Unfortunately, the prediction health officials made prior to Thanksgiving — a post-holiday bloom in coronavirus cases — is being fully realized nationally, in the state and in Moore County.

And after last week’s Christmas parade in Robbins — where face masks and social distance were more the exception — maybe soon even higher numbers across northern Moore.

Parades, like virtually every other annual public holiday celebration, have been shelved this year to much reluctance — but out of an abundance of caution. Local officials knew they couldn’t hold parades, tree lightings and other festivities and expect large crowds could keep apart and be counted on to wear face coverings.

Gov. Roy Cooper actually made it even easier for officials in Carthage, Southern Pines, Pinehurst and Aberdeen. His most recent executive order on coronavirus restrictions prohibits outdoor “mass gatherings,” if there are more than 50 people. “This includes parades, fairs, or festivals,” the order reads.

But Robbins, trying not to disappoint its residents, decided to go its own way. The town decided to host a less-structured parade where folks could show up, stay far apart and show a little Christmas cheer.

“We just wanted to have a simple parade, that’s it,” said Town Commissioner Kevin Stewart, who took over the organizing when the Robbins Fire Rescue Department said it wouldn’t this year.

‘You Just Can’t Avoid It’

Truly, Robbins’ holiday parade was a success, filling the streets of downtown for about an hour. Folks drove tractors. Churches built floats on trailers and loaded them with riders. Others festooned their cars and trucks with holiday decorations.

Robbins is not alone in deciding to carry on with its Christmas tradition. Several other small North Carolina towns also chose to make merry rather than let the governor grinch their plans.

Youngsville, a town similar in size to Robbins and located about 20 miles outside Raleigh, had its parade last weekend. Hundreds of people attended and lined the streets, despite warnings from the Franklin County Health Department that COVID-19 cases were soaring.

Youngsville officials pledged their event was different, that it would be safe and small. Like Robbins.

Carthage, just down the road a bit from Robbins, is also small. But Tom Robinson, the Carthage town manager, foresaw the problem back in October when he recommended not holding this year’s holiday parade.

“I personally have concerns about putting members of our police department, public works and administrative staff out there,” he said. “You’re going to have some crowds of people; you just can’t avoid it. I think that we could be subjecting (town employees) to a higher risk than I would recommend.”

Neither Safe Nor Small

With Christmas just over two weeks away, we are recording numbers and rates of infection not seen since the pandemic began.

This past weekend was an eye-opener for North Carolina. Before we could even process hitting the previously unthinkable 5,000 new daily cases of COVID-19 infections, the state on Saturday recorded 6,018 cases — and then topped that on Sunday by another 400.

In Moore County, we enjoyed a relatively “quiet” November. Exactly one month ago, we stood at just 128 active cases and posted some of our lowest infection rates: a seven-day average of just 13.6 cases and a positivity test rate of 4.8 percent.

As of the end of the day Monday, Moore County had four times the number of active cases from a month ago. Its seven-day average of new cases is almost 64, and 10 percent of all new tests are coming back as positive.

COVID-19 is blooming across North Carolina, and taking an especially large toll on rural communities who have always thought themselves “safe and small.”

This, then, was the situation as folks across northern Moore turned out last Thursday night on the streets of Robbins for a Christmas parade that was neither safe nor small.

(24) comments

And yet another report on inflated CCP Flu numbers, this time a random act of journalism at WRAL: “Are NC's coronavirus case numbers inflated?”

And yet another detailed report showing masks and lockdowns do nothing good. On Mises Wire: “There's Still No Evidence that Either Lockdowns or Masks Are "Game Changers“

Jim Tomashoff

I've shared my opinion that Kent is at heart a white supremacist, and gets his "facts" from publications associated with radical libertarian and inherently racist groups. One such group is the Mises Institute. The Mises Wire is used by the Institute to publish their articles and "studies." Here's what the Mises Institute is all about:

"A 2000 "Intelligence Report" by the Southern Poverty Law Center categorized the Institute as Neo-Confederate, "devoted to a radical libertarian view of government and economics."

