Former Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips has written a series of letters to the editor about the response to COVID-19. The letters are from the perspective of someone who was on the frontlines and in the backrooms when decisions were made that changed life for all of us.
This is the first in the series.
Well, well, well. Here we go again. And again. Ad nauseum. Same song, different verse. If it wasn’t “real-life” I would put it in the category of being as unbelievable as a twisted episode of The Twilight Zone or a low-budget horror film. Unfortunately, the disturbingly dangerous attitudes and actions of far too many powerhungry control freaks have never been more bizarre and horrifying.
I humbly preface the following series of reflections with the reminder that leading up to early December of 2020, I was wrapping up my eighth year (two consecutive terms) as an elected official. At that time, I had been serving concurrently as both the chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners as well as the chairman of the Guilford County Board of Public Health for the third largest county in the state of North Carolina from the very beginning of the global explosion of COVID-19.
I was at the “tip of the spear,” as they say, during a time when we knew the least about what was thought by many to be the deadliest virus ever known to man. I’ll let the reader decide whether or not my insights and perspectives carry more or less weight as the result of my front-line role during the year COVID-19 reared its ugly head.
I was a part of those early internal “code red” discussions when we were all so dependent on public health and medical experts for information and guidance. Their earliest recommendations revolved around the idea that it was “better to be safe than sorry” and that “we can’t do nothing” and the mantra that whatever we did would be worth it “if we could save just one life” and that we are, indeed, “all in this together.” It was better to err on the side of caution, they said. There should be no waiting for the situation and the facts to develop further. Doing so would potentially cost countless lives, they told us.
Facts and data-driven information were generally absent from most thought at the time. Frankly, there were no facts. There was no data yet. At least not in this country. There were only worst-case scenarios. When any semi-substantive information did come to light most responses vacillated between dismissive and the possible end of human-kind as we know it. Mostly the latter. Well-meaning people were then, and are now, desperately looking for ways to protect their loved ones from harm and wanted to believe that their government and its hired hands could make things better in the long run.
Regardless of the supposed lack of overall trustworthiness for government officials previous to COVID-19, most Americans have done exactly what they would have likely said they would never do. Citizens, by and large, have generally responded as though everything that proceeds from the mouth of government officials is sent directly from the mouth of God. In hindsight, we now know just how wrong on almost every imaginable projection and measurable metric that our government officials have been to date. Yet, here we are two years later seemingly hellbent on repeating ourselves – governments and citizens alike – while still hoping for very different results.
Admittedly, a global pandemic was different than the everyday run-of-the-mill political issue or short-term crisis. Or at least it should have been. Of course, none of us could have begun to comprehend or even speculate about the extent of what was to come or how to respond. How could we? The playbook has never been written and certainly had never been played out in this country – at least not in my lifetime. But based on what’s going on with Omicron, as we speak, we have to wonder how much was learned after going through this type of virus surge cycle twice before. Disturbingly little, it seems.
I mean, after all, “15 days to flatten the curve” has now turned into two solid years with no end in sight. Do you ever wonder when or if the merry go round will ever stop? After watching how we, the American people, have responded to constant and direct threats to our freedoms, I have grown more pessimistic about how long it may take to get our country headed back in the right direction. Surely the circus will end at some point, right? Surely, we will stop pretending that the sheer folly and ineptitude of their ways is perfectly normal and actually begin to question, speak out and resist the repeated idiocy that is being dictated by the few.
So, is there a light at the end of the tunnel? I have to believe the answer is “yes,” but how long it takes for us to get there along with the ultimate outcome for what this country will look like for our kids and grandkids is entirely up to us. It’s not up to the fearmongers, technocrats and elected powerbrokers who quickly learned that controlling your behavior is so much easier than they ever thought possible. It’s up to you; the citizens those people are supposed to be working for.
To be continued…
‘Threats to our freedom’…great article until this as a punch line. But looking forward to his additional insight as we all can learn from our mistakes.
The real issue has been the politicization of public health policy First by the Trump Admin working against their own public health officials in a very public way. Then the pro-science crowd (such as myself) made it an even more combative with attempts to shame the misinformed that disallowed any real dialog. The division this has created has further polarized our nation and will take a long time to heal if at all possible.
Considering Biden’s record with Covid-19, along with Fauci’s falsehoods, it takes an incredible amount of hubris to even mention President Trump in this dialogue.
Chris it’s funny that you mentioned the misinformed. You being part of the science lead everyone to much more misinformation. The one line I heard so many times was that even if you had gotten Covid you did not have any antibodies and you need to or as the scientists said you have to get the vaccine. Well now the CDC has stated on their very own website that people who have had Covid do have antibodies and are just as protected as anyone that has had the vaccine. This misinformation as you call it was wrong and you scientists will pay for this for a long time.
