This will be my final regular update reporting COVID-19 numbers for Shelby County. You can find all of the data used to build these charts and graphs on the Shelby County Health Department COVID-19 data dashboard.
One year ago this month, Shelby County reported its first known case of COVID-19, as well as the first death attributed to the virus.
There have been 90,110 reported cases of COVID-19 in Shelby County, as well as 1,546 deaths. The Commercial Appeal reports today that the true infection rate may be three times the number of cases, meaning 270,000 people in Shelby County have been infected recently enough to have antibodies present.
The Health Department has released its 19th directive, effective today, relaxing rules and restrictions on restaurants.
I have called for all such rules, mandates and restrictions to be lifted, and for health officials to return to an advisory role, allowing individuals to take whatever informed precautions necessary to keep themselves and others safe. I’ve done this for a few reasons:
- Lockdowns, mandates and restrictions have had little effect on the spread of the virus, as noted in recent articles in Newsweek, The Associated Press, The Las Vegas Review Journal and elsewhere. I made the case using state and local data in a previous post here.
- With a full year behind us, we need to return to our system of representative government and stop allowing ourselves to be directed by unelected authorities. Theirs should be an advisory role. We cannot allow emergency rule and restricted liberties to continue indefinitely.
- County health officials have not demonstrated an ability to professionally manage the one job we needed them to perform well. If they could not do that, they certainly cannot run your business.
- If the virus does not behave differently from week to week, it makes no sense to keep tweaking the guidelines.
- The idea that citizens should be expected to read, understand and comply with 20-page directives issued every few weeks is not practical, and it’s a terrible burden on small business.
The time is now.