Phase Two. It’s About Time.

by Kerry Dougherty

Yippee!

Welcome to Phase Two, Virginia.

Looks like we can once again dine indoors and go to the gym now that Gov. Ralph Northam is finally loosening his authoritarian grip on the commonwealth. Like dutiful subjects, we are supposed to be grateful.

I’m not.

I’m more annoyed about the lockdown now than I was back in March, when I watched in stunned disbelief as the governor declared a state of emergency, ordered people to stay home and stomped all over our booming economy.

All for what turned out to be a nursing home crisis.

Yes, the latest numbers continue to show that 56% of all of Virginia’s COVID-19 deaths have been in old-age homes. When you take those fatalities out of the total number of Virginians who succumbed to the virus so far you get a death rate of about 7 per 100,000.

For that we yanked kids out of school for three months, released murderers from prison, threw almost 800,000 hard-working Virginians onto unemployment and killed an untold number of small businesses forever.

And here we are, still waiting for the permission of one man to let us go back to fully living our lives.

Maddening.

Meanwhile, thousands of people march in the streets – ignoring executive orders that limit large gatherings -as law-abiding businesses are straitjacketed by capricious rules from Richmond.

Talk to restaurateurs and they’ll tell you that they will still be losing money when they open at 50% today. And gyms are allowed to open with just 30% capacity? How are they supposed to remain solvent? Northam, in his wisdom, has decided that swimming pools can have only lap swimming, instruction and diving. Good old splashing and having fun on a hot day? Not permitted.

Clothing stores must keep their fitting rooms closed.

Nonsensical.

Oh, and gatherings can grow from the old limit of 10 to 50. Unless folks are carrying signs, surrounding Confederate monuments or doing line dancing in the street. No limits on THOSE crowds.

Northam’s missteps during this crisis are too numerous to list. And I’m not just talking about his nutty decision to sashay down the Virginia Beach boardwalk a couple of weeks ago, leaning in for selfies and huddling with supporters, almost as if he knows something about the virus that we don’t.

When the hair-on-fire predictions first surfaced in March, Northam incorrectly identified prisons and jails as future hot spots — just five prisoners have died of Covid-19 in the entire commonwealth — while ignoring signs that nursing homes were turning into death camps.

Immediately, the Parole Board and Department of Corrections began releasing a torrent of prisoners supposedly to spare them from the virus, while those in long-term care facilities helplessly awaited their turn to get sick.

We won’t recover from Ralph Northam’s feckless actions for months. Maybe years.

As “15 days to slow the spread” morphed into an indefinite shutdown, many Virginia hospitals became ghost towns, while cancers and heart disease went undiagnosed and doctors noticed alarming signs that suicide, depression, obesity and alcoholism were on the rise.

We need to reopen Virginia fully and quickly. The cure is turning out to be much worse than the disease.

But if history is any predictor, Northam will keep the commonwealth stuck in Phase Two far longer than necessary.

This column was published originally at www.kerrydougherty.com.

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33 responses to “Phase Two. It’s About Time.

  1. Three new outbreaks in the Fredericksburg area.

    Are none of you seeing outbreaks where you live in Virginia?:

    ” The death of the Caroline County man—the locality’s fourth—was reported on Thursday, along with three new outbreaks from the disease. A retail store, clinic and cleaning company each had three to five workers who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to the health district.

    Even though outbreaks have occurred where people eat, shop and receive medical care, health district officials do not identify them or name the locality in which they operate. Officials cite a section of the state code that affords businesses—be they long-term care facilities or fast-food places—the same protection of privacy during a public health crisis as individuals.

    When readers report incidents of positive tests to The Free Lance–Star and the newspaper can verify them with a company’s corporate office or local representative, then they’re identified in stories.

    To date, there have been 15 virus outbreaks involving 88 people in the local health district, which includes Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford. Seven outbreaks were reported on Wednesday and Thursday.”

  2. “Yes, the latest numbers continue to show that 56% of all of Virginia’s COVID-19 deaths have been in old-age homes. When you take those fatalities out of the total number of Virginians who succumbed to the virus so far you get a death rate of about 7 per 100,000.”

    Imagine 7 per 100,000!

    Not 7 per 100,

    Not 7 per 1000,

    Not 7 per 10,000,

    Not 7 per 25,000, or 50,000, or 75,000

    BUT —- 7 per 100,000

    That’s a 0. 00007% death rate.

    Our mob here couldn’t stop chattering and lecturing us about it for months until a cop murdered a black man in a street, while 3 other cops watched.

    The incompetence of Virginia’s state government is monumental, as is the harm that government wreaks on its citizens daily. Meanwhile, that government and its BR mob here is off on another mindless jihad.

    What is this crazed crew running from? And trying to hide, and to hide from. It’s got to be something very big, very big.