You’re right Wade, but all the sheep (like Chris) believe whatever “the experts” tell them to believe.
Last February I contracted Covid (Delta) and the following month donated blood to the American Red Cross, as I do every year. They confirmed that my blood was “reactive” and contained Covid antibodies. I now have natural immunity. One Israeli study concluded that natural immunity is 27 times more effective against subsequent reinfections than ‘the “vaccines” (which aren’t really vaccines). And those experimental chemicals will cause a tsunami of heart problems, stroke, auto-immune diseases and cancers in the years to come.
Oh, and Chris is no scientist! He doesn’t possess the intelligence.
No one scientist ever said “if you had gotten Covid yo did not have any anitbodies…” (if anyone ever said that, I certainly didn’t quote them). They just said that by having the vaccine, you would have a greater protection. I admit I never fully understood that concept and I have never at any time supported vaccine passports.
My message is simple and consistant. Vaccines are effective (with Omicron only effective in reducing impact of infection but not transmission), Vaccines are safe, and Masks are effective if used appropriately but some masks are better than others. These statements are easily backed by peer reviewed science and sound data.
What part of freedom do you not understand? Free to mask up or not, free to take shot or not, freedom to do business or not….Our freedom has been threatened, period.
Seatbelts required, no smoking indoors in public, shirts and shoes required, vaccines required for public school children for decades, keep off the grass, keep all stored meat at a specific temp or better, employees must wash hands after using bathroom, no drunk driving, no firearms on government grounds, only two antlered deer per season, 18+ to buy tobacco, no speeding, no passing on double yellow line, recent physical required to play youth sports, pets on a leash in public, coast and tie required, pick up dog poop in park, ID required, Background check required, no drinking in public, no using N word if you are not African American, masks required indoors, etc..
We live under a range of rules…Laws, Ordnances, General rules, made up by legislature, local government, private business rules, social standards, etc….
Stop acting like a child because you don’t understand or agree with the logic behind all these rules. You are still free to yell, have a tantrum, march and protest, verbally disagree with these rules and speak publicly about your disagreement, free to come and go as you please, etc…
Citing examples of the abrogation of our liberties does not justify them. They are still abrogations of our liberty.
Furthermore, you are conflating agreed conventions (eg driving on the right) with actual denials of freedom (eg you will be forced to wear a helmet on your motorcycle).
They are qualitatively different, even if the distinction escapes you.
Your comment is a farrago of fallacies. You must live in an interesting little world.
You nutters where just as childish about seatbelts.
“You nutters where (sic) just as childish about seatbelts” —- This is the kind of mentality we’re dealing with here, folks.
A rather slow 10 year old can write better English than Chris the Moron.
And he thinks he’s such a genius….
Can you explain what the difference is between how the previous administration handled Covid and the current one. Pandemic rages, test are haphazard, hospitals still overrun, therapeutics underfunded, more people have died than in 2020, Dr Fauci is still the go to guy. Experts “caught off guard” by these pesky variants. Mixed messaging and confusion from CDC. The one difference I see is that the current administration had the vaccine as a weapon against the virus and one year of experience in dealing with it.
Trump – Tried to downplay covid as ‘not a big deal’ and publicly promoted unproven and untested measures in direct disagreement with his public health teams creating the politicization of public health. In addition, by downplaying the seriousness of the virus it created resistance in his base to following CDC recommended guidelines to SLOW the spread of the virus thus increasing the negative impact to both health and economics
Biden – Supported the science but aggravated the legacy left by the Trump administration by trying to use Mandates versus education and clearer communication as an approach to drive adoption of vaccines and masks. That policy approach only drove the anti-science community to double down on its resistance to CDC recommended guidelines.
Trump got us the vaccines. The New England Journal of Medicine said in June or 2020 “Large scale use of masks isn’t justified and is a reaction to anxiety”. The chance of you getting Covid in a grocery store was too small to be measured. The governor of NC locked down the state and then flew to Florida for a fundraiser. It seemed we are always seeing our “Elites” ignoring the same rules they placed on us.
It was never about science. It was about Control.
Hank just making up stuff to fit his agenda. Nice. Classic nutter move.
Just read their article….clearly says wide spread masking is a good idea.
The progressively changing positions of our “leaders” are well illustrated by Phillips.
This Chinese-American bio-weapon has succeeded in compromising hard won historic Western liberties – as intended. The global elites intend to subjugate us by making all Western countries the same as today’s Communist China, and unless we resist with massive civil disobedience, they will succeed.
Tinfoil hat day for Austin I see.
Massive civil disobedience to what? Your type have already mass avoided the vaccine to increase hospitalizations and death. Already mass avoided mask mandates to increase rate of spread of the virus. All this leading to the ongoing instability in the global economy.
