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Alleged Covid death rate is an issue

Dear Editor,

In a recent Coastal Courier, there was a story about deaths in Liberty County, specifically at Liberty Manor in Midway.

This discussion concerns the death rate for COVID only.  The alleged case rate is another issue.

This letter involves the utterly preposterous comments by Magnolia Manor’s Vice President for Clinical Services and Corporate Compliance Officer, Barbara Mitchell, who said, “All residents are currently under precautions to mitigate any further spread of the virus.  The number of positive cases in the facility is a reflection of the significantly increased numbers in the community at large.”

Absolute garbage.  We have been told that this deadly virus has caused 14 deaths in our county. It is so bad that Liberty County announced in the same newspaper that they are closing all the parks to prevent further deaths.

Of the 14 deaths in Liberty County, we now find that 9 of them were in Liberty Manor. I can’t imagine how all those deadly sick people were visiting the various parks in the county so as to cause the closing of them all.

Looking further, we find that of the 71 residents in Liberty Manor, 69 tested positive along with 15 staff members.

Apparently this place is a breeding ground for the virus. Yet we are forced to wear masks, close small businesses, and live in fear throughout the community.

But wait! As of 31 August, they are telling us there have been a total of 17 deaths.  Since the government refuses to let us common citizens know where the deaths are occurring so it can be addressed, does anyone want to bet that these three additional deaths didn’t occur at Liberty Manor?

Let’s examine the data. Based on data from the state of Georgia and the CDC, Liberty County has a per thousand rate of 52 deaths and 2562 cases. That means we can expect 52 people in any one thousand to die from the disease (5% 0f the 1000 people).  In the US as a whole, the death rate is 50 per thousand. So we are slightly ahead of the national average.

Now look at the Liberty Manor executive’s statement when they said Liberty Manor was averaging the same as the local community.

Based on Liberty Manor’s population group (71) and death rate (9), they are at a rate of 130 per thousand (13% of 1000 people). If the last three deaths were at Liberty Manor, that rate jumps to 169 or 17%.

I don’t know how Barbara Mitchell can keep a straight face when she says that Liberty Manor is in line with the community.

Death rate is bogus everywhere because positive test results are not generally the cause of death.  Recently it has been determined that the huge majority of deaths attributed to COVID were actually caused by underlying condition complicated by COVID. And the number of positive tests have been flawed as the huge of those never got sick or were hospitalized.

All of this is simply an observation of a seriously flawed system.  The government does not provide citizens with a relevant data so we can protect ourselves.  

While HIPPA may prevent disclosure of medical information about a person, it certainly does not prevent letting people know what specific areas could be a hot spot.  We have known from the beginning that elderly are more susceptible to the virus. 

The fact that 15 staff have been tested positive (if you believe that fact) tells you that this is an accurate assessment. Closing James Brown Park or Miller Park does nothing to prevent this.  Preventing small businesses from opening and doing business also does not affect the deaths occurring at a rest home. Most of them do not go out and shop.

I firmly believe that the virus can be dangerous. I also believe that we have enough of a handle on the situation so that people can wear masks, wear gloves, maintain social distances, and practice good hand washing and personal hygiene to slow or stop the spread.  But establishing draconian procedures and trying to use police to enforce guidelines put into effect with no justification is absurd.

My family wear masks when we are out and abide by all guidelines.  If I run into someone who is so stupid as to believe they are immune, I avoid them and walk away.  The government cannot force people if they are unwilling to use common sense.  But arbitrary rules by our government, and people like those at Liberty Manor outright making statements that are provably untrue such as the one mentioned above does little to cause people to have any faith in the people who are supposed to be looking out for us.

Charles Woodall


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