Sunday sampler

You might think that with headlines on the front pages of papers across the state, the COVID-19 deniers would get a clue. But maybe they’re so busy worrying about their freedom from mask-wearing and social distancing that they don’t have time to read. Or watch TV news. I write that because many of today’s papers feature stories about the 5,000-plus number of coronavirus-related deaths in North Carolina. (“That’s five times the number of combined fatalities from every hurricane in the state’s history,” as the N&O writes.)

Raleigh: The News & Observer tells the story of some of the virus victims and those left behind. “For the surviving families, the virus took on a deadly scope long before its death toll reached this new crest. Jennifer Cramer’s 64-year-old father, Eli Klausner, died in April at Duke Raleigh Hospital, just two weeks after he contracted COVID-19. ‘It shouldn’t take losing someone for this to be important to people,” she said, “and for people to understand how serious it is.’”

Fayetteville, Jacksonville, Kinston and Burlington papers all carry the N&O’s story.

Then, of course, pandemic panic buying is back, the Fayetteville Observer reports. “The National Grocers Association, the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, said in an email Tuesday that some retailers are seeing some panic buying by consumers. This is leading grocers to reinstate purchase limits as they did in the spring, designed to ensure as many people can obtain the products as need them. ‘The supply chain is well equipped and products are available, but hoarding by consumers can confound even the best-laid plans.'”

Thank goodness, there are other stories:

Raleigh: The N&O explained how the differences in population centers impacted the vote in NC. “During those 10 years, the state saw big population changes as urban and suburban areas exploded with new residents, and much of rural North Carolina saw residents leaving. As a result, a rural voter tended to have a bigger voice in the decisions on state and federal legislative seats than an urban or suburban voter. Those rural voters broke heavily for Trump, a Republican who barnstormed smaller towns across North Carolina with rallies drawing thousands in the final days of the election. Those voters also elected Republicans to Congress and state legislative seats, helping the GOP keep its hold on the General Assembly and the state’s congressional delegation.”

Greensboro: It only takes one person to change the world. The News & Record highlights one, the owner of a heating and air conditioning business, who realized his white privilege and decided to do something about it. “If a wall was going to keep Cooper from starting his own business, Farlow wanted to break it down. “I said, ‘Man, I don’t know that I’d hire you, but I’ll sell you part of the business.'”