2,499. That’s the confirmed number of coronavirus cases as of 6:00 a.m. on Thursday. This is a 302 case increase in the last 24 hours but still far below previous projections. Alabama’s numbers remain manageable.
67 reported deaths in the same time period.
314. Those are the total hospitalizations in the state since March 13. Should Alabama’s current trajectory hold, bed space in the state will be a non-issue.
60,000. The total estimated deaths in the United States has been reduced to this number after having been previously projected to be between 100,000 and 250,000.
1,200. That’s the number of masks donated to hospitals and nursing homes by Masks for Marshall County. Volunteer efforts like this are popping up across Alabama as members of the community seek to help those most vulnerable.
Mobile County now has 249 reported cases.
15. That’s the number of employees at Grayson Air Conditioning in Mobile who received lunch vouchers from company owner Richard Ridge so they could eat out and support local restaurants struggling to do business. Ridge challenged those deemed essential to support other businesses as best as they can.
363 healthcare workers have now developed confirmed cases which is why there have been efforts in communities across the state to offer support and gratitude.
24. The number of hours coronavirus can remain viable on cardboard such as packages delivered by Amazon.
72. The number of hours coronavirus can remain viable on a plastic surface similar to a bottle of water.
100. That’s the number of birthdays World War II veteran and Mobile resident Henry Waltman was supposed to celebrate at Battleship Park this week. Unfortunately, due to the outbreak, his birthday party had to be canceled. Instead, friends drove by his home and honked their horns.
56.54. This is the percentage of women among the confirmed cases in the Yellowhammer State.
1,000,000 is the amount of dollars the Poarch Band of Creek Indians donated to Atmore Community Hospital. Tribal chair and CEO Stephanie Bryan said, “We are committed to doing everything we can to make sure this great hospital that serves our community has what it needs.”
7. The number of days coronavirus can live on the outside of a surgical mask. A reminder for everyone of the care required even when using extra precautions.
40. That’s the number of years of experience Dr. Richard Myers has working in genetics. Myers is leading the effort at Huntsville’s HudsonAlpha Institute to develop a treatment and a vaccine for coronavirus.
180. For some, this may be the most important number on the list. It’s the number of days until the college football season kicks off on September 5. It’s good to have something to look forward to.
The Alabama Media Group “data reporter” painted this projection of millions getting sick and 25,000 dead as the best-case scenario.
He — and his publication — got it wrong. Big time.
But it worked. In concert with other lunatics, they declared that Alabama Governor Kay Ivey wanted people to die, or was at least cool with it, if she didn’t declare Alabama to be a “shelter-in-place” state.
After all, they just heard of such a thing and the smart states were doing it, so the dummies in Alabama should do it as well.
I, for my part, saw this for what it was and pointed out that at some point the governor’s office would cave and make the order, so she should just do it.
That’s exactly what happened.
The numbers began to change.
March 14 — 25,000
March 31 — 1,700
April 1 — 7,300+
April 2 — 5,500+
April 5 — 923
April 8 — 634
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Ainsworth encourages Alabamians to ‘Ring for the Resurrection’ on Easter
Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth is asking all Alabamians to join him in a “Ring for the Resurrection” campaign on Easter Sunday. The effort is intended to promote unity at this COVID-19 time of prolonged separation and to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ following his crucifixion.
Ring for the Resurrection, which was created by Ainsworth, calls for all churches and individuals across the Yellowhammer State to ring a bell at noon on Sunday, April 12, in joint celebration of the holiday.
“Social distancing guidelines require us to remain apart from our extended families, church members, and other individuals on a sacred religious holiday that normally encourages us to gather together,” Ainsworth said in a statement on Wednesday. “But I realized that the simple act of ringing a bell can allow us to remain physically distant while being united in spirit.”
“My wife, Kendall, our twin boys, Hunter and Hays, and our daughter, Addie, will be among those ringing a bell at noon on Sunday to celebrate the miracle of Easter,” he concluded. “While Gov. Ivey’s stay-at-home order, the public’s health and safety, and simple common sense prevent Christians from gathering in large groups even on the holiest of days, all of us can join together in spirit as we ring a bell to recognize that Christ has risen.”
This comes after Ainsworth earlier this week unveiled a new website designed to provide small business owners with a one-stop online information hub related to the ongoing pandemic.
Join me celebrating the hope, unity, and love shared among all Alabamians during this difficult time by ringing your church bell or a bell at your home this Easter Sunday at noon.
COVID-19 restrictions unfairly choke small business
When Mark and Susan Anderson were required by a statewide mandate to close the doors of their Dothan clothing and outdoor gear store, Eagle Eye Outfitters, they felt like it was a necessary sacrifice for the good of public health. By limiting retail shopping to essential items such as groceries, prescriptions, and fuel, the governor’s order takes a great many people off the streets.
Hopefully, it slows the spread of the rampant COVID-19 virus. But the closure is incredibly painful for owners like them: it has forced them to furlough more than 150 employees, and the massive loss of revenue will leave a mark on their business for years.
What the Andersons don’t understand was how it is fair for one of their local competitors, the national chain Academy Sports and Outdoors, to continue selling the same types of apparel and outdoor gear.
In this case, the loophole for Academy is their small firearms counter. Guns and ammunition are considered essential under the current order. Therefore, Academy and others who carry firearms have been allowed to continue to do business — even if guns and ammunition are only a small percentage of their overall sales.
One of the unintended consequences of the mandate is that small businesses, which often specialize in a more narrow range of merchandise, are penalized more heavily than their national chain competitors.
You heard that right: businesses owned and operated by Alabamians are absorbing the crushing cost of total closure, while national chains based out of state continue to snatch up what little retail demand still exists in the downturn.
If all businesses operating in Alabama were restricted from selling non-essential goods, small businesses might at least expect to benefit from the pent-up economic demand that will exist once the mandate is lifted. As it is, demand for those goods and services is funneled immediately to the big chains, cutting small business owners out of the deal entirely.
Bob Couch of Couch’s Jewelers feels that his small business is paying a higher price than others, as well. While he is forced to shutter his 75-year-old family jewelry store in downtown Anniston, Wal-Mart is allowed to continue selling jewelry just a short distance away. Because they carry groceries and have a pharmacy, they are allowed to sell anything.
None of the small business owners I spoke with this week felt the retail sales restrictions were unnecessary, given the scope and seriousness of the pandemic. But they think the state government has picked winners and losers with a poorly-conceived order.
They are right. And the governor can correct it today if she chooses.
Vermont heard a similar outcry from its small business community. In response, it amended its closure order so that businesses that remain open to offer essentials are limited to just those sales. In a large department store that offers a variety of goods, selling non-essentials is temporarily prohibited. No more going to Wal-Mart for groceries, but then wandering the aisles looking for a pair of gold earrings or a sleeping bag.
These are trying times for businesses of every size. But there’s no good reason for our own state government to damage Alabama’s small business owners further.
None of us likes the loss of civil liberties, or the freedom to do business as we choose — not even for a day. But if our current public health concerns are so extraordinary as to require such restrictions, the least government can do is ensure that they be equally and fairly applied. Every business operating in this state — big box or main street — should bear its share of the burden.
Dana Hall McCain, a widely published writer on faith, culture, and politics, is Resident Fellow of the Alabama Policy Institute; reach her on Twitter at @dhmccain.
API is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to free markets, limited government, and strong families, learn more at alabamapolicy.org.