Thursday, September 3, 2020

The Harsh Reality

Via Steve M:

On Monday, I told you about the new right-wing talking point on the coronavirus: Because the CDC says that all but 9,000 Americans who’ve died from it had one or more other contributing conditions, or comorbities, the right now insists that only 9,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 altogether. Over the weekend, President Trump retweeted a QAnon supporter’s now-deleted tweet to that effect, and Senator Joni Ernst told an Iowa newspaper reporter recently that she finds the idea intriguing: “They’re thinking there may be 10,000 or less deaths that were actually singularly covid-19. … I’m just really curious. It would be interesting to know that.”

Now, what does this look like in real life? Here’s how it looks:

A Minnesota biker who attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has died of covid-19 — the first fatality from the virus traced to the 10-day event that drew more than 400,000 to South Dakota.

The man was in his 60s, had underlying conditions and was hospitalized in intensive care after returning from the rally, said Kris Ehresmann, infectious-disease director at the Minnesota Department of Health. The case is among at least 260 cases in 11 states tied directly to the event, according to a survey of health departments by The Washington Post.

… Sturgis was unique in drawing people from across the nation to one small town, where they crowded into bars, restaurants, tattoo shops and other businesses, many without masks.

So here’s a man who was in his sixties. He had health conditions — as a lot of people in their sixties do. Maybe he had coronary disease, or asthma, or diabetes, or some combination.

But he was living his life. He was healthy enough to hop on a motorcycle and party in Sturgis. The rally took place from August 7 to August 16. Less than a month ago, this man was healthy enough to attend it.

And now he’s dead.

But according to the new right-wing dogma, this man didn’t die of COVID-19 at all. He died because he had death coming to him, what with all those comorbidities.

Who wants to tell the people closest to him — his family, his biker friends — that COVID didn’t kill him? Who wants to tell them that he’d probably be dead anyway?

Would you like to do the honors, Senator Ernst?

Or you, Mr. President?

That has become my question to those who have the gall to tell me that Covid-19 is no big deal or that it’s a hoax: would you like to explain your theory to my family about my father’s death?  I would be more than happy to show them his death certificate.  I won’t give them my mom’s contact information because she’s still dealing with the fact that the man she was married to for almost 72 years died from it and that the restrictions placed on her due to the quarantine kept her from being with him when he died on May 25.

I get it that dealing with grief and the loss goes through those stages of denial, anger, bargaining, and all the rest.  I’ve been there; I’m still hearing Dad’s voice when I dial their home number.  I’m still dealing with it over Allen’s death two years ago.  In my own way I’ve handled both losses by writing about them; not here, but in my plays.  Other people deal with it — or don’t — as they have to.  But when you start to deal with it by not only calling into question the harsh reality that over 180,000 people have died due to the pandemic but trying to turn it to your political advantage in pushing that denial, there’s an element of inhumane cruelty and heartlessness that borders on villainy.

5 barks and woofs on “The Harsh Reality

  1. For a long time now when I’m asked if I’m close to my family my answer has been “biologically.” So many of them have become Covid deniers or what appear to be QAnon types that I’ve had to cut off even more contact – can’t read their e-mails or social media posts because of the combination anger and disappointment I feel after.

  2. First time Reader. Thanks for your heartfelt story.

    That 6% figure is radical enough that it sounds like the ultimate gotcha. “No, it’s not 185K, it’s only 11K! Too many Americans don’t understand math, and the concept of comorbidities is as inconceivable as nuclear magnetic resonance imaging.

    Here’s a rebuttal I posted on another site that hopefully puts this all in perspective:

    Many of these folks express their ignorance (either willful or unintended) by misstating a fact, used to downplay the severity of the pandemic.

    The 6% that he cites is not number of individuals who died from Covid. The entire number died from Covid.

    Allow me to help with a made up example.

    100 people died last week in car accidents. Catastrophic, destructive, car accidents: Bent sheet metal; Jaws of life; The kind that stop traffic on the roads.

    Unfortunately, 30 of those people had kidney disease. Another 30 were smokers. 30 more had heart or lung issues, and 4 were obese.

    That’s 94 out of 100 or 94%. The remaining 6% were perfectly healthy.

    So I guess the real death rate from car accidents last week was only 6%. Right???

    Unfortunately the real reason those other 94 people died last week was because they had a car accident. They might have smoked, or had cancer, but they could have lived for one week, one month, or 20 years longer.

    THEY DIDN’T live longer. They died from a car accident.

    How many people died from car accidents last week? 6 or 100? You decide.

    See, not so hard to understand.

Comments are closed.