For many North Carolinians, it feels as though they’ve hit the pause button on their lives. Their days have slowed down. Many are out of work and wondering, when - if ever - they’ll be able to return. Children want to go back to school and be with their friends and run free on the playground.

We need to reassure them that their lives can and will begin again.

We’ve spent countless hours thinking about what targets we have to hit before we can reopen the state. It’s folly to think that it’ll be as simple as flipping a switch. There will be no “bat signal” in the sky telling us it’s time to move on from this.

Which is why we need to have a prudent, thoughtful approach to reopening the state. We can do that by letting our rural counties lead the way. We do not have to make sweeping changes; instead we can make smart, methodical changes allowing for life to slowly begin again Main Street by Main Street.

This virus we’re fighting hasn’t hit every county equally. What is good for Yancey County might not be good for Wake County. We’ve already seen counties issue stricter orders than Governor Cooper’s to address specific concerns. It makes perfect sense to use that same thought process for reopening counties.

Large, urban centers have seen the virus spread quickly. We have counties in the eastern and western part of the state that have seen zero cases.

That is why counties that haven’t been heavily impacted by the virus should be able to start the process of opening up by allowing businesses to open at 50% capacity with necessary safety precautions like social distancing.

Those counties can also put guidelines in place to allow individuals who are 65 or older or who have underlying health conditions to continue to stay at home for their health and safety.

In order to get to that point, we know we need to focus on getting hospitals personal protective equipment and arming ourselves with the best, most accurate data possible to back-up decision making.

We need to find a better way to assure the public that we are making decisions with their health and safety in mind. Because we cannot have a one-size-fits-all approach to reopening, we need all our healthcare providers and the state to partner together to share critical information like testing, capacity and staffing levels. Being transparent about the state of our healthcare system will not only clue our citizens into the decision-making process, but it’ll also allow hospitals to start thinking about when they can open up again for elective surgeries.

We can defeat this. We will defeat this.

But until the last patient is cured, we need to think about what comes next. We must follow the lead of our counties, allowing local leaders to make the best call for the health and safety of their residents.

They have boots on the ground. They can see the impact this virus is having on their cities and towns. With their help, North Carolina can conquer the coronavirus, Main Street by Main Street.

(4) comments

dc

"An ER Physician/Entrepreneur Perspective on the Wuhan Virus" by Trevor Thomas is a compelling argument against the shutdown. Additionally, why did the ,.Chinese Communist Party (CCP) shutdown China's economy especially if their numbers are in fact as low as they say they are? There are too many unanswerable questions for the CCP & crook heading up WHO. It may be too late to uncouple our & really the world's dependency on China which is in fact the Chinese Communist Party but if we don't try we will fail & go down along with them. This could very be our last warning if it isn't already too late.

SandFiddler

How can anyone accurately gauge what degree a county is impacted? If a county is testing only those admitted to the hospital and thorough contact tracing/contact testing has not been done, how could it be safe to open? If contacts aren't sick enough to be admitted to the hospital to get tested, don't have symptoms, or may or may not be positive, how can anyone know who is infected or who isn't? If some patients are sent to another county's hospital to be tested and treated, the numbers there are questionable. Even test results can be imprecise. It is not fair to the public to not be given reliable information.This disease can affect anyone not just the elderly. Some California beaches opened up and it appeared very few were social distancing. Who thinks about social distancing when having fun on the beach? If we don't do it right, and we have another surge, the economy will be worse than before. I can only hope the right decision will be reached and it is indeed based on the safety and health of their residents; not on the leaders' own political/ personal interests, influence by their constituents or fear. I'm glad I'm not the one making that decision. Opening up is a game of russian roulette.

CARTERETISCORRUPT

Sandfiddler: "Decision based on safety...…….; not on the leaders interests or influence by constituents". Oh no, we cannot have leaders actually doing what their constituents want. We don't have a representative government, we have a paternalistic nanny state. Of course the constituents cannot take care of themselves or decide in their best interest. The all knowing and all seeing "leaders" must do this for us. Socialism is closer than you think.

dc

Dr. Daniel Murphy having gone through it all St. Barnabas Hosp in the Bronx & who was infected along with two of his daughters believes it's important the country get back to work.

Welcome to the discussion.

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