  3. Well, I make it 0.007% but high school was a long time ago…

    The email from the neighborhood association said, well, gee, we could open the pool and fitness center now, but we gotta check with our lawyers. One of you people (who pay the fat HOA fee) might file a lawsuit if you pick up a case of COVID, even if the bug easily might have found you somewhere else….And in truth in this litigious society, such a fear is not misplaced. The complainant’s attorney would produce all of Larry and Nancy Naive’s posts as evidence that the HOA should have known better….(Then again, Virginia is still a contributory negligence state, so the suit would fail.)

    On another front, I’m going to be very happy if all my gloom and doom on the economy is proven too pessimistic. A 13% unemployment rate is still recessionary, and won’t go away fast, but it will go away faster than 20% would. That’s the big upside to the push to reopen in May.

    • Here, here I think we should revamp our litigation process. Maybe we should follow the model of our previous State. The one where the party that loses pays all the fees.

      I have a feeling that it won’t curb a lot of the frivolous lawsuits that get tossed around.

      Oh to be the individual who got rich suing McDonalds for the hot coffee spilled on their lower regions.

    • Nah. All I relate is what I am hearing and seeing, … I do not advocate against, in fact, I advocate FOR opening up – but following the recommendations of science and I strongly suspect that goes into most businesses and institutions, HOAs… are also driven that way.

      It IS a bit of a wild wild west still as science itself is not at all “settled” on COVID19.

      The businesses ARE opening and I’m glad to see it, but it’s folly to say they are being “panicked” by media or others… in setting foolish restrictions.

      I’ve been to a dozen or more different places in the last few days – and almost every one of them is advising social distancing and masks and using a credit card and not cash – I don’t think the chicken-little types or that nasty leftist media are advising them…….

      I especially notice how the doctor and dentist offices are approaching this – and they all want masks and take your temp and ask questions about your current health status and your contacts with those who may have had covid19.

      Finally, none of our friends are ready for group get togethers again, yet…and they are all political stripes..

      This is prudence – not hysteria… and yes, perhaps those wonderful HOAs have even more downsides to them than before!

      You might have to go get a house again!

      • “I especially notice how the doctor and dentist offices are approaching this – and they all want masks and take your temp and ask questions about your current health status and your contacts with those who may have had covid19.”

        That speaks to Steve’s point, a society driven by litigation, Larry. They aren’t concerned about your health they are concerned about being sued. They after all are a business, whose goal is a profit and malpractice insurance isn’t cheap.

        • I’m going to respond to you as long as you behave… otherwise will ignore… your choice

          Those doctors and dentists are worried also what happens to their staff if they become infected – and what happens when their patients find out the office closed over COVID19.

          more than litigation……

          • “I’m going to respond to you as long as you behave… otherwise will ignore… your choice”

            We’ve already been down this road, Larry. The only person resorting to personal and therefore ad hom attacks is yourself. Like for instance that disclaimer is ad hom.

            “Those doctors and dentists are worried also what happens to their staff if they become infected – and what happens when their patients find out the office closed over COVID19.”

            No, that’s all about litigation. After the initial statement that healthcare workers were to stay at home for 14 days and test negative 3 times before returning to work, it was revised to 72 hours fever free and they were to wear a mask.

            Dental Malpractice Insurance costs $3K a year.

            Physician’s depend on their specialty and if they are employed by a hospital. (i.e. Internal Medicine PCP in Philadelphia is $24K a year)

          • no reason to discuss further then………

          • Ellipsis are only 3 periods, they require spaces on either side and they represent omissions.

            I’ll take that as you no longer wish to discuss facts.

      • Here’s more evidence the MSM is filth. WASHINGTON POST DISMAYED BY GREAT ECONOMIC NEWS
        The Washington Post was so confident that the May jobs report would show rising unemployment that it pre-wrote and actually tweeted a “grim milestone” story that it then hurried to retract:

        https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/06/washington-post-dismayed-by-great-economic-news.php

        If Bezos demands quality from Amazon, why does he not demand it from the Post?

    • Hey!

      Only if the HOA used cheap nasal swabs and a test unit with a poor probability of detection purchased through a website ending in .ru

  4. Ms. Dougherty seems not to consider the probability that there would have been significantly more cases and deaths, outside of nursing homes, without the social distancing ordered by the governor. Also, she ignores the fact that Viirginia’s social distancing and lockdowns were less stringent than those in other states.

    By the way, nine DOC inmates have died as a result of COVID-19, rather than five as she reports. Furthermore, it is not clear that COVID-19 was a factor in the parole of inmates convicted of murder many years ago.

    • Was it the social distancing order or the closer of non-essential business, or any other number of the measures taken to slow the spread of the virus.

      Can social distancing and these measures work? Sure they can, but you’d need to know when the virus made land fall and where. Those are two distinct facts that we aren’t aware of.

      “Also, she ignores the fact that Viirginia’s social distancing and lockdowns were less stringent than those in other states.”

      So the next argument is that we weren’t as restricted as we could’ve been?

