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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : opinion : opinion October 29, 2020

10/17/2020 5:19:00 AM
If Fall Crawl Was OK, Why Not Parade?

Lincolnton Parks & Recreation will hold a FREE Drive-Thru Trick or Treat at First Federal Park on North Poplar Street Halloween evening beginning at 5 PM and continuing until 7 PM or as long as the candy lasts. This event is DRIVE-THRU ONLY, and candy will NOT be given to walk-ups. All vehicles must enter from Sycamore Street, making a right turn onto North Poplar. You may NOT enter from N. Poplar, traffic on N. Poplar from Main Street will have to make a left turn onto Sycamore. For safety, everyone must remain in their vehicle and pre-packaged candy will be given to trick or treaters ages 12 and under. There is a limit of one cup of candy per child, and five cups of candy per vehicle.

This event will also serve as a test run for a possible socially distanced visit with Santa at the park in December.  If that develops, we'll provide more details later.

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer

Friday evening's Fall Crawl went well.  It was a cool evening, but pleasant, and the event, much like the Art Crawls of previous years, drew a sizeable crowd.  Those attending were asked to wear facial coverings and to socially distance as much as possible, and some did while others didn't.  It is an unfortunate fact of life during the pandemic that even with precautions, there's still the risk of being exposed to the virus.  

I had written earlier that the event was sponsored by the Downtown Development Association, but Betty Flohr, Executive Director of the DDA says that is incorrect.  I apologize; that was the information I had been given.  The event, Betty says, was sponsored by the Arts Council of Lincoln County and the Lincoln Cultural Center.  Several businesses chose not to participate and the Cultural Center, which had said there would be face painting for the kids, decided not to do that because of close contact.

In any case, since the Fall Crawl was held Friday, the Arts Council held its Lincoln Idol competition last weekend, and the schools have reopened to face-to-face instruction for kids in grades K-5, some have questioned why the City Council voted not to hold this year's Christmas parade or to have Santa's House on the Courtsquare.

Contrary to what some appear to believe, including the President of the United States, the pandemic isn't about to be over.  You can rightly say that's an opinion--but it's not just ours, it's the opinion of top epidemiologists who support their opinion with overwhelming evidence.  North Carolina had its biggest number of new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday (Oct. 15th) since the pandemic began, only to set another record with more than 150 more than that record on Friday (Oct. 16th).  Some have suggested that Governor Roy Cooper might impose even tighter restrictions when his Coronavirus Task Force holds another briefing Wednesday (Oct. 20th).  In this case, it is OUR opinion that for him to do so would be political suicide with less than two weeks left until the election.  

Health officials including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top epidemiologist, have suggested and repeated many times that if all of the population that is able (a very, very few do have a medical reason not to do so) would wear facial coverings, practice social distancing, and avoid gatherings as much as possible, the current increase in new cases could be slowed and the total number of active cases would likely diminish over a few months.  If that doesn't happen, Fauci and multiple other top medical experts have predicted that December and January might be the worst of the pandemic--topping substantially the Summer surge.

Lincolnton's decision to nix the parade will likely be joined in coming weeks by similar decisions by other towns in our area.  The Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City won't be the same this year--they'll only march a few blocks and spectators will have to watch it on tv instead of gathering along the streets.  The real danger of parades during a pandemic is that people would gather shoulder-to-shoulder, many possibly not wearing facial coverings, and it might very well cause a significant spread of the virus.

The Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce announced this week that it has cancelled its Networking Luncheon that had been scheduled for next Wednesday (Oct. 21st), Denver and Lincolnton Leads Groups in-person events and  Young Professionals in-person events.  The Gastonia Farmers Market announced it will be closed through next Thursday after one of the vendors tested positive for the virus.

We certainly understand the decision to proceed with the Fall Crawl. Had it been a DDA event (as we incorrectly understood), it would certainly have been understandable. Merchants have suffered terribly from the restrictions imposed because of the pandemic and from the lack of business due to would-be customers staying at home instead of shopping out of fear of becoming infected.  Amazon has enjoyed a huge increase in business because of the pandemic--and local stores have had much less business than they would have.

Some have accused us of fear mongering every time we have posted the latest statistics on the pandemic.  It is true that for those who want to insist that the pandemic is purely political and will all be over after the election or who want to claim a Constitutional right not to wear a mask, we do want to encourage a reasonable fear of this deadly disease that has now claimed 3,910 lives in North Carolina, including 18 in Lincoln County, 61 in Catawba, 76 in Cleveland, and 103 in Gaston.  

PLEASE!  Take this public health crisis seriously and help to end it by practicing the so-called 3Ws.  The life of someone you know may depend on it.

5 - Cathy Davis - County Comm

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4 - Robin Bryant - School Board

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