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home : opinion : opinion May 30, 2020

3/29/2020 10:49:00 AM
Order Or Not, They're Not Staying At Home
There were probably as many people in downtown Lincolnton on Saturday (March 28th) as there would have been on any 'normal' Saturday.  Hopefully, they were observing 'social distancing.'
There were probably as many people in
downtown Lincolnton on Saturday
(March 28th) as there would have been
on any 'normal' Saturday.  Hopefully,
they were observing 'social distancing.'

It was a beautiful day, and the car wash was doing a brisk business.  The hardware stores, auto parts stores, and supermarkets were as busy as ever.  The kids are out of school--but many were along on shopping trips with their parents.
It was a beautiful day, and the car wash
was doing a brisk business.  The
hardware stores, auto parts stores, and
supermarkets were as busy as ever. 
The kids are out of school--but
many were along on shopping
trips with their parents.

+ view more photos
Some businesses will be considered
'essential' and will still be open
during the 'stay at home' period. 
Among them are ABC stores.


Wayne Howard
Staff Writer


A statewide 'stay at home' order takes effect Monday at 5 PM.  Mecklenburg, Cabarrus and Gaston counties already have a local 'stay at home' edict in effect.  Governor Cooper had already closed some businesses effective last Wednesday.  Barber shops, hair salons, nail salons, gyms, and movie theaters were already closed by the Governor's executive order.  Restaurants could only be open for carryout, drive-thru or delivery.

President Trump has so far declined a nationwide 'stay at home' order, leaving it to governors and local officials to decide whether to shut down nonessential businesses. He said last week he’d like to have the country “opened up and just raring to go by Easter,” which is now just two weeks away.

When Cooper closed some businesses effective Wednesday, Civitas, the conservative thinktank, objected.  Lincoln County Commission chairman Carrol Mitchem agrees with them--that 'the cure may be worse than the disease.'  Catawba County Commission chairman Randy Isenhower urged compliance with the order: "...local governments in Catawba County are cooperating with the directions as set out in the Governor’s order...

"When we faced with challenging times, we Catawbans take on the burden of finding solutions for our community. We have repeatedly stepped up to work our way to better days together. This is at the very heart of who we are.  It is time once again for us to step up and show what we’re made of. We must each take personal responsibility for helping lessen the burden of the coronavirus pandemic on our healthcare system, our communities, and each other. I urge you to take the Governor’s Stay at Home Order seriously."

There is no doubt that the closure of businesses is having a strong negative impact on the economy.  Congress passed a two trillion dollar stimulus package to try to mitigate some of the economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, but most experts agree, we're in for a rough spell.   

Cooper's 'stay at home' order doesn't take effect until 5 PM Monday--but if Saturday is any indication, most people aren't paying much attention to the 'stay at home' requests that have so far been voluntary in all but a handful of locations.  

A part of the reason is that Americans have long been different from most of the rest of the world.  We value individual freedoms more than the public good.  Aside from an actual 'lockdown' (the 'stay at home' orders are not that; they are full of exceptions and are virtually uneforceable), people are probably going to go out and about.

Barber shops, hair and nail salons, theaters and gyms may be closed--and while many restaurants are still open, trying to survive by doing carryout or delivery, others are closed until the order is lifted.  

Bill Gates (on CNN last week), Joe Biden (the likely Democratic candidate for President) and many health professionals have called for a lockdown...a real and complete closure of businesses and industries for a period of several weeks to stop the spread of the virus.  Worthy of consideration or not, necessary or not, that isn't likely to happen.  If it seems un-American, it is--not so much in principle as in fact: President Trump was correct that 'America isn't built for closing down'--or more correctly, Americans, believers in individual liberties above all, aren't conditioned to go along with it.

1 - Rock Fitness - New Design

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