This story hits close to home as it is in fact where I live.
Georgia has the distinction in the United States of being one of the last states in the union to issue stay at home orders and the very first state to open up again.
You may recall that the guide lines issued by the Federal Government stated that you should wait to reopen until you see a two week downward trend in infections and death rate.
Georgia reopened at the very peak of the virus. At the time of Georgia’s reopening we had not seen one single day of lower infection rate, let alone two weeks worth. Our trajectory was still on the way up.
But Governor Kemp, like most republicans more worried about the economy than human lives, went all in anyway. That was on April 24th.
Three weeks later, CNN did a story on where Georgia was and what some people thought about how early they opened. Here’s a couple of snippets from that article:
As of Friday (May 15th), Georgia had more than 36,000 cases of coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University data. More than 1,500 people have died.Since reopening late last month, Georgia hasn’t seen a spike in coronavirus cases, Johns Hopkins said.Source
But there also hasn’t been a significant decrease in new case counts.Georgia’s rate of new cases has been trending unsteadily downward in recent days, per Johns Hopkins. The state averaged 669 new cases a day over a seven-day period that ended May 13, down about 6% from the previous week.Source
So we flash forward to today and we find this from the official Georgia Department of Health Website:
Total Tests: 402,940
Confirmed COVID-19 Cases*: 39,801
ICU Admissions**: 1,630
Something seems up with those numbers. Let’s review something: Back on May 15th, we had over 36,000 cases and were averaging 669 new cases per day every day but trending downward slightly.
So how is it that 37 days later, we apparently only have 3,800 more cases? According to the trend reported by Johns Hopkins at the time, we should have somewhere around 22,750 more cases for a total of 62,551.
How is Georgia trending down at such an accelerated rate when more and more people are heading to hospitals?
Statistics are a science that frankly, I think the world could do without. You can change them, tweak them, rearrange them to say anything you want. Oddly, the Southeast has been unbelievably resistant to Covid-19. It begs the question, “How”?
Today, the governors of the Southeastern United States formed a coalition in much the same way the Northeast and West Coast did. The governors of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and South Carolina have banded together to “figure out” what they need to do.
Here’s the problem with that: they’re already fudging numbers and getting caught at it. What is it they’re actually working together to achieve?
Just recently, Florida fired it’s person responsible for compiling data. Apparently, she was doing it in an honest manner and Governor DeSantis wasn’t going to stand for it.
Georgia was caught as well fudging the numbers. What we see on the TV all day long are a multitude of commercials for free testing, no appointment required.
But it’s not testing for Covid-19. It’s antibody testing.
What Georgia has been doing is combining the antibody testing into the total tests for Covid-19 to make our infection rate look like it’s taking a nose dive.
It’s simply not true. They test nearly 3 to 1 antibody over Covid-19 at the present time, so that means we’ve only actually tested somewhere around 100,000 people.
That makes our infection rate 3 times worse (at least) than it is according to the numbers they’re displaying.
What’s more, look at all those footnotes. Here’s what they are:
* Note: The time series charts below for cases and deaths or cumulative cases and deaths may not include data with missing dates or invalid dates, so the totals may not match the above totals.Source
** These data only include ICU admission information at the time the case is reported to GA DPH and could be underreported.Source
So right from the word go, you’re not seeing all the numbers. What’s more, the numbers you’re seeing are being manipulated.
Truth is, right now, we have no idea where we are on infection rates, deaths or anything else. I’m sure Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and Mississippi are in the same boat.
By design, of course.
It’s painful to watch what’s happening here. People are in large part returning to normality thinking it’s all safe. Very few wear masks, very few social distance, it’s as if it never happened.
Me and mine are still holed up. We order most things including groceries delivered. If we have to venture out, I’m the only one that goes and I have a decontamination procedure I use entering through the basement.
I’ll spare you all the mental images by not going into detail. I’m sure you all have enough on your plate without losing sleep with that rolling around in your head.
But it brings us to this: what happens when this thing hits like a ton of bricks? What happens to these people in government that we KNOW are fudging numbers and/or outright lying to us all?
Republicans at large have thrown every American within their reach under the bus for the sole purpose of saving their economies. They’re working for their masters, not the people that elected them.
Doesn’t that make them responsible for the consequences? I mean, in the end, when you KNOW a situation is bad and can result in someone’s death and you do it anyway and it does result in someone’s death, isn’t that a crime?
Well, it is where I come from. It’s called “Criminally Negligent Homicide”.
So we’re resolved to the waiting game, hoping like hell that we’re wrong and that it really isn’t as bad as it seems.
At the same time though, we’re not holding our breath.