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Letters: Reopening Pamlico County
Too soon?
May 4, 2020

From Lori Wagoner:

Dear Editor,

I applaud Mr. Ollison’s vote against the request for the governor to allow Pamlico County to reopen on its own schedule based on the fact that our “numbers are low”.

What an odd position for the other commissioners to take. We should be proud that our numbers are low and hope they stay that way. It shows our diligence in protecting our family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, teachers, students, cashiers, servers and strangers from getting Covid-19. I’ve talked with nurses, seen the videos, read the stories and it looks like a horrible death from suffocation. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

I feel it is important to keep the stay-at-home rules in place longer. The virus aside, the #1 problem we face (besides lack of testing) is lack of wages and health insurance. As Mr. Bartley wrote, Commissioner Delamar could have put his time and energy into getting financial aid for the workers who are struggling now. That approach to the problem would not only keep food on the table and the bills paid, it would save lives. Opening up before we’ve reached the peak of the outbreak does not. Being an essential worker, I see first hand that a lot of people are still not taking the virus seriously, some even coming in the store with their young kids, none of them wearing masks. Yes, innocent children and babies can get the virus too.

I am alarmed that the false statistics quoted by some (that the virus mostly ‘only’ affects people 65 and over) are so casually accepted. I myself will be 64 this year. My siblings and most of my friends are older than me and we still have a lot of life in us, a lot to contribute to society. By their logic, the Covidiots are saying it’s okay with them that we, along with their older siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles, get sick and possibly die, just as long as they can go out and get their roots dyed, go bowling, work out at a gym and drink at a bar again.

Here in North Carolina we have self-isolated to help curb the growth of the virus to save lives and to not overwhelm the medical world as we have witnessed happen in other states and countries. This is what you call making a true sacrifice for your country.

For that sacrifice, the government definitely needs to step up and provide for those people who lost their jobs and for those who continue to work in the front lines for crap pay. Protest for that, not for the right to make more people sick! The not protect us from the virus, and use it to help us all better survive during this pandemic.

Before anyone thinks, “this is easy for her to say as she still works” – I would make more money on unemployment than I make now and I wouldn’t be stressed out at work all the time thinking, “Is this the day I get the virus?” At the end of each day, as I sanitize spittle off of it, I am so very grateful for the plexi-glass shield that now protects me from y’all. Wear a mask when you go out! That’s not too much to ask is it? Does that really violate your “rights”?

We’re living in a true dystopia right now and when government officials stop listening to the doctors and scientists and base their decisions on the economy and elections instead of people’s lives, then we’re all doomed. If you insist on opening up too soon then give out free masks and make them mandatory! I’ve got two grandkids and I’d like to stick around for them if y’all don’t mind…

Lori Wagoner, Essential Worker/“Hero”
Oriental, NC
May 7, 2020

From Doug Sligh, support for Paul Delamar:

I usually agree politically with Dan Bartley, but his characterization of Paul Delamar is wrong. Paul is a fine member of our community and will make a very good judge if elected.

Doug Sligh
Oriental, NC
May 5, 2020

Frank Roe responds to criticism of Pamlico County Commissioner Paul Delamar’s proposal to request the Governor allow regional reopening in North Carolina:

Dear Editor,

I am reacting to Mr. Bartley’s letter of May 4 about his concerns over the proposed resolution to reopen Pamlico County.

Mr. Bartley raises some interesting points. However, I must strongly disagree with his comments about Paul Delamar.

Paul is a young man of the highest personal integrity and has consistently given of his time and efforts to support Pamlico County.

I am proud to support Paul as a County Commissioner and soon as a North Carolina District Judge.

It is Mr. Bartley’s right to offer differing opinions to our Board of Commissioners, but I feel it was in poor taste to attack Paul personally.

I don’t agree with our commissioners all the time, but I do know and respect them as individuals. Paul Delamar is a smart man and is a great representative for Pamlico County and will be an outstanding district judge.

