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What is it about North Carolina?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 15931
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:46 pm    Post subject: What is it about North Carolina? Reply with quote

Lori Wagoner, a general store clerk in North Carolina.

Quote:
We tried our best to be polite about it. I’d frame it to customers like they were doing us this big favor: “Would you please consider wearing a mask?” “May we offer you a free mask?” “We sure do appreciate your cooperation.”

I’ll never understand what’s so hard about putting on a mask for a few minutes. It’s common sense. It’s a requirement now in North Carolina. But this is a conservative place, and there are only 900 people in this town. We try hard to get along. We’re a small general store, and we didn’t want to end up in one of those viral videos with people spitting or screaming about their civil rights. We put a sign outside — an appeal to kindness. “If you wear a mask, it shows how much you care about us.”

We found out how much they cared. It became clear real quick.


I’m 63. I’m a lifetime asthmatic. I’d watch customers pull into the parking lot without their faces covered, and my whole body would start to tense up. Our store is on the Intracoastal Waterway, and people from all over the world dock in the harbor and come in here for supplies. It’s a big petri dish. I put a shield up over my register, and a few hours into my shift it was covered with spittle. We’d have 20 or 30 people walk by the sign and come in without a mask. I’d try to get their attention and point to the sign. It was a lot of: “You’re infringing on my rights. This is a free country, and I’m here to shop, so who’s going to stop me?”

Then the local sheriff went on Facebook and said he wasn’t going to enforce the state requirement because he didn’t want to be the “mask police.” So now what? I have customers who are breaking the law and putting my life at risk, and what am I supposed to do? I’m a freaking retail clerk. I ring up beer and boat supplies for 10 bucks an hour. I don’t want to deal with this. If I didn’t need the money, I’d be home working in my garden or visiting my grandkids. I don’t come into the store every morning looking to make some big moral stand, but when I see something that’s wrong, I can’t let it slide. I cannot shut up. I get stuck on things. That’s my biggest downfall or my biggest asset. So, fine. I’ll be your mask police. What choice do I have? I talked to my co-worker, and we decided to hang another sign on the wall.

“Thanks for wearing a mask. It’s the most patriotic thing you can do.”

That didn’t stop them, so we kept adding more. “Please be kind to us.” “We’re here for you seven days a week, and we didn’t create this situation.” “Masks are required for anyone entering the store.”

Wagoner put a shield over her register to protect herself from the virus.
Maybe some people took it as a challenge. I don’t know. But it kept on escalating. Most of our customers are supportive and respectful about it — maybe 90, 95 percent. But on weekends, we get dozens of people from Charlotte or Raleigh who come to visit their boats. Those places are virus hot spots, and they come here to have a good time and maybe they’re drinking. Some of them would see our signs, open the front door, and just yell: “F--- masks. F--- you.” Or they would walk in, refuse to wear a mask and then dump their merchandise all over the counter. I had a guy come in with no mask and a pistol on his hip and stare me down. I had a guy who took his T-shirt off and put it over his mouth so I could see his whole stomach. “There. A mask. Are you happy?” I had a lady who tried to tape a pamphlet on the front window about the ADA mask exemption, which is a totally fake thing. It’s a conspiracy theory, but it’s become popular here. She kept saying we were discriminating against people with disabilities. What? Why? How? None of what they say sounds logical. I can’t make sense of half the names they call me. They say I’m uneducated — uh, that’s kind of ironic. They say I’m a sheep. I’ve been brainwashed. I’m pushing government propaganda. I’m suffocating them. I’m a part of the deep state. I’m an agent for the World Health Organization. “How do you like your muzzle?” “Is this going to become sharia law?” “Are you prepping us to wear burqas?” “What’s next? Mind control?”

The customer’s always right. We grit our teeth and try to accommodate the customer. We offer them free masks, even though they cost about a dollar. If the mask makes them uncomfortable for whatever reason, we say they can wait outside and we will be happy to provide curbside service at no extra charge. If that somehow offends them, we apologize and suggest they shop somewhere else. Then it’s: “My rights, my rights. Why are you trampling on the Constitution?”

My fists are clenched all the time now. I’m always on edge. I wish this virus were glitter so we could actually see it, because in my mind, it’s everywhere. I wear gloves to touch the merchandise. I wipe down everything. I put a table in front of my register so nobody can come closer than six feet. I sanitize my hands so much they must be drunk. We had three new positive cases on the same day in this town, but people can’t be bothered to put a piece of cloth over their face. The sheriff’s department is closed to the public because it has a bunch of positive cases, but they still won’t enforce the mask law. One day I said to my co-worker, “I need to leave the store right now or I’m going to lose it. I’m going to explode.” I ended up taking 12 days off. I had a dream that I was going around the store and physically moving people six feet apart, scolding them for not wearing a mask. I came back to work and decided I wasn’t going to take it anymore. I handed out these laminated cards that say: “Mask Exemption Override – There is no ADA exemption for mask wearing.” If a person refuses to wear a mask, I’m like: “Okay. Goodbye. Have a nice life, and thoughts and prayers if you get covid.” They’re selfish. They’re lemmings. I don’t know if the virus will kill me or if it’s going to be my rage. Sometimes I want to cut America into different pieces, and all these anti-maskers can live together, and we’ll see how it works.

