It’s kind of crazy to think that just a month ago, North Carolina didn’t have any coronavirus cases, let alone closed schools, shuttered restaurants, stay-at-home orders, and a spiraling economy. Back then—unless you were part of Richard Burr’s Friends and Donors Club—an entire political party was assuring us that the U.S. was prepared for the pandemic, its leader promising Americans that the then-handful of COVID-19 cases would be “close to zero” within a few days. As of March 30, there were 164,253 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S., including 1,373 in North Carolina. 

Contact editor in chief Jeffrey C. Billman at

DEAR READERS, WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW MORE THAN EVER. Support independent local journalism by joining the INDY Press Club today. Your contributions will keep our fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle, coronavirus be damned.