I cannot believe I am writing this — but, given that it’s 2020, perhaps it makes sense.
We at The Walton Tribune, and across the media landscape, are not in favor of COVID-19.
In fact, a unanimous vote of the editorial board came out against the novel coronavirus. It’s bad for our community — literally, people are getting sick and in the case of more than 30 of our fellow Walton County residents, it’s been deadly.
It’s bad for business, too. No one wants to go through a repeat of March and April.
So forgive me if I’m a little tired of the Facebook keyboard warriors who accuse us of trying to cause fear or just want to see this continue for political purposes (at least until early November, because you know, they say, it’s magically going to go away then).
People continue to ask the same questions as they have all along, so I revisted a story that was published in our newspaper April 8.
Even at that point, barely a month into the pandemic, people continued to ask about the recovery rates.
I still get the question multiple times a week.
Unfortunately, the Georgia Department of Public Health does not release this information. In fact, it’s not even compiled.
Nancy Nydam, spokeswoman for the DPH, told me in early April there is no way for the state to track recovery rates accurately. Believe me, we’d publish it if we could.
As of Monday, more than 1.4 million PCR or molecular tests had been given in Georgia. A little less than 11% revealed COVID-19. The positive rate on antibody tests was 6.2%.
I’ve invited DPH officials to take part in a Facebook Live interview to explain some of the questions many of you have, or to clear up misconceptions, such as, are people counted as multiple “positives” if they test positive twice?
To date, they’ve not taken me up on that. But we’ll continue to try and get answers.
For that matter, we try and get information from the hospital, but often run into concerns with privacy laws — or, simply a question the hospital chooses not to answer based on its policy.
In this together
In the early days of all this unpleasantness, Gov. Brian Kemp noted that we’re all “in this together.” But the past few months make me wonder: Are we?
I don’t see a common will to fight COVID-19, or even believe in it.
It’s just one more thing to fight about.
Hopefully a vaccine emerges soon, or it just disappears like the president said, because COVID-19 is a grave danger — for the societal risks as much as the health problems.