Good: The Folks Making Sure Kids Get Fed When They Don’t Have School

Amid all the bad—and there is so much bad—Wake and Durham County schools are working hard to make sure that children are getting fed. The need is acute. Sixty percent of North Carolina public school students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch programs. In fact, this was among school officials’ biggest reservations in deciding to close the schools—there are a lot of kids that depend on them to eat. In Wake County, volunteers have begun distributing hot lunches and cold breakfasts at 16 curbside pickup locations. In Durham County, DPS is providing meals at 67 community locations, including grab-and-go spots. They’ve also repurposed the dormant yellow school buses into delivery vehicles. Orange, Chatham, and Johnson County schools, meanwhile, have organized volunteer and system-led meal distribution efforts. In difficult times, there are some things that make us prouder than ever to be part of this community. This is one of them. 

Bad: Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest

If you’ve got a pedantic legal argument to make against the person you’re challenging for office, perhaps the best time to make it isn’t in the middle of a crisis, let alone a worldwide pandemic that might soon overwhelm your hospitals and kill hundreds or thousands of your residents. But Dan Forest nonetheless felt the need to act like he mattered last Tuesday, challenging Cooper’s decision to shut down dine-in restaurants and bars because, in Forest’s view, Cooper did not have the consent of the Council of State. Cooper’s executive order asserted that the (universally acknowledged) public health emergency gave him the right to do what he did anyway. But even if Forest is correct on the merits, it’s not entirely clear what he stood to gain. Would a few political points be worth being held responsible for whatever COVID-19 cluster emerged out of some country kitchen three weeks from now?

Awful: Senator Richard Burr

Bad: Writing an op-ed telling the American people that their government has never been more prepared to deal with an epidemic while you’re getting classified briefings telling you how bad the pandemic is going to be. Worse: Telling a group of well-heeled suits that the shit is about to hit the fan the same day the president—and the leader of your party—assures America that this coronavirus thing will be over soon. Why haven’t you resigned yet? Dumping most or all of your stock portfolio a week before the market crashes, then having the gall to tell us that the classified info you received as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee had nothing to do with your decision.  

Contact editor in chief Jeffrey C. Billman at 

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