A few weeks back, we put an orange traffic cone on the sidewalk out front to draw people’s attention before they come into the store. We taped up another sign. “No mask, no entry.” Is that clear enough? That seems pretty clear, right? But this big, burly guy walked past the cone and past all the signs, and he pushed the door open. I said, “Sir, can I help you?” I pointed to the signs. I pointed to my mask. He was probably in his late 30s, and I’d never seen him before. He rolled his eyes and ignored me, so I knew where it was going. I came out from behind the register to try to block his path into the store. I said: “Do you have a mask you can put on?” He shook his head like he couldn’t be bothered, and he said he just wanted to buy a drink. I said, “Okay, that means I will get your drink while you wait outside and I will bring it to the door.” But he’s still moving into the store, and I’m trying to stay in front of his path and keep him from going down the aisle. He said, “Come on, lady. I just want water. I have an ADA exemption.” I said: “I’m tired of this. Just leave the store now.”

He kept moving toward me, yelling, “ADA exemption, ADA exemption,” and now my body was starting to shake. It was fear and so much anger. Why is this my problem to deal with? This maskhole? This covidiot whose stupidity is putting me at risk? This isn’t what I signed up for. I’m trying to be the enforcer. I’m trying to corral this guy to the door, but he’s not backing down, and he’s getting more aggressive. He’s screaming about his rights. He’s yelling at me to call the police. We’re six inches apart. He yells out: “Social distancing! Move out of my way.” He’s screaming all kinds of profanity, and I’m screaming it back. My co-worker was yelling for him to get out, and another customer started yelling, and finally he stomped around for a while and then turned back outside.

We locked the front door and my co-worker and I went back into the storage room. We sat there and sobbed.

The next morning, I went to the hardware store to buy supplies. I can’t handle the constant tension. It’s rinse and repeat with all these daily blowups, and I’m starting to get paranoid. We installed a doorbell so we can keep the front door locked even during business hours, and I’ve got pepper spray up at my register. This is my job now. At least I’ll be ready.


Don't be a maskhole.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20056

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A guy from BEZERKELY asks "what is it" about anywhere else?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 15931
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trend line is headed up again. Let’s not look, Fox just sent me a graph showing deaths going down.

Don’t be a maskhole.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 15931
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sign up for Route Fifty Today
Your daily read on state and local government


States Raid Fund Meant for Needy Families to Pay for Other Programs
By Laura Maggi and Emma Coleman

Connecting state and local government leaders

JULY 23, 2020 08:20 PM ET

NORTH CAROLINA
State bans on utility shutoffs are expiring, which means many struggling families that have racked up months of unpaid electric, water and gas bills are now facing disconnections. In North Carolina, 1.3 million household utility accounts are eligible for disconnection, with the shutoff moratorium and prohibitions on late fees ending on July 31. (The Washington Post estimated that this could affect as many as a million families.) More than three-quarters of the utilities are run by local governments or are quasi-governmental, which has meant residents’ inability to pay amid the coronavirus economic recession is hitting city pocketbooks, too. (Although one state accounting does note that 59% of the missed $258 million in payments for both residences and businesses is owed to major investor-owned utility companies like Duke Energy.) Still, the impact on municipal utilities is a key reason why Gov. Roy Cooper isn’t extending the shutoff ban. Elizabeth City, a town of about 18,000 people, got an exemption from the state to allow them to begin disconnections this month, with leaders saying they simply couldn’t support the quarter of account holders who were behind on payments. But advocates for families struggling with unprecedented unemployment levels say the end of moratoriums are going to be devastating. Pamela Atwood, director of housing policy at the North Carolina Housing Coalition, noted that because many people are at home more, energy and water bills are going to be higher. “And so, when you compound that with potential job losses or reduced work hours, it’s just putting people in this deeper and deeper hole to get out of,” she said. Other states are dealing with the same challenges, with some political leaders in Wisconsin this week calling for reinstatement of the disconnection ban with more than 69,000 people facing shutoffs this weekend. The state Public Service Commission on Thursday voted to extend it until September. “There is an undeniable nexus between the provision of utility service and public health and safety,” said Rebecca Cameron Valcq, chairperson of the commission. [News & Observer; Washington Post; Wisconsin State Journal; Milwaukee Jo
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 3849

