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Covid-19 Unmasked: Summary and statistics

The Tryon Daily Bulletin is featuring a seven-part series on the impact of Covid-19 and government restrictions in the Foothills. This series of articles will focus greatly on the opinions of small business owners, local families, churches, health care facilities, schools, etc., and whether they believe government restrictions had a harsher impact than the pandemic itself due to unintended consequences. Its intent is to allow readers to determine if the measures taken to reduce the spread of Covid-19 has taken a greater toll on our community than the virus itself.

The participants interviewed for this series included those who worked with healthcare, schools, events and tourism, athletics, churches, families and individuals who were affected and small businesses.

At the end of each interview, the participants were asked the following question: “Do you believe the measures taken to reduce the spread of Covid-19 took a greater toll on the community than the virus itself?”

Some residents of the Foothills reported saying that this was a question that needed to be addressed and answered.

This final article in the Unmasked series will highlight the overall statistics from the series. It will also include the percentage of those who were in agreeance with the shutdown and that the measures taken to prevent the virus did more harm than good; those who were against the shutdown and believe the measures taken to prevent the virus did more harm on the community; and those who believed measures needed to be taken, but not as strictly or controlled by the government.

There were 20 participants in this series.

  • Pro shutdown (the virus did more harm than the measures taken to prevent it): 35%
  • Against shutdown (the measures taken to prevent the virus did more harm than the virus): 35%
  • Believe that measures needed to be taken, but not at such a severe cost (with less control from the government by making personal decisions for their own health): 30%

Statistics from the Covid-19 Unmasked Series:

Statistics from John’s Hopkins’ website states that between January 2020 and mid-March 2021, 584,000 deaths have been recorded from Covid-19 in the US.  During that same period, according to John’s Hopkins’ website, more than 2.5million people have died world-wide.  

The World Health Organization estimates that between 290-650 thousand people worldwide die from the flu annually.  

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website, underlying illnesses were more common among school-aged children who suffered from severe outcomes related to Covid-19 in August of 2020. Between July and September of 2020, 23% of school-aged children were hospitalized, 38% were admitted into an intensive care unit, and 33% died, each having at least one underlying condition.

The South Carolina DHEC website states that as of March 17 of this year, 11,194 students in South Carolina schools tested positive for the virus, and 3,897 South Carolina school employees tested positive for the virus. The cumulative Covid-19 cases, overall, associated with schools in South Carolina is 15,091.

Cumulative case numbers for local SC schools according to CDC: 

  • Landrum High School: 23 students, 6 employees.
  • Landrum Middle School: 6 students, 5 employees.
  • O.P. Earle Elementary: 5 students, 0 employees.

In Polk County

  • As of December 19, 2020, 19 reported cases
  • As of December 26, 2020, 32 reported cases
  • As of January 2, 2021, 55 reported cases
  • Between July 2020 and March 2021, the lowest 7-day average spread of Covid-19 in Polk County was on September 16-24.  

According to Census.gov website, during the week of April 23-May 5, 2020, about 5.4% of US households with school-aged children reported homeschooling their children.

By the fall 2020 semester, 11.1% of households with school-aged children reported homeschooling.  

Statistics found directly from the CDC website state the number of deaths for the leading causes of death in America in the past year:

  • Heart disease: 659,041
  • Cancer: 599,601
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 173,040
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 156,979
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 150,005
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 121,499
  • Diabetes: 87,647
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 51,565
  • Influenza and pneumonia: 49,783
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,511

According to CDC website, there have been 375,000 deaths in 2020 due to Covid-19.

As this is the last Covid-19 Unmasked article in the series, the community has now been informed of the views of community individuals, business owners, those in the healthcare field and many more, and can therefore conclude their own subjective opinion on the shutdown and whether the measures taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19 took a greater toll on the community than the virus itself.

By Macy Cochran