Numbers have become the driving issue for the country and the world. Sadly, these numbers, all describing victims of the COVID-19 pandemic do little to tell the real story which is one of human impact.

Elected officials have become so focused on meeting goals dictated by numbers such as the number of new cases, number of deaths or the number of recoveries that they have overlooked the psychological, social and economic impacts of their decisions. The oversight is now resonating with frustration that could result in contempt of the law and leadership.

To promote the appearance of leadership, elected officials such as Governor Cooper are providing daily updates on the number of COVID-19 cases and actions to be taken to stem any increase in those numbers. But in reality the governor and other elected officials are hiding. Their use of statistics does nothing to connect with the public. And then to follow up with dictates that further inhibit or restrain the public only increases public frustration and distrust.

What is needed is a conversation at every level of government leadership. Governor Cooper should be meeting with various stake holders on a regular basis to hear their concerns and, even if it results in disagreements, at least provide a reason for his decisions. All of his appearances to date are predicated on giving reports and in some cases unilateral mandates. He has not provided an opportunity for dialogue about his actions, which gives him a sense of security and a resulting image of being disconnected with his constituents.

The growing dissatisfaction with the governor’s actions can be seen with the weekly protests in Raleigh by #ReopenNC and the recent decisions by county commissioners to ignore portions or all of the governor’s mandates. While this may be seen as a political dispute since Cooper is seeking re-election in November, these acts are examples of growing distrust in the system. This distrust can develop into contempt of both the law and leadership which in the long run diminishes civic solutions.

The leadership of the state is only one level of the growing frustration with elected leadership. At the county and municipal levels there is a growing frustration and distrust displayed by residents and businesses.

The recent decision by Beaufort Mayor Rett Newton to restrict access to Beaufort with roadblocks was perceived by many as heavy handed and lacking justification. Recent actions by the beach mayors restricting beach access have resulted in growing frustration from businesses, residents, tourists and most notably, surfers.

All of these restrictions have been altered and/or totally removed. But what is left is frustration and distrust.

An earlier editorial in the News-Times did recognize the conundrum local officials faced having to balance the wellbeing of their community against an invisible threat only measured by numbers provided by state and national health officials. As noted in that editorial these local decisions were being made “on the fly” with absolutely no precedent for comparison. And these local elected officials are volunteers, lacking professional guidance available at the state and federal levels. Their hands were further tied by state and federal mandates as well.

Recent statistical analysis has proven, fortunately, that predictions were overstated. Originally the country was expecting upwards to 240,000 deaths but that number has dropped to about 60,000. Given the disparity between predictive models and actual results gives additional need for elected leaders to show up for a conversation with their constituents and to listen to their concerns, pro and con.

This effort should start at the local level with municipalities and county government convening town hall meetings to discuss the current situation and strategies going forward.

Governor Cooper is providing little guidance, just mandates for a phased-in recovery process. That guidance lacks any real benefit for residents and businesses who are beginning to feel the financial impact of what can be described as arbitrary and draconian measures.

As the patient numbers for COVID-19 decline, paradoxically the number of economic victims are rising exponentially. Currently more than 20 million people are out of work and a growing number of businesses have announced permanent closure. This is a critical moment requiring elected officials to be more responsive and less reactive.

Communication is now the most needed effort on the part of our elected leaders. A continued push of numbers without a sense of human concern for the impact of decisions resulting from these numbers will increase resentment and ultimately an increase in distrust in our political system which is far more destructive than COVID-19.

(16) comments

DeadBolt

Cherry Health CEO and Board President ADMIT Health Center STAGED a COVID19 testing line for CBS News [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGm6QPJc0as ] Hmmmmmmmmmm <----------- One Wonders.

Osprey

US deaths exceeded 80,000 today (May 11). The number of new cases is still running 25000-30000 per day. The death rate is "low" by percentages but that does not mean to take Covid 19 lightly . Who alive today can recall anything like this in their lifetime? Will it take someone you know or a loved one to contract the disease to make it seem more real ?

Covid 19 has killed more Americans than soldiers than died in Viet Nam. It has killed 2.5 X than soldiers killed in Korea. We consider those numbers of casualties significant.

Agreed we need to reopen but please do not skew the numbers. The people who are protesting and advocating reopening everything are not the majority only the loudest.

No argument the Country needs to reopen. The economy needs to go for the people. People must exercise utmost caution and continue take Covid 19 as serious as a serious threat.

JusticeForAll

Maybe we should ban CNN and FOX. Neither side can get it right. Communication, please...government is inept. Human concern...820 million people are starving on this planet...over 12 million, men, women and children are being physically, mentally, and sexually abused...780 million don't have good drinking water...2.5 billion don't have improved sanitation...and yes, many die from these things, too.