"In 2003, Chip Berlet of the Southern Poverty Law Center described the Mises Institute as "a major center promoting libertarian political theory and the Austrian School of free market economics", also noting Rothbard's opposition to child labor laws and the anti-immigrant views of other Institute scholars.

"In 2017, the president of the Mises Institute, Jeff Deist, gave a speech at the Mises University conference, where in his concluding remarks he stated that the ideas of "blood and soil and God and nation still matter to people". Deist's use of the phrase blood and soil, originally used by the Nazi party as a call for racial nationalism, was alleged by some to be an explicit signal to Neo-Nazis and other white nationalist groups. In particular, Nicholas Sarwark and Arvin Vohra, then the chair and vice-chair of the United States Libertarian Party condemned Deist's speech, with Vohra stating that "the Mises Institute has been turned into a sales funnel for the White Nationalist branch of the Alt Right". Vohra further accused the Mises Institute as a whole of being "authoritarian, racist, nazi" "

In other words, not even dedicated Libertarians want to have anything to do with this group. Kent boasts how he quit the Republican Party because it wasn't right-wing enough. Now it looks like he may have to quit describing himself as a Libertarian lest he be associated with Libertarians who are not neo-nazi's. Poor Kent.

Thanks for the humor Jim. Only a convicted Marxist could criticize the Mises Institute using comments from a racist organization, the SPLC.

Jim Tomashoff

Kent's assertion that the SPLC is a racist organization is a LIE. Moreover the information I cited about the Mises organization came from numerous sources, not just the SPLC. The fact remains that several individuals associated with this group attended and participated in the "Unite the Right" protests in Charlottesville. You know, the people who chanted "Jews Will Not Replace Us" during their night march on the UVA lawn. One can't help wondering if Kent attended and supported this rally. If not, he was there in spirit and it seems, based on his past comments, that he agrees with their principles and political objectives.

Jim, your latest confused rant demonstrates your complete ignorance concerning libertarianism, the Austrian school of economics, history and reality. Even a modest study of the Austrians will show one they were nearly all Jewish economists who fled persecution from Nazis. Rothbard was an atheist. Modern figures associated with the Mises Institute are Ron Paul, Thomas Sowell and the recently deceased Walter E. Williams. The latter two being African Americans. Be careful with your hyperbole lest you render your comments completely meaningless. Citing any comments from the SPLC, an organization with a long history of internal sexism and bigotry, puts you in the crank, anti-American category.

Jim Tomashoff

Blah blah blah blah blah. Naturally, anyone who provides evidence regarding where and from whom Kent gets his "facts" instantly becomes a crank and anti-American. Typical of a far-right extremist.

On the terms "White Nationalist" or "White Supremicist" - these are the latest fabrications of the left, which has not had a new idea since the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf. Yelling "Racist" at anything that moved no longer works, so they scream now "White ...", whatever. While I can not think of any Conservatives who would fall in this category (which would be an oxymoron anyway), there are plenty of examples to be found on the left. For instance Democrat Josephus Daniels, who instigated the Wilmington Massacre of 1898 and started Segregation during Reconstruction, his heirs now own this newspaper. Or how about Senator William Fulbright, leader of the Democrat segregationists and mentor to William "Bubba" Clinton? Or Democrat senate leader Robert Byrd, born in North Wilkesboro, NC and raised in West Virginia, elected "Exalted Cyclops" of the klan group he started. Let's not forget our neighbor to the north, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, who likes to dress up in a white klan costume and who supports the abortion of black babies. If they survive the abortion, he would then still kill them outside the womb. His words. Or how about the fellow who called Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." That would be the forgetful, pasty-white Joe Biden, the Democrat's pick to run the nation, into the ground.

Even Californians are defying their tyrannical Governor. We’re not alone. “The pushback against Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom’s strict coronavirus lockdown is growing, including in rural communities where businesses and their customers are openly defying the orders.”

David Hensley

Six to eight weeks ago I was in The Pilot's headquarters to meet with The Publisher, The Editor and their education reporter.

