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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : opinion : opinion January 23, 2021

11/26/2020 1:08:00 PM
It's Up To You
...if you care about your neighbors, get behind the mask!

Wayne Howard

Those who insist on not wearing facial coverings should understand that with the COVID-19 pandemic getting much worse, the potential for more restrictions is growing, too. Those who considered it a political issue can put that behind them now--Roy Cooper got re-elected and will be North Carolina's Governor for the next four years. Not wearing a mask now as a political statement is foolish, since the political issues have all been decided-now it's time to address the health crisis.

Governors and mayors in other states have also issued orders that many oppose and which are certainly difficult for businesses including some where no restrictions existed until recently. North Carolina is alone in having restrictions; so does much of the rest of the US and other countries.

Several European countries have reimposed lockdowns after relaxing them during the Summer. Sweden, known for its decision to avoid restrictions in hopes of herd immunity to the disease, has given up on that failed experiment. The country has the highest rate of new hospitalizations in Europe and a death toll four times that of its Nordic neighbors. Sweden, unlike France and the UK, hasn't imposed a lockdown; they don't even require wearing facial coverings; but they have ordered bars & restaurants to close earlier and beginning Monday, they'll have a ban on public gatherings of more than eight people.

Canada, which had fared much better than its southern neighbor, is also experiencing a resurgence of COVID. Like the US, the steps taken are on a province by province basis. In Alberta, that means a modified lockdown. Unlike in the Spring, when the province designated essential and non-essential businesses, this time most businesses are placed into three main categories: closed for in-person service, open with restrictions and open by appointment only. Calgary has declared a state of emergency because of the virus.

In Manitoba, most retailers have been forced to close. Big box stores like Walmart & Costco can remain open--but only to sell what are called 'essential items'--food, medicines, etc. They are not supposed to sell clothing or other items not considered essential.

In Ontario, smaller retailers are closed, but the big box stores are still open without restriction because they sell 'essential items.' Much like what was true of North Carolina earlier this year, small businesses are very displeased with that policy, which they say hurts them while actually helping the big stores.

Most area counties didn't report figures on Thanksgiving Day, but Catawba County had 78 new cases of the disease and two more deaths, bringing that total to 93. The NCDHHS also didn't report figures Thursday, but Wednesday saw the third biggest number of new cases yet, 4,212, and the most hospitalizations from the virus, 1,811.

As one doctor said when we talked with him about the rampant spread of the virus and how many are still calling it a hoax, others insisting on disputing the numbers, and some refusing to wear facial coverings, "we're not trying to infringe on your rights; we're trying to save your life and the lives of your neighbors!"

Vaccines are on the way, but they won't do any good for those who get infected and die before they're available. Do your part to keep that from happening--get behind the mask!

1 - Jackie Dameron Farm Bureau

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