Editorial: How many actual COVID-only deaths have there been?

Photo By Dawn Endico/Creative Commons

Column By Mike Bibb

Why is it so difficult for authorities and health care experts to publicize the actual deaths caused by COVID-only without lumping all existing comorbidity issues into the same category?

Since the pandemic began, it’s been a common practice for government and health officials to include virtually every non-accidental death that’s transpired the last year-and-a-half as being a result of the virus.  

In some communities, even deaths from gunshots were recorded as a COVID statistic because, supposedly, the victim tested positive before he was shot.

I’ve been harping for quite a while on the seemingly skewed statistics the Centers for Disease Control and state authorities have been releasing.  At one time, the infection and fatality numbers were adding up so fast it seemed incredulous the figures could be correct.

Actually, in the beginning, we were told to expect about two-and-a-half million deaths and many times more than that in infections.  The pandemic was poised to roll over our country like an out-of-control wildfire, decimating everything in its path. 

As a result, the fear factor was carefully orchestrated to persuade as many people as possible that without immediate government intervention and supervision, we’d all be at risk of dying a horrible death.  Mainstream media talking heads continued to enunciate a dark future, with the virus seeping into every nook, cranny, and sinus cavity on the planet. 

Saint Peter would be compelled to triple his staff at the Pearly Gates as Earth’s casualties were backlogged and stored in refrigerated containers, awaiting ascendancy to St. Pete’s interview.  If unchecked, the situation could evolve into the prophesied “weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth” discomfort we all heard about in Sunday School.

So, the brakes were immediately applied to our society and economy.  People were advised to stay home, wear face masks, keep a minimum of six feet apart, don’t go to school or church or attend football games, shut down “non-essential businesses,” work from home (for those who could), and don’t question the accuracy of the information and statistics being released from our exalted leader’s podiums.

Everything would eventually be okay as soon as a vaccine was developed and distributed to sedate the ugly beast.  Our salvation was predicated upon the combined brainpower of scientists and smarter-than-God politicians.  All we had to do was believe in them, acquiesce to their directions and like a bad dream, the nightmare would ultimately go away. 

“Follow the science” became the new mantra, at least until the expert’s conjectures and advice began to contradict their previous admonitions. 

Nevertheless, we obediently complied, but in the process, we also began to realize not everything we were being told was on the up-and-up.  Actually, a lot of what we were being told didn’t mesh with the facts or was constantly changing to reflect expert’s latest opinions.  Millions weren’t dying and not everyone who contacted COVID required hospitalization or a ventilator.  Nyquil Cold & Flu could be sufficient.  A 95+% overall recovery rate became the norm.

Then we were informed of the ultimate disappointment – the heralded vaccines might not protect us as well as we were originally assured.  Unfortunately, it may be necessary to mask up again and stay a couple of yards away from the nearest human because of the ever-changing nature of COVID.  One day it looks like Frankenstein, the next it resembles Sponge Bob and by Tuesday it could morph into a helmeted Mars Attack humanoid, zapping the life out of everyone not dutifully complying with whatever the CDC directive of the day is. 

Even President Biden warned, “Get vaxxed or stay masked.”  Except, now it’s looking like we’re being ordered to get vaccinated and stay masked, too.  Maybe even revaccinated.  The contrived absurdities never end because the buffoons making the rules are making sure it never ends. 

Adding to the quandary, rapidly rising suicide rates, drug overdoses and other physical and mental disorders have become an unintended consequence; collateral damage alongside the virus.       

In Graham County, recently released figures indicate there have been 5658 confirmed cases of COVID during the pandemic.  A total of 5516 have recovered.  A total of 87 deaths have occurred, which equals about 1.5% of the confirmed cases.  Hardly a massive mortality rate from a disease that is/was supposed to be horrendous.

Realistically, the death-to-population ratio is considerably less.  87 documented deaths in a county of nearly 40,000 inhabitants is 0.022%, minuscule compared to other debilitating or fatal ailments.  Yet, we’ve never gone into lockdown mode over these more common illnesses. 

Even more amazing, this exceptionally low COVID mortality rate has happened in an area that only has about a 50% vaccination rate, including the incarcerated population of three prisons. 

In order to avoid sending my blood pressure soaring into the upper atmosphere like a Jeff Bezos’ Amazon rocket, I won’t get into the policy madness of President Biden permitting nearly a million undocumented and unvaccinated illegal immigrants to roam freely about the country, randomly spreading various diseases, including COVID. 

The question logically becomes, exactly how many of those 87 fatalities perished from the disease itself?  In other words, not including heart, obesity, kidney disease, stroke, cancer, hypertension, lung disorders, or a myriad of other infirmities, what was the actual number of COVID-only deaths in the county for the last eighteen months?  Specifically, does a victim’s death certificate list COVID as the singular cause, or are multiple morbidity problems also included? 

It makes a difference if the facts and figures are accurately reported.  And it makes an overwhelming difference if the numbers are purposely fudged to achieve some kind of agenda.  

Keep things on an even keel.  Just as an auto accident death isn’t recorded as a drowning casualty because the victim didn’t know how to swim, a non-COVID death shouldn’t be reported as COVID due to a person’s failing liver or being a long-time leukemia sufferer.

Honestly reporting an individual’s demise doesn’t make the death any less unpleasant or unimportant, only more truthful.

For the sake of clarity and integrity, let’s compare apples to apples and leave the kumquats out of it. 

The views in this editorial are those of the author.