New Hanover chapter of Reopen NC says voices will be heard even after state opens completely

Reopen NC protests

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Groups across the state have demonstrated against the governor’s process for opening the state’s economy. Members of Reopen NC say many businesses can’t wait any longer.

So far there has been complete support or opposition to the group that has made its stance clear. Of course there’s been controversy in the middle. But, the group members say they’ll keep protesting until everything is open.

Even though our state's cases spiked over the weekend, many have pointed to the abundance of testing.

Tom Toby with the New Hanover Chapter of Reopen NC said it’s no secret that positive numbers will increase with more places opening.

Despite the controversy that has surrounded the actions of the group, their protests and their beliefs; they know the coronavirus isn’t going away and say the best way to a cure is exposure.

“As things reopen you’ll probably see a little bit go up, but you’ve got to have people exposed to this," said Toby. "Especially young, active people have to be exposed to this so it runs into people that are immune to it and it starts to die off. People are going to get this but we’ve got to get out there and people have got to have exposure so we have a country. We as a state, we as a community, can start getting herd immunity to it.”

Top medical experts have recently suggested that nearly 70 percent of the country would need to contract the coronavirus for herd immunity to take hold, that’s 200 million Americans.

Regardless, Toby believes the state can’t wait on the pandemic any longer and leaders need to focus on the economy.

When looking back on past protests and future ones to come, Toby said their protests are more about getting the economy back on track, not so much an attack on health and safety.

He believes Reopen NC is about fighting for people’s rights—rights that have been taken away from them during the pandemic.

“We are committed to staying in this until all of NHC and all of the state and people in this are back to work," said Toby. "Further, as things have evolved, our mission has also evolved in going forth and pursuing stuff in a legislative level to make sure the office of the governor never has this much authority and power to do this again.”

Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.