Letter: Any death is bad from COVID-19

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 12, 2020

How impressed I am by State Sen. Carl Ford’s bold stand for personal choice and against being forced to wear face masks to avoid spreading COVID-19 in violation of our rights.

As reported online in the Salisbury Post on Monday, June 29, Sen. Ford stated that wearing a mask “should be a choice, and that both the phase two extension and mask mandate are an ‘overreach’ by the governor because the death rate is less than 1% of the state’s population.” In an interview with ReOpen NC founder Ashley Smith just a few weeks ago, Sen. Ford said, “I would like to see (a gathering of) 10 or 20,000 in Raleigh. That would really get the message across.” Ford wryly added, “I’m sure there’ll be a long and very exciting debate, including the Democrats trying to talk through their masks.”

It is unclear to which death rate “less than 1% of the state’s population” Sen. Ford refers. I’m sure Sen. Ford didn’t mean to suggest 100,000 deaths, way yonder less than 1% of North Carolina’s population of 10.49 million, would be agreeable.

Sen. Ford’s 33rd District, Stanly and Rowan counties, has about 190,000 people. Even though a lot of people are saying it, I don’t even think he believes that have 1,000 people die in his district during this COVID situation would be OK so long as our rights to remain unmasked are preserved.

On the contrary, I believe he was pointing out that fewer than 1% of the residents in our counties have contracted the virus and even fewer have died — really only about 50 so far, as far as we know. After all, as Sen. Ford said, “Any death is bad, obviously, but it’s just not there like the numbers predicted.”

No one should be forced to surrender their rights to remain unmasked so long as only a few more people are killed as a result of those rights being preserved.

— David Y. Bingham