When I entered the offices of The Pilot, I was wearing a mask. While talking to their receptionist, I noticed that not a single employee of The Pilot was wearing a mask, so I removed mine.

When I met with the publisher, the editor and the education reporter in an office were none of us were properly socially distance, none of them were wearing masks either.

IN spite of this, The Pilot writes and feeds off sensationalism about Covid-19 and dares to criticize others for not obeying the same regulations which The Pilot ignores as well.

The term "Yellow Journalism" comes to mind.

When The Pilot starts strict adherence to CV19 precautions, then perhaps they can lecture others on CV19 precautions.

Until then, The editorial staff of The Pilot are the nothing more than hypocrites using Yellow Journalism in an attempt to try to turn around their decreasing circulation and dwindling advertising revenue.

Conrad Meyer

Very insightful David. Thank you for posting this. Why did you wait until now to describe your experience?

Thanks David for exposing more lefty hypocrites. They join Cooper, Pelosi, Fraudci, Feinstein and others whose motto is “Do as I say, not as I do.”

More unsubstantiated fear-mongering by the same people who have no problem with Governor Shutdown Cooper marching unmasked and shoulder to shoulder with the anarchists who have been looting and burning Democrat-run cities this year. Remember the Sturgis motorcycle rally that was supposed to kill thousands according to bogus computer models the CDC uses? “ WSJ Editorial Board Torches Flawed Study That Blamed Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for Being 'Super-Spreader' Event”. Democrats: violent protests and looting are OK. Gatherings to celebrate the birth of our nation and Jesus Christ must be forbidden. Got it.

Barbara Misiaszek

How are they doing in the upper Midwest with the virus now? Not so well. I also notice the Moore County Men's Republican Club has two rather large indoor holiday gatherings scheduled. With the positivity rate here in Moore County now exceeding 10% will they become super-spreader events? We'll find out.

John Misiaszek

Stephen Woodward

I suggest you cower at home, curtains drawn, and continue to consume false data. Merry Christmas. The Men’s Club has scheduled ONE December meeting. But as usual your “facts” do not align with reality.

Barbara Misiaszek

Two I believe, Young Republicans and your party at CCNC if I remember correctly. I suggest you listen to science and don't over tax our medical professionals, with your actions you may need them.

John Misiaszek

Mark Hayes

Stephen Woodward, I neither cower down or draw the curtains. I am a Republican, and I will wear a mask, and take any other precautions to remain healthy, you should refrain from referring to others as cowards for doing the same. The data may prove to be " false ", the virus could be getting " worse " for in country. Just don't become toxic, if wearing a mask makes you feel less a man, well than you are less a man.

Mark Hayes

As if there are not any Democrats abusing the risk.

Barbara Misiaszek

Not a Democrat Mark. NEVER Trumper,yes. John Misiaszek

Mark Hayes

JM... Big supporter of mask, and all other preventative measures, have four family members working in healthcare. Really impressed with the NEVER in all caps, wasn't really necessary, my vision is just fine.

Barbara Misiaszek

Mark, glad to read your vision is fine and you respect the wearing of masks. All caps added for emphasis.

John Misiaszek

It all depends on whether you believe the 90% false positive numbers, and the 94% of deaths attributed to Covid that aren’t. Filter out the bogus numbers and things look no different than any other year.

Barbara Misiaszek

Kent,you can believe what you want to believe. Just hope you don't get sick and need to be hospitalized and there's no room at the Inn.

John Misiaszek

Mark Hayes

Kent.. You will never believe, until you have family on the front lines, apparently you and a few others don't. This virus is likened to being in a war, you have to be up where the action is, see it first close up and personal. You apparently have not experienced a war or the virus, gives a real meaning of how close one can be to death, and how precious life is. For such educated individual, your propensity to advertise your own ignorance on this issue has become somewhat irritating, and disrespectful to any in the healthcare field who do go in to combat this virus each and every shift, only to have you make some mindless, foolish and demeaning comment that mocks the severity of this virus.

Welcome to the discussion.

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