Coronavirus quarantine road blocks, checkpoints, thinly veiled threats: part 1

coronavirus cherohala skyway closure

I am impressed. The cement barrier on the left is resting on a vertical cement wall holding up the road. The mountain at that point is impossibly steep, not able to be traversed. The barrier on the right also makes it impossible for motorcycles, ATVs, etc. No one in or out.

A bit too enthusiastic up in Graham County, the entirety of which lies in my parish, which also comprises half of Cherokee County and half of Macon County. Graham, jumping the gun, went a bit too far, and the County was forced to remove the impossibility factor of the barrier in favor of emergency vehicles being able to pass by.

In lieu of such extremes, we have such as this at the Topton entrance to Graham County, which only has something like four roads in and out of the entire county:


This setup is quite well thought out. There are warning signs, cones, plank-stands, plastic barriers, concrete barriers, a tent with table and chairs for nasty weather conditions. And for personnel, we have three:

  • One deputy in a slime-green vest who checks ID
  • Two deputies to provide security for the interface officer, as well as enforcement, and, I’m sure transportation of rebellious sovereign citizens, anti-government militia members, et alii.

I had to have a chat with our Vicar Forane in Bryson City yesterday, before the Governor’s lock-down of the entire state of North Carolina went into effect at 5:00 PM. I got to talking with the checkpoint crowd to and fro. Very friendly. The identical set-up is to be found at the Swain-Graham border up on Highway 28.

On my way back, I stopped at the tax assessors office at the courthouse in Robbinsville, County Seat of Graham County, and got me a Green Card, so to speak, a non-resident pass to enter Graham County (where our mission church lies) even though the rectory is in Cherokee County. I wonder if I’ll have to do the same for Clay and Macon Counties. I want to be able to pass freely throughout the region in order to do up the Last Rites for my parishioners and those of surrounding parishes when their priests, for whatever reason, are not able to respond to calls. Here’s the placard to be placed visibly up front of the vehicle:


I’m compliant. Some think that’s a good idea. Some think it’s downright anti-American. Whatever you think, it’s good for me in that I’m interested in doing the priest-thing, providing the sacraments to those whom I am able to reach. Clever as a snake and – hopefully – as innocent as a dove. (I’ll have to work on the latter with Jesus!)

There are, apparently – rumors being what they are – some who are saying with, um, a bit of an edge to it, that they are sick and tired, just really, really fed up with any restriction whatsoever in favor of public safety. “IT’S UNCONSTITUTIONAL!”

Here’s the deal: Law Enforcement is at risk enough without people ramping it up. If someone attacks Law Enforcement, you gotta know that pretty much all LEOs in a region are gonna hunt the knucklehead down, rightly so. At that point, it’s no longer about discussion of policy. It’s about whether one guy can take out all Law Enforcement of a region. Hint: It can’t be done.

And if Militias ramp it up, that’s when the full force of the National Guard will come into play. Thinking of smacking down Law Enforcement? Ain’t gonna happen. Don’t do it.


Filed under Coronavirus, Law enforcement, Politics

11 responses to “Coronavirus quarantine road blocks, checkpoints, thinly veiled threats: part 1

  1. nancyv

    Don’t swat me with Sister’s ruler, but just asking, ok? What about the guys in Greensboro who were detained for praying (the LoveLife group) at an abortion place this past Saturday…were they in the wrong? protesting and praying at an abortion place (considered “essential”) ??

    • Father George David Byers

      I think that falls under a legitimate religious gathering! It’s natural law. But in this case insist on religion! Clever as snakes and innocent as doves and all that! ;-)

  2. Carroll

    To be fair, there are still no cases of COVID-19 in Graham County. But there are cases in surrounding counties: 7 in Cherokee; 3 in Monroe; 1 in Jackson; 10 in Blount County, TN; 7 in Sevier County, TN; 57 in Knoxville, TN. With all the motorcycle traffic usually going through Graham and almost no medical services, I think they’re being smart. Draconian, maybe, but smart.

  3. sanfelipe007

    [Please don’t publish this]
    What do you think of this report?
    The headline is misleading, I think, but this caught my eye:
    “I want to say to all those who are preparing for the potential of religious services this weekend: If you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church, and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services,” he warned, however admitting that he does not “say this with joy.”
    I’m all for rendering unto Ceasar, but at what point de we say enough? Seven times? I know, I know, obedient unto death. Just so that obedience is rendered to Jesus, not the state. I guess that is the clarity we need.

  4. pelerin

    Don’t swat me either Father but there is something I need to know. I am in the ‘elderly’ category but have no underlying illnesses apart from arthritis which does not appear in the list given by our Government for complete home confinement. Accordingly I understand I am allowed out to shop for food and go for one walk a day – LEGALLY.
    My adult sons have insisted I stay in completely and I agreed for their sake. One of my sons is a fireman in London and is being briefed for what they are preparing for there so he understands the severity of the situation.
    My question is would I be MORALLY right in going out having made this promise (food shops are only 3 minutes away) for exercise or must I continue to rely on my neighbours help and suffer through lack of exercise. My sons do not live near so they would not find out but having made that promise ……

  5. pelerin

    Thank you father – your advice will help me endure the isolation.

    • Aussie Mum

      Do you have a front or back yard that you could get out into as the weather warms up? Some light gardening might help make up for the exercise you are missing. I have very limited mobility and only a tiny yard but I enjoy sitting in the sunshine watching the birds that visit, and sunshine helps ward off illness.

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