Editorial: Post COVID-19: We're Getting There...

By / Editorials / Tuesday, 09 February 2021 04:54

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

The Carolina Beach Town Council approved a request to bring back amusement rides to the ocean front Boardwalk area during their February 9th, meeting.
That's a great sign. A positive light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel; whenever that may be.
True, the level of infections and hospitalizations are trending down, but trends are uncertain and can swell again based on numerous factors.
One thing to note right up front, even though they approved the amusement rides returning to the Boardwalk, it all depends on when North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper will deem it safe enough to allow such operations to resume with COVID-19 safety measures in place.
That will obviously include precautions like social distancing, limited occupancy on rides, requiring face masks and other measures.
Carowinds near Charlotte, NC, is currently planning on reopening later this year. Perhaps with their corporate planning powerhouse, they can spread some knowledge to help out smaller amusement operators during the pandemic.
There is a strong desire among locals and business owners to return to outdoor events that we have traditionally enjoyed such as the Beach Music Festival, Seafood Blues and Jazz Festival, weekly summer fireworks displays, the larger holiday fireworks displays, and many others.
While everyone is eager to get back to normal and not fear leaving the confines of their homes or encountering people who thumb their noses at the COVID-19 pandemic - like those misguided anti-mask wearing people - there is no responsible reason to rush out and pretend we are all getting back to normal at this point in the pandemic.
We're not there... yet.
The problem that we continue to face is many people ignore the orders to wear masks in public during the pandemic. Some try to skirt the order by pulling it down under their nose which is absolutely ridiculous.
To the younger generation. You might not experience serious conditions, but not wearing a mask can make you a carrier and you'll spread the virus to others, such as the older generation who may have underlying health conditions, and therefore you increase those individual's risk of catching it from you and ultimately dying or at the very least, suffering long term health complications that will shorten their  lifespan.
Those people could be neighbors, people in the checkout line at the store, family members and other people you pass by on the sidewalk. If you don't care about spreading the virus, you're a self-centered dark person with no focus on the well being of others.
Think of this way, if you had the flu, would you willingly drive to your parents or grandparents house and sneeze on them or give them a kiss on the cheek knowing they could catch your funk and struggle to recover, and even with the flu, likely die?
Seriously, take a minute to think about that.
Many people demand reopening businesses and lifting restrictions across the United States. Those that refuse to wear a mask in public ignore the fact that wearing a mask helps to fight the spread of the virus and moves us towards a lower case count in a more expeditious manner. Simple math: No masks = more spread. More masks = increasingly lower spread of the virus.
Thailand has a population of almost 70 million people. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), they have had 12,594 cases of the virus with 70 deaths. Their government enacted strict rules on citizens limiting their freedom of movement outside of their homes including tracking their cell phones and imposing a $33,000 fine for violations.  By American standards, that's drastic, but it has proven effective and  keeping the case count down to a low number.
Yet American's won't enjoy that level of protection because we're so fond of our freedoms even when facing impending death by an aggressively spreading virus. Yet Thailand's nearly 70 million people are sitting there with 70 deaths. Do the math. The U.S. has over 400,000 albeit with a much larger population. However, Thailand still wins.
People  be smart and compassionate and wear your mask in public. It
protects you and protects others.
I'm looking forward to riding the amusement rides and getting a nice hotdog at the Boardwalk. We can all look forward to that as long as we're careful with a focus on our own health and the health of others around us.

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