Close Anything Non-Essential Until COVID-19 Numbers Decline in North Carolina

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AS OF TODAY, 1/14/2021, NORTH CAROLINA HAS THE 10TH HIGHEST RATE OF CORONAVIRUS IN THE COUNTRY...WE ARE NOW BACK IN THE "RED ZONE"..."there are 101 or more new cases per 100,000 people in the state. Mecklenburg County, Wake County and Guilford County -- the three largest counties in the state -- represent 23.7% of new cases in the state...." (WSOCTV).

Because of this, we ask again, that Governor Cooper amend the Executive Order (EO) from 12/8/2020 issuing a MODIFIED stay-at-home order to a temporary FULL return to a stay-at-home order for the state of North Carolina. I also ask that NCDHHS Secretary Cohen do more than issue a "Secretarial Directive" and urge the Governor to mandate a full lockdown. We ask for this to protect the health and safety of its residents instead. 

The anti-maskers are seen daily in the news flat out refusing to wear them and in news stories at places like bars, restaurants, and private gatherings without them on (or not on properly). Flaunting their constitutional right to do so and mocking the Governor and the Secretary for the "Three W's" and their county maps. Just this morning I saw on Twitter where people at Tuesdays task force meeting were photographed maskless during the live update!

Those of us who are non-essential  do not feel safe going to work and having to be mask police. The previously issued stricter mandate only placed more of the burden on the people who work in these businesses to earn a living to try and control the people who refuse to wear masks. Adding to the weariness felt by the whole state and endangering our own safety when we are forced to come within less than six feet in confrontation of these individuals. We hear you businesses owners but what about the people who work for you--do we matter at all? WE ARE STUCK IN THE MIDDLE, we need help. HEAR US.

It is, for most of us, wearing us down and affecting our mental health. Making us irritable and burned out after having multiple confrontations weekly, sometimes daily while at work with anti-maskers. I know some of the most passive people who are getting into confrontations with people at essential businesses such as the gas station and grocery stores with anti-maskers. This is the reality of where we are in society right now. People are scared.

The ordered issued 11/23/2020, and amended 12/8/2020, only placed even more of a burden on small businesses, but mainly service industry folks (Since the curfew is directed at places that sell alcohol.) The better plan would be to reverse this and go back to completely, albeit temporarily, shutting down places like bars and restaurants, so that people are forced to stay home and allowing the contact to be minimized and the spread to lessen.

Big box stores should not get a pass this time either. When I say essential, I mean exactly what I say-GROCERIES, GAS STATIONS, PHARMACIES, and MEDICAL CARE FACILITIES only.

Not to mention, that issuing a temporary shutdown would allow the employees to have access to unemployment benefits and businesses that already received PPP loans, grants. Otherwise, if employees reach a point where they are forced to quit (and I know some who already have since the original EO was issued) and businesses are forced to close (perhaps for good this time) they would have no access to funds in the interim. The last thing we need is more homelessness, evictions, and mental health crises on top of an already stretched thin group of citizens.

Please hear our pleas for help. We feel so helpless and powerless because we are at the mercy of state and local leaders and fellow North Carolinians. Others who do not care about our health, mental health, the health of our loved ones, and the possibility of overwhelming an already stretched thin healthcare system.

Remember, now that a vaccine is being circulated, it has rolled out at a much slower pace than expected, the virus task force keeps going back and forth on how to best roll out the virus, it varies from state to state, and we are far behind in our particular state; yet we are constantly exposed to the virus. When they originally thought we would all be vaccinated by spring-has now been extended to fall 2021.

A final thought...we can still help small businesses stay afloat, no matter what your position is on mask wearing, and we should. We should be supporting small businesses, whether they are open or closed, by buying gift cards or merchandise until they are able to open at a full and safe capacity. #SupportLocal

12/17/2020 Update: This petition is important because it has evolved from a MASK MANDATE into a MODIFIED STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. It has affected NONESSENTIAL EMPLOYEES and now includes FRONTLINE WORKERS. It started as a plea to SHUT US DOWN and now includes ways to close yet still SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES.

Thank you for your thousands of views, and hundreds of shares, but let's not stop now.

Please continue to POST on your social media platforms, SHARE on email and messenger, and GIVE your reasons for signing!

Don't forget to make your state and local media and government representatives aware of your feelings and concerns!

Especially as we see cases, hospitalizations, deaths continue to rise and fellow North Carolinians continue to balk at wearing masks and disobeying curfew and indoor gathering limits!

Thank you,

Dara Beth (and on behalf of all other nonessential and frontline persons)