With coronavirus cases surging in South Carolina- including an alarming rise in hospitalizations – elected officials are once again contemplating draconian preventative measures beyond the “new normal” of social distancing and the wearing of masks in public.
Just this week, S.C. superintendent of education Molly Spearman announced that government-run schools in the Palmetto State might not reopen in August if case levels remained elevated.
“If it continues on the same path we’re on right now it’s going to be extremely difficult,” Spearman said at a news conference on Monday.
Meanwhile, pressure is mounting on governor Henry McMaster – who held near-daily press conferences during the early phases of the pandemic – to take action in response to the recent rise in cases.
“Where’s Henry?” has become a new rallying cry of many progressive activists – including those who support a return to the societal lockdowns imposed in the spring as the mysterious virus first began claiming the lives of South Carolinians.
As this debate ramps up, we believe context is key … albeit elusive.
As we have previously noted, there remains very little in the way of actionable intelligence regarding what created this virus, how lethal it is, how it is transmitted or how many people may have already had it.
This lack of intelligence – as well as conflicting information supplied by “science” – has made decisive action difficult. Also, in our hopelessly divided political climate it has become nearly impossible to have a rational conversations with many people regarding sensible suggestions that may run counter to the prevailing “herd-think.”
Again, context is key … where we can find it.
One bit of context that frequently goes unreported in the mainstream media? Where coronavirus deaths are taking place …
As another round of hysteria grips South Carolina over the spread of the virus, we believe it is important to acknowledge one’s vulnerability to the pandemic – at least one’s vulnerability to dying from it – remains very low if you are below the age of sixty and not suffering from a preexisting medical condition.
Which, honestly, is one of the few things we have known all along about this virus …
This vulnerability is reduced even further – dramatically so, as a matter of fact – if one is not a resident of a long-term care facility.
According to the latest data from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), 46.8 percent of coronavirus deaths in the Palmetto State were associated with residents of long-term care facilities (as of June 19, 2020). That is lower than the national average of 54.4 percent, but is obviously still a sizable percentage.
Meanwhile, as the chart below indicates, a whopping 66.1 percent of coronavirus-related deaths in South Carolina have been among among citizens who are 71 years of age or older – while 87.1 percent of coronavirus-related deaths have been among citizens who are 61 years of age or older.
(Click to view)
By contrast, only 4.4 percent of coronavirus deaths in South Carolina have been among citizens under the age of fifty-one.
As we have previously noted, we are not trying to minimize the danger associated with the virus or diminish the need for responsible efforts to combat it. The coronavirus is real. It is serious. And it is potentially life-threatening. And until there is a vaccine, it is incurable … although there have been some promising developments of late when it comes to treating the virus.
Our point is simply this: That those pushing for another round of societal lockdowns are overstating the danger the virus poses to the vast majority of South Carolina citizens – people who desperately need to get back to work (and need the economy up and running) so they can provide for their families.
Finally, in zeroing in on these morbidity trends we are not trying to place a premium on one life versus another. Those who have lost family or friends to this virus don’t hurt any less because their loved ones were of advanced age.
We are simply providing context for risk …
“Individuals who are of advanced age – or who have an existing, underlying medical condition – clearly ought to take precautions,” we wrote earlier this month in assessing the rising cases. “And the rest of us should keep washing and sanitizing our hands regularly – and refrain from going out in public unnecessarily if we develop symptoms.”
But we cannot (and should not) shut down our state again … especially now that we know the costs associated with doing so.
This news outlet is committed to providing our readers with the very latest, most relevant information we have related to this unfolding global story – and all of the stories we cover. To check out more of our coronavirus coverage, click on the link below …
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