There are no other real restrictions coming from the government here in the US? Businesses are open, schools are in-person learning (although with worthless attempt to get kids to properly use masks), Unemployment is below 4% and GDP is back up (although inflation is a bit crushing for other reasons).
All you are doing is piling onto the hate and distrust created by the polarization of our political elites that only care about holding power and the tit of the mega wealthy. They certainly don’t seem to care about us.
But you go and fight your windmills. You know….because we are as free today as we have ever been. Which was never as free as you thought.
Chris, spoken like a true socialist!
Right, Mike. All socialists are control freaks. All liberals are closet fascists.
Not like Trump controls the Repblican party by not allowing members to speak their own minds or else the threatens to cancel them. You are a joke.
No, the joke’s on you, Einstein.
There is no question that we are trading our freedoms for “safety”. We will get neither.
Some people do 300 meter ski jumps, hang glide, base-jump, tease sharks & hippos, etc. Why should this be my or your concern?
Because their jumping won’t get me or my family sick stupid.
If, as Chris tells us, President Trump disagreed with the information coming out of our health system leadership, he is much smarter than most sheeple care to admit. How many times have we seen them backpedal and THEN say,
” but it is still a good idea”. We have states responding differently to this Chinese Flu and at least one nation that have right at 100% of their citizens vaccinated and boosted, as am I. That would be Israel, and they are experiencing an enormous rise in cases. You may choose whom to believe, but for me, I will now rely on the Lord to keep me safe, or just keep me.
I can’t help but think how culpable the Chinese government is to the entire world. (with Fauci’s assistance, and supported by our taxes.)
Go drink bleach and just wait for the virus to just go away like magic and remeber that Trump has taken the jab three times and trusted his doctors for treatment when he got sick. The rest was just to mess with you morons heads to divide you from logic.
Jeff Phillips… OMG ..to be continued…you mean that you have more idiotic and decisive rhetoric to spew??? Please go back into your groundhog hole and disappear.
I’m a 39 year old soccer mom, science nut, with a masters. My family doesn’t wear a mask – not because we don’t “care for others,” but because we “read the data.” The NIH released a meta analysis of physical interventions for influenza viruses on May 20, 2020. I read it that week. It said masks don’t work.
I then looked up the size of coronavirus aerosols v influenza aerosols. Found corona particles are smaller. Quickly realized if they didn’t work for influenza, they weren’t going to work for Covid.
Covering my face like I’m under Taliban rule isn’t something I’m willing to do to coddle the delusions of people too lazy to look at data or read for themselves, or at this point, notice the outcomes (hint, if it could have worked, it would have worked).
The mask mandates do make it easier to find new, fun, intelligent friends as their smiles are much easier to pick out of the crowd.
You apparently don’t read very well. Quote from the study summary results “There were no included studies conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic.” or “Compliance with interventions was low in many studies.” or “The evidence is limited by imprecision and heterogeneity for these subjective outcomes.”
But of course the most important part of the study results you ignored “The high risk of bias in the trials, variation in outcome measurement, and relatively low compliance with the interventions during the studies hamper drawing firm conclusions and generalising the findings to the current COVID-19 pandemic.”
One of the studies it notes that is promising in it’s design is the Stanford study that was released in Aug. Read it’s results here….or does it go against your personal bias? https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2021/09/surgical-masks-covid-19.html
Thanks for relating your experiences and your research, Lesco. They are both undeniably convincing, if not irrefutable.
Please ignore captious Chris, who is a regular blowhard here. He loves to hold forth like a sage, but hides behind recondite references and febrile imaginings. He’s just here to be gratuitously offensive and argumentative. That’s what gets him off. He’s a sad little tosser who doesn’t even know when he’s been humiliated.
Ignore Austin. He doesn’t like actual facts. He is the misinformation covid king for the Rhino Times. He is also lacks the IQ to full understand reading of scientific studies.
I’ll put my IQ up against yours any day, Einstein.
Anytime. Sources required of course as I know you nutters love to just make up stuff or read once sentence out of a study without reading entire study like you misread of the Danish study you keep disagreeing with the people who actually ran the study.
Oh… what a brilliant run-on sentence!
Captious Chris must be a spoiled little child whose tantrum is so unhinged that he can’t stop to take a breath.
I don’t think he realizes how ridiculous he looks.
Sad. And a tosser. Thus, a sad little tosser.
To Austin: haha…Chris is a ‘sad little tosser’…haha. That was epic!
To Chris: You sir, are what is currently wrong with our country. Good luck in life and I hope I shall never meet you and/or your ilk.
Bob likes childish name calling. Clearly a Trump supporter.
The truth stings, doesn’t it you sad little tosser?