Get ready for round two of "shut downs." The emotional and economic distress will be a serial thing.

dc

Viruses & all other deadly occurrences get attention & if not then most all civilization would be backward wouldn't it. All problems can't be completely & perfectly solved instantly or ever but if we totally ignore them then what? Should the medical community just go away? It seems this particular virus has been as much about financial survival from the individual to the national if not more so medical treatment, life/death, etc & maybe for good reasons as we've heard & know. Something we all should remember as things process is what lessons can be learned. Anything that kills in "massive" numbers should raise concern of a civilized people. Numbers are debatable for sure but because this virus has shown it attacks & kills the elderly & health compromised in much higher numbers than other segments of population what is the main lesson to take away from this particular virus? Considering the very high numbers of nursing home patient deaths & the fact that it's too late in this instance we should never forget & make corrections ASAP. It's obvious the country was ill-prepared in general but specifically so for our most vulnerable. This administration is no more if as much to blame as any previous ones. Without getting into a back & forth on the unborn, socio-economics, etc, think it goes without saying how we take care of the most vulnerable among us reflects who we are. In this case the "most vulnerable" happened to be nursing homes so those responsible for the administration & operation of these facilities both in the public & private sections must make changes & fast without a bunch of BS. These facilities in the private sector seem to change hands often & why is that other than the owners, CEOs, administrations, highly paid govt administrators, etc. reaping the benefits while those low-level employees in the trenches supposedly & many actually & humanely taking care of the patients' needs are over-worked & underpaid depending on the individuals' work attitude in a more often than not tough & depression work environment.

DeadBolt

The Chloroquine Lady Saga: From Leftist Star to HOMICIDE Case! [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ptTFmzJWfg ] Hmmmmmmmm

David Collins

Speaking of benefits , it appears that it is good to be married to the State of NC’s Health Director , who reports to one Dr. Mandy Cohen . Governor Cooper’s covid sidekick . How good , reportedly 25 million dollars good . He is to do Contact Tracing for N.C. . No one else is qualified to do this , so it seems . Life is good around Jones Street . Yes it is !

DeadBolt

Until he goes down the 'wrong' ally. [whistling]

dc

Somebody outside the state's executive branch needs to be taking a look at that. Nursing homes/residential care facilities oversight is abysmal. One can only assume they evidently announce inspections to give the facilities heads-up to prepare for inspections. Inspections/audits should be unannounced if that's not already the case. Even if they are unannounced they aren't done often enough.

, The MediCare/MediAid dollars should go to ensure these facilities "warehousing" in many cases our elderly are better run with better resources. It's total BS when the govt allows if not encourages the dollars to be eaten up by the able-bodied.

David Collins

Once again , it is an election year . Anything goes and nothing is out of bounds .

JusticeForAll

Nothing will change in these facilities. Families, who can prove neglect and such, are paid by the facilities insurance policy. That seems to be enough to allow it to continue.

David Collins

Yes , justice but only up to the limits of the policy . Above this they fall back on the old LLC limits . Having to prove culpability among the principals is often blocked by “connections “ . The ugly side of “health care “ rears it so ugly head . Again . A place for mom is just a greased banana peal leading to the crematorium . If you are lucky . Makes good flour bed fertilizer . Doesn’t it .

CARTERETISCORRUPT

Rett Newton was wrong in using roadblocks and such in Beaufort. It is imperative that he not be reelected. It is high time we either did away with mayor or the town administrator position. We don't need both. There are too many inept chiefs in Beaufort.

dc

Has anyone heard that Biden said this Chinese Communist virus has cost 85,000 jobs & killed billions of people? Where we find workers in that case?

DeadBolt

Protect yourself today folks! [ https://www.trump2020masks.com/products/maga-mask?utm_source=fleccas&utm_medium=swipeup1&utm_campaign=maga+mask ] <---------------- [rolleyes]

DeadBolt

UNREAL: Orange County Doctor Breaks His Silence on COVID-19 [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4ir6np7iCE ] <--------------------- CUT / COPY AND PASTE.

David Collins

Yes , I heard that . Everyone misspeaks but old Joe really takes it to a new level . It is his age along with early onset and I do feel sorry for him . He is being used by his party , guess one could call it a form of elder abuse , to put forth their agenda . Knowing full well he will never serve a term and will abdicate to the VP . Who will replace the VP is sort of up for discussion but could be the speaker of the house . That is a comforting thought indeed .

Welcome to the discussion.

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