Saturday, December 05, 2020

Why Covid is Surging - Look No Further Than Campbell County

I recently communicated with a blog reader from New South Wales, Australia who indicated to me that in that Australian state there had been no new cases of positive testing of Covid-19 in five weeks.  How did Australia do this? A piece in the Washington Post from last month that can be found here sums it up: 

The nation of 26 million is close to eliminating community transmission of the coronavirus, having defeated a second wave just as infections surge again in Europe and the United States.

Australia provides a real-time road map for democracies to manage the pandemic. Its experience, along with New Zealand's, also shows that success in containing the virus isn't limited to East Asian states (Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan) or those with authoritarian leaders (China, Vietnam).

Several practical measures contributed to Australia's success, experts say. The country chose to quickly and tightly seal its borders, a step some others, notably in Europe, did not take. Health officials rapidly built up the manpower to track down and isolate outbreaks. And unlike the U.S. approach, all of Australia's states either shut their domestic borders or severely limited movement for interstate and, in some cases, intra­state travelers.

Perhaps most important, though, leaders from across the ideological spectrum persuaded Australians to take the pandemic seriously early on and prepared them to give up civil liberties they had never lost before, even during two world wars.

But unlike the Trump administration, which has criticized its primary infectious-disease adviser, Anthony S. Fauci, Hunt relied heavily on health experts from the start.

Contrast this with most of the USA where Covid-19 is surging. To date, Virginia has been doing better than many states, but not with the help of right wing portions of the state and/or Trump cultists across the state.  With the only nation's doctor/governor, Virginia has sought to follow the advice of medical experts to be met with cries of tyranny among those embracing ignorance.  A prime example is Campbell County (the population is 83.24% white) just south of Lynchburg, a city tainted by Liberty University and Thomas Road Baptist Church, the seat of the Falwell empire. Not surprisingly, over 71% of the vote in Campbell  County went to Donald Trump. Now, the county board of supervisors has voted to defy the state restrictions on social gatherings and directed it officials to refuse to cooperate with state health department officials. NPR looks at the batshit insanity which will only increase the spread of the pandemic (and, with luck Darwin's theory will .  Here are highlights:

Campbell County, Va., is taking a stand against Gov. Ralph Northam's COVID-19 restrictions as its Board of Supervisors endorsed a measure Tuesday night that calls on county agencies not to enforce Northam's crowd-size limits and other orders.

The board declared Campbell County to be a "First Amendment Sanctuary" and deemed Northam's orders to violate people's constitutional rights. The move echoes the county's declaration of itself as a "Second Amendment Sanctuary" one year ago in support of gun owners' rights.

Northam imposed sharp new limits on Virginians on Nov. 15, trying to quash a rising wave of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths. His order capped public gatherings at 25 people rather than 250, and mandated that everyone age 5 and above must wear face coverings in indoor public spaces.

The board's resolution urges the sheriff's office not to help any state or federal workers in enforcing the governor's restrictions. It also says county funds should not go toward helping to enforce or promote Northam's coronavirus orders. At least one supervisor acknowledged the resolution will likely have more symbolic impact than a direct effect on day-to-day operations.

[M]any supporters of the resolution visited the country's administration building in Rustburg in person, to speak out in favor of rejecting Northam's latest restrictions.

"Dozens of Campbell County residents turned out to back the resolution, many a united front in camo, blue jeans and ballcaps," The News & Advance reported. "When Concord District Supervisor Matt Cline began to read the resolution, there was a flurry of movement as they took off their face masks in a show of support. The same solidarity brought the crowd to its feet as residents praised the county for passing the resolution and, in turn, dismissed the few residents who took to the podium to speak in opposition."

Some of those supporters also implied they would back the Board of Supervisors over Northam if the governor's office seeks to overrule or retaliate against the declaration.

The idiocy is stunning.

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