To the editor:
At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, I started a daily journal. It included my thoughts, what the world and national news contained on the subject, and statistics of cases and deaths, especially here in Henry County.
The numbers rose steadily for over a year. Then last March, the death toll in Henry County reached 76, and stopped. It was a lull in the epidemic, and I thought, “Good! We are safer now.”
The Post-Intelligencer and the Weather Channel app statistics all held steady at 76 deaths, for months — even though cases of COVID rose.
I became aware recently that, indeed, many people are dying of COVID locally.
Last week, I called The P-I to see why this was not being reported. The editor told me they get their statistics from the Tennessee Department of Public Health in Nashville, and I should check with them. He helpfully provided me their phone number.
The Tennessee Department of Public Health representative said they get their statistics from the local county health departments, and I should talk with someone here in Henry County.
I called the Henry County Public Health office, and spoke with the manager, who told me no one in their office reports those numbers. And around in a circle we go!
Much to my surprise, someone must have gotten the message, because the Friday P-I reported three new deaths from COVID in the previous 24 hours.
The number in the paper now stands at 79, which is still inaccurate, since it doesn’t include all the deaths since March.
We deserve an accurate picture of the danger we all face from this disease in order to make informed decisions about our own safety and the health of our families.
Someone — somewhere — please do your job!
Carol R. Peppler
260 Keck Lane
EDITOR’S NOTE: Even Henry County Medical Center says we’ve had four more COVID-19 deaths between July 1 and Sept. 22. That would bring the number to 80 county deaths — although some unsubstantiated claims say we’ve had at least 10 local deaths since the March “lull” began.