|highway signs remind travelers to be safe|
Yesterday Governor Cooper announced that North Carolina will remain in Phase 3 for at least the next three weeks, but he tightened one thing. Going back to a restriction he imposed on May 22nd of this year, beginning this Friday there is a limit of 10 people for indoor social gatherings, while the limit of 50 people for outdoor get-togethers remains. Phase 2.5, effective September 4th, had allowed indoor gatherings of up to 25 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 50. It is no coincidence that this tightening of the numbers takes us through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. There are huge concerns that returning college students, people traveling for the holiday, and large gatherings of family and friends will cause an additional spike in Covid-19 cases.
The numbers continue to be grim, not only in the United States but around the world. Here is where things stand: Today marks day 174 of Safer at Home and day 231 of overall restrictions. To date, North Carolina has had 298,000 cases and 4,685 deaths. In the United States there have been 10.3 million cases and 240,000 deaths. Worldwide there have been 51.6 million cases and 1.27 million deaths. A faint glimmer of hope exists as a couple of the drug companies have reported a 90% effective rate in the trials of their Covid vaccine that they are conducting. Much more data and analysis is required, but it is nice to hear something positive for a change.
Speaking of change, the Presidential elections were held on November 3rd. It appears that Joe Biden will become number 46, and for the first time ever, the United States will have a female Vice President in Kamala Harris. It is an exciting time in American politics, and I wish them well as they try to deal with the effects of the coronavirus, a slumping economy, and a country that is far from being united. For many reasons, 2021 cannot get here soon enough.