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac wrote:
Quote:
Sign up for Route Fifty Today
Your daily read on state and local government


States Raid Fund Meant for Needy Families to Pay for Other Programs
By Laura Maggi and Emma Coleman

Connecting state and local government leaders

JULY 23, 2020 08:20 PM ET

NORTH CAROLINA
State bans on utility shutoffs are expiring, which means many struggling families that have racked up months of unpaid electric, water and gas bills are now facing disconnections. In North Carolina, 1.3 million household utility accounts are eligible for disconnection, with the shutoff moratorium and prohibitions on late fees ending on July 31. (The Washington Post estimated that this could affect as many as a million families.) More than three-quarters of the utilities are run by local governments or are quasi-governmental, which has meant residents’ inability to pay amid the coronavirus economic recession is hitting city pocketbooks, too. (Although one state accounting does note that 59% of the missed $258 million in payments for both residences and businesses is owed to major investor-owned utility companies like Duke Energy.) Still, the impact on municipal utilities is a key reason why Gov. Roy Cooper isn’t extending the shutoff ban. Elizabeth City, a town of about 18,000 people, got an exemption from the state to allow them to begin disconnections this month, with leaders saying they simply couldn’t support the quarter of account holders who were behind on payments. But advocates for families struggling with unprecedented unemployment levels say the end of moratoriums are going to be devastating. Pamela Atwood, director of housing policy at the North Carolina Housing Coalition, noted that because many people are at home more, energy and water bills are going to be higher. “And so, when you compound that with potential job losses or reduced work hours, it’s just putting people in this deeper and deeper hole to get out of,” she said. Other states are dealing with the same challenges, with some political leaders in Wisconsin this week calling for reinstatement of the disconnection ban with more than 69,000 people facing shutoffs this weekend. The state Public Service Commission on Thursday voted to extend it until September. “There is an undeniable nexus between the provision of utility service and public health and safety,” said Rebecca Cameron Valcq, chairperson of the commission. [News & Observer; Washington Post; Wisconsin State Journal; Milwaukee Jo


Quote:
Still, the impact on municipal utilities is a key reason why Gov. Roy Cooper isn’t extending the shutoff ban.
- So says our Democrat Governor.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 15931
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here’s how to encourage voting.

Quote:
Sheriff deputies and police in a North Carolina county pepper-sprayed a group of people, including children, during a Saturday march to the election polls. The “I Am Change” march in Graham, a city in Alamance County, was organized by Rev. Greg Drumwright, who leads a church in nearby Greensboro. The group, which said it was non-partisan and aimed at getting out the vote, was pepper-sprayed by law enforcement after they held a moment of silence for George Floyd, the Black man who was killed in May by a Minneapolis police officer. “My 11-year-old was terrified. She doesn’t want to come down to Graham anymore,” said Melanie Mitchell, describing how both her daughters, also including a 5-year-old, threw up after they were pepper sprayed. Police defended their actions, calling the spray “pepper-based vapor” and saying the protesters were blocking the road. “[T]he assembly reached a level of conduct that led to the rally being deemed unsafe and unlawful by unified command,” a police spokesman said. At least 12 people were arrested, including Drumwright. Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, called the incident “unacceptable” on Twitter. “Peaceful demonstrators should be able to have their voices heard and voter intimidation in any form cannot be tolerated,” he wrote. [News & Observer; Washington Post]


Last edited by mac on Mon Nov 02, 2020 6:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 3849

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More to the story:
Quote:
Police said participants in Saturday’s rally were arrested and pepper-sprayed because they were blocking the roadway without authorization.

Graham Police said Saturday they issued several warnings to the crowd at Alamance County’s courthouse to move from the roadway before releasing pepper spraying and later arresting eight people.

A press release from the department said the march organized by Drumwright didn’t have permission to block traffic. Drumwright initially asked police and the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office if authorities could block the roadway for the rally members, but that request was never completed because Drumwright “missed the deadline,” Graham Police said.


https://www.wsoctv.com/news/local/nc-rally-organizer-plans-election-day-march-after-police-use-pepper-spray-crowds/OZBEY5FCARBABLEL73TWL7WOGY/
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 15931
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’ve seen pictures of North Carolina cops spraying marchers in front of the courthouse. Not remotely blocking traffic. But then you’ve had that vaccine.
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vientomas



Joined: 25 Apr 2000
Posts: 2060

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BY all means, let's spray tear gas due to traffic being stopped.

https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/caravans-of-trump-supporters-block-traffic-on-nj-parkway-ny-bridge/2699128/
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 15931
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So did Chris Christie order this slow down too?
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