Frank Roe
Oriental NC
May 4, 2020

Tom Akin wrote in support of Paul Delamar’s proposal:

Standing in opposition to this ridiculous lock down is a courageous act and I’m thrilled and proud of Mr. Paul Delamar for doing just that. The presence of a cold virus does not justify suspension of our civil rights and the Constitution of the United States. This virus is not a world class plague. The numbers just aren’t there. Your gratuitous suggestion that if we maintain the lock down for more time, “there will be room at the hospital if you get sick” is false and misleading. There are thousands of empty hospital beds in North Carolina right now.

Eighty-seven percent of 422 deaths in NC were age 65 or over. Approximately 16.1 percent of North Carolina’s population is 65 or over, numbering about 1,710,000 people. To put this in important perspective, the 367 people 65 or over killed by the coronavirus represents only 0.02 percent of that number. In other words, because of 430 total deaths, you are willing to lock down a state of 10,448,000 people. Are you kidding ? North Carolina had 1442 deaths from automobile accidents in 2018 with 125,454 injuries. Would you shut down all the roads too ? Your suggestion that federal money will, to para-phrase, make it all better, shows your utter lack of awareness of just how an economy works. We, as a community and a nation, must get back to work, ASAP. Thanks Mr. Delamar!

Tom Akin
Oriental, NC
May 4, 2020

Editor’s note: The number of deaths reported by NC Department of Health and Human Services as of May 4 was 430. That is data from March 27 through May 4, a 39 day period. The writer compared data from a 39 day period (coronavirus deaths) with a 365 day period (automobile deaths).

In Monday night’s Pamlico County Commissioners meeting, the published agenda lists “Request for approval of Proclamation Requesting to Allow Businesses to Reopen.” Daniel Bartley writes in with concerns:

To my fellow citizens,

Some thoughts re: the Pamlico County Commissioner’s Meeting on 4 May 2020, and the proposed resolution by Commissioner Paul Delamar on reopening the county.

First of all.

Is it true that this man wants to be a judge in Pamlico County? With this kind of judgement, and lack of respect for the law?


Based on the following data re: Covid 19 cases in NC (News Observer), the Covid 19 problem is still quite severe.

The 7-day rolling average of cases is still up in the range of 500 cases/day, and the number of cases are still doubling about every two weeks. Perhaps when the number of cases drops to less than 100/7-day rolling average, and it has taken 2 months to see cases double, then we should be implementing plans to reopen business with safety restrictions?
The end of “shelter in-place doesn’t mean the virus is gone; it’s “We now have room for you at the hospital!”

Third, and lastly;

Perhaps the Pamlico County Commissioners could put their energies into boosting and augmenting the vast curative efforts that our country has put in place, but that are not being effectively utilized in North Carolina.

No, not a vaccine, but the CARES Act. The strongly bi-partisan effort out of THEIR Congress that provided robust economic treatments for the pandemic’s symptoms, to support small businesses, and workers of all different situations, including the self-employed.

Congress provided funds to extend normal unemployment benefits to the expected wave of newly unemployed, as well as a 13-week period of “booster” payments ($600/week) to dampen the crushing monetary impact of the pandemic’s shutdown. Instead of pushing unsafe, and dangerous reopening at this time, the commissioners could be putting their efforts into assisting the unemployed with getting access to the benefits that will make the financial impacts of this pandemic bearable. At this time, NC is not doing a very good job of getting this support out to the affected population.

While the CARES Act also provided a path to save struggling businesses through SBA loans, that were quickly captured by well connected LARGE small businesses, perhaps the Pamlico County Commissioners could put their energies into creating, and maybe partially funding, a county based version of similar small business loans to go to the really small businesses that we know and love. With similar rules, but smaller amounts (think, $5,000, rather than $5 million and up), we could keep more businesses healthier for the long term.

Just some thoughts on perhaps a more reasoned use of our county’s resources.

Daniel Bartley
Oriental, NC
May 4, 2020

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