A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

A somber topic: Where corona victims die

Written September 13th, 2020 by Hasso Hering

Seen through the foliage of an apple tree, the sun makes a gloomy appearance Sunday afternoon.

While we’re supposed to stay indoors to escape the Albany air made hazardous by wildfire smoke, let’s consider a question concerning the Oregon deaths caused by Covid-19.

In the daily reports on new cases and deaths, the Oregon Health Authority says many of the unfortunate people claimed by the novel coronavirus died at home.

A typical entry from Sunday’s report: “Oregon’s 506th COVID-19 death is a 96-year-old woman in Lane County who tested positive on Aug. 26 and died on Sept.12 at her residence. She had underlying conditions.”

The Health Authority reported five new deaths on Sunday. One of them died at a hospital, and the other four, three men and a woman, succumbed at home.

The ratio isn’t always that way. The day before, Saturday, only two of the six fatalities died at their residences, and the other four in hospitals.

But on another day, Sept. 9, when the death toll was eight, five were listed as having been at their residences at the end.

Does this mean people severely ill with Covid-19 are being sent home to die? That’s hard to believe. More likely, the people in these reports lived in nursing homes or other congregate arrangements where they could get professional care in their final days. So why not spell it out? Why this vague “at her residence”?

The Health Authority is committed to protecting people’s privacy. Good. But in the interest of not creating the wrong impression, and without doing any harm, they could be a little more clear. (hh)


14 responses to “A somber topic: Where corona victims die”

  1. Rich Kellum says:

    I think we have a problem with terms………. the system says “they died of Covid” reality is that they died WITH Covid. 200000 deaths WITH Covid 10,000 deaths OF Covid in the USA Like the guy in Lincoln County who had stage 4 cancer but was counted as a Covid death because he had Covid but no symptoms, he did have the virus in his system. That we are being deceived is a fact, the reason for it is as of yet unclear

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      So, if a person had chronic heart disease but ended up with terminal cancer, you’d say they died from heart disease with cancer?

    • Rick says:

      If said gentleman had a heart attack would you not say that he died of a heart attack?

      • Bill Kapaun says:

        Ever read Death Certificates? There will be a primary cause and any contributing causes. He may have had the heart attack because of the strain of something else. My first deceased brother died of a heart attack even though his cancer caused his heart to fail. That’s just the way they do it.

  2. James Engel says:

    Rich, the only deceiving is from our phony, made up news “services” that keep us “informed” as to current event’s. What remains unclear is your belief in that news system. So we must wait for the results in Nov…!!!

    • Rich Kellum says:

      I get that James, but my frustration is that we are being force fed a line of “OMG the sky is falling” total cases of Covid, not active cases, no thought of how many folks have gotten over it, just doom and gloom, it seems to me that they want it to look as bad as possible for some reason, conspiracies’ aside, I do not know what the reasoning is besides the political.

  3. Tamara burnell says:

    I believe the suffering has been great for folks dying at home. Hospice takes time ( red tape) to get set up to ease your transition. If these were folks in a care home the routine is the same for hospice to come in. Possible folks were sent home with a mild case that flared and takes them by heart attack. Stoke. Etc…. I believe they should be kept in hospital and kept comfortable!!

  4. John Klock says:

    Seeing is believing. People who know people who get sick from the virus will will believe the virus is real. The weird part of your readership is that they complain about fake Covid news but where do they get their “real, non-fake news?” Fox News? The Drudge Report, Breitbart etc etc. Is this on the ground primary source reporting verified by multiple people at hospitals, at nursing homes? No it is not. They embarrassed themselves this past Friday when their fictitious antifa spreading fires was firmly denounced by all the sheriffs in the counties affected. Your readers should start reaching out across the aisle to solve the conflict of communication in this country! I repeat, start reaching out to someone with a different opinion than yours and work through the problems and solve a problem. Start small.

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      And your news sources have made 1000’s of false accusations against President Trump that have been baseless. Why don’t you just subscribe to The Daily worker? Read it and go hug a tree.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      Spot on John!

    • Lundy says:

      One of my best friends holds multiple views, political and otherwise, that I disagree with. We discuss these areas of disagreement frequently and often though not always end up leaving it as, “we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.” Which is fine. Reasonable people can disagree. Through hearing his views, even though I don’t always agree with them, I’ve broadened my capacity for understanding. I don’t think it’s healthy for all of your associations to constitute an echo chamber.

  5. John Marble says:

    Dear Hasso,

    In your former career I know you supervised hundreds of writers who produced tens of thousands of articles for the general public. I am certain that on occasion you had to rein in writers (and letter writers, too) who seemed bent toward harshness, meanness and rudeness. These issues do not rise to the level of liable, but certainly have an effect on the quality of life in our society. I find myself wondering if you might use the same thoughtful (and yes, subjective) approach with your current project? For example, one commenter above calls for a civil approach to communication, only to be labeled as a Communist and an environmental extremist. Clearly, these are meant as pejorative terms, and ones that have nothing to do with the topic at hand.

    Would it be too much to ask that you simply edit out rude comments? Giving bullies a stage simply encourages more rude behavior.

    • centrist says:

      Thanks for the fresh air. Civility is sometimes hard to find online as people let their first (unhibited) reaction out.
      HH writes about things that pique his interest or curiosity. Most comments supply info. Some just drive into the weeds.
      It’s likely that the second layer of isolation due to the fires/smoke/ash has some commenters “cross” and “touchy”.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      My speculation is that internet bullies tend to have whatever appears to be the majority opinion (in broad terms) within any particular forum. One reason: bullies (and people with extraordinary claims) are less likely to be called-out by others on the “same side” as opposed to the “other side.”

      So, a majority tends to shift closer to unanimity over time as those in the minority feel increasingly unwelcome. Our national politics has obviously done this, on both sides, especially since 1994. I have strong opinions about who is most responsible for this, but will hold my tongue..

      As Lundy said so well above, “I don’t think it’s healthy for all of your associations to constitute an echo chamber.”


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