      That’s the same rational used to perpetually pass the Patriot Act, rights don’t disappear on what “could happen”.

      Those other states who further infringed on their citizens rights weren’t any better or worse, they still infringed on rights of their citizens.

      “By the way, nine DOC inmates have died as a result of COVID-19, rather than five as she reports. Furthermore, it is not clear that COVID-19 was a factor in the parole of inmates convicted of murder many years ago.”

      The inmates along with all other parties didn’t perish as a result of COVID-19, they perished as a result of an underlying condition (comorbidity) that was compounded by their contraction of coronavirus which resulted in COVID-19.

    • Dick – according to the Virginia Department of Health website there have been SIX deaths in jails and prisons. That number rose by 1 this week. I should have doublechecked. My bad. There are roughly 30,000 people incarcerated in Virginia, I believe. Six deaths is hardly cause to start sending inmates home. One thing’s certain: You’re better off in prison than a nursing home right now.

  5. It certainly doesn’t seem like reopening – even in aggressive states like Texas and Florida – caused the medical fiasco predicted by those on the left citing “science”.

    All of this has left me emotionally drained and way behind schedule on important activities. For example, it’s already riot season and I still have my COVID decorations up.

  6. 🙂

  7. OK… I’m still waiting. Exactly what is the declared official emergency that is “giving” the Guvner authority to issue all these orders…
    For those who’ve forgotten it orginally was to prevent health care facilities from being overwhelmed with patients… well that mission was accomplished a long time ago, so what is the excuse now..

    • The latest executive order is an easing of the original executive order. The emergency is the existence of “the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), a communicable disease of public health threat.” The objective of the executive orders is “to slow the spread of this virulent and deadly disease. These extreme measures were necessary to save lives.”

  8. personalizing this to one governor when these restrictions are nationwide just confuses the issue and makes it personal about one Governor.

    Science is driving the restrictions that Governors across the country are implementing.

    Even in states with less restrictions, there still are significant restrictions especially with regard to things like schools and stadiums and convention centers.

    The attacks on individual governors seems to be coming from political opponents – not the general public – that most polls show – widely support the restrictions.

    So this is just more partisan politics.

    When I see folks from both sides complaining and businesses, schools, and other institutions complaining.. I’ll rethink but right now all this is, is more partisan politics from the folks who never supported Northam from the get go.

    • “Science is driving the restrictions that Governors across the country are implementing.”

      There you go again.

      Which governors are being driven by “science”? The ones that have essentially fully reopened (ex: Florida) or the ones that hold to tight restrictions? Take oe aspect of reopening – what does “science” say about indoor dining? There is a lot of variability on that one right now.

      • Tell me when NCAA and Pro Sports restarts in Ga and Florida … or perhaps the GOP convention or perhaps polls for voting or airilnes or cruise ships?

        Are all of those now “open” in Ga and FLA?

        Are all these continuing restrictions just draconian edicts from elites who don’t give a rats behind about science.. it’s just their own beliefs?

      • DJR, we haven’t fully reopened down here in FL. Sixty four counties are on phase two only. Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade where about 50% of total cases are, are still basically on phase one.

  9. LtG, Gov DeSantis is running things. Bars, Ink shops, and some few other things not yet open as I recall. 50% rule indoors for restaurants and shops. Most beaches, pools and golf courses fully open with social dist. Boating/launch ramps open but no rafting up. Probably on about a par with VA.

    BTW, does anyone know if you can still buy fresh seafood off the boats on Maine Ave. in D.C.? Used to be a fav Sat am pastime of mine… Do miss some things about NOVA.

  10. looks like it has reopened – with restrictions.

    https://www.wharfdc.com/fish-market/

    so Florida is not all back open yet and I assume DeSantis is listening to science on the continuing restrictions?

    Northam is being hammered for not “re-opening” everything but it sounds like Florida has not re-opened fully either.

  11. Larry, DeSantis is listening to science (I think) but also is being pulled in various directions by various interests.

    Part of problem in Palm Beach county (population ~ 1.5 million) is its forty-odd municipalities like Boca Raton and Boynton Beach, many large enough to have their own police forces alongside the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office. I’m in part of the unincorporated area where the sheriff operates.

    So for instance, the town of Palm Beach (on the island with Mar A Logo) might have wanted to open its beaches but Delray Beach might not. (don’t quote me) – just an example.

    What made no sense to me was our golf course (and all others) were closed until recently. Most of the pools in our own development are open, the main clubhouse pool not. Ahh social distancing …

    I suspect that sort of thing is playing out in Virginia too.

  12. It is and some folks are not happy with it and blaming Northam for Draconian edicts and such.

    I’ve been trying to point out that restrictions are still in place in most states including ones like GA and FL that some folks think have removed most restrictions…and are more fully “open”.

  13. “Nursing home crisis?” Nationally more than 100,000 covid deaths. More than us deaths in the Korean And Vietnam conflicts combined. The author needs an editor

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