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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Florida's coronavirus numbers on Sunday – and the human toll behind these numbers we are all getting too used to seeing

Posted By and on Sun, Oct 18, 2020 at 7:45 PM

click to enlarge CORONAVIRUS IMAGE VIA CDC
  • Coronavirus image via CDC
Today, News Service of Florida staff, as they do every day (sometimes twice or three times) put together Sunday's numbers regarding the effects of the coronavirus in Florida. They sourced their report from the Florida Department of Health and Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. And those numbers are below, if you want to just skip down.

But I want to take a minute to talk about what these numbers mean in human terms.



click image Tony Green, who denied the coronavirus, then contracted and spread it to his whole family. - PHOTO BY THE WASHINGTON POST
  • Photo by the Washington Post
  • Tony Green, who denied the coronavirus, then contracted and spread it to his whole family.
I read a story in the Washington Post this weekend that hit me like a punch in the gut. It's a first-person account told to Eli Saslow by a man called Tony Green, part of WaPo's "Voices From the Pandemic" series, of how he dismissed, denied and belittled the coronavirus and those who took precautions against it.

RELATED: "Voices From the Pandemic," by Eli Saslow

"I stopped trusting the media for my information when it went hard against Trump in 2016," he says. "I have about 4,000 people in my personal network, and not one of them had gotten sick. Not one. I told my family: “Come on. Enough already. Let’s get together and enjoy life for once.”

So his parents and his partner’s parents joined them at their house in Texas — just the six of them for a weekend.

If you are a sensible person, you can probably guess what happened next. But if you're not — if you, too, feel we shouldn't let the virus stop us from living our lives, or maybe you're just tired of reading these dry lists of numbers that journalists compile from state agencies — read on.

Green doesn't know who had it first, but after that weekend, all six left with it.

"Six infections turned into nine. Nine went up to 14."

Green spent days in the hospital. His father-in-law's mother passed away, never knowing her son was fighting for his life in the hospital room next door. "On the day of her funeral, five more family members tested positive." Then his father-in-law passed away too. He "could only have 10 people at the funeral, and I didn’t make that list."

This is a man who thought the virus was a media hoax, called it a “scamdemic.” And now: "This virus, I can’t escape it. It’s torn up our family. It’s all over my Facebook. It’s the election. It’s Trump. It’s what I keep thinking about. How many people would have gotten sick if I’d never hosted that weekend?"

Good question.

I have no answers, but I do have three pieces of advice: 1. Subscribe to the Washington Post; it's only $1 for three months and it's worth so much more than that (even if Bezos would rather build a gated community on the moon than use his personal Amazon fortune to help us here on this planet). 2. Wear a damn mask. 3. VOTE. And now, the numbers:

BY THE NUMBERS: CORONAVIRUS — SUNDAY EDITION (NSF)

— 755,020: Total number of cases.
— 2,539: Increase in cases from a Saturday count.
— 20,529: Increase in cases during the past week (from an Oct. 11 count).
— 15,967: Deaths of Florida residents.
— 50: Increase in Florida resident deaths from a Saturday count.
— 603: Increase in Florida resident deaths during the past week.
— 6,475: Deaths of residents and staff members of long-term care facilities.
— 20: Increase in long-term care deaths from a Saturday count.
— 237: Increase in long-term care deaths during the past week.
— 2,005: People hospitalized with primary diagnoses of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.
— 28.2: Percentage of available hospital beds statewide.
— 26.6: Percentage of available adult intensive-care unit beds statewide.



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