically, Cooper and health officials flash imprecise graphs, their relevance cloudy at best.

Outbreaks in nursing homes. Wear a mask.

In meat-packing plants. Wash your hands. 
On college campuses. Wait six feet apart.

Cooper talks about getting the percentage of positive cases below 5%, which health officials characterize as some sort of epiphany. Still, whether we’re constantly testing enough people to justify that percentage is unclear. Rinse and repeat.

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