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OPINION | Why is GovGuam making a public event for every Covid-related death?

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HAGÅTÑA — Being a man who has lost his mother, father, two brothers and a 7-year-old son — not to mention many, many close fellow service members in Vietnam — I know and can deeply appreciate the impact that the death of a family member or friend has on a person and their family.

It is not something to be wished upon anyone and my heart goes out to anyone who loses a family member or friend — no matter the cause.

That said, death is an inevitable part of life as is living. We are all born and know, that at some point we are going to die. When and how remain unknown. And until that point, we go on with our daily lives.

According to the “Macrotrends," Guam has a death rate of approximately 5.32 people per 1,000 residents. This has shown a slight growth rate of 1.3% for both 2019 and to date for 2020. Based on an average population base of 170,000 people, this equates to the death of around 904 people annually or approximately 75.3 people per month.

That means that roughly 75 people die each month on our island and this has been the case since 2019.

That translates into a bare minimum of 75 other people — not including indirect family members — who are grieving each and every month over the loss of a loved one. On Guam, this nearly always includes a larger cross-section of friends and family than in the mainland United States.

As of this writing, all 43 Covid-19 deaths have involved some form or another of comorbidity — another singular or multiple illnesses being involved and may well have been the primary cause of death since this pandemic began some six to nine months ago.

Because of the lack of government transparency on these deaths, and the pandemic as a whole, we are all left in the dark as to the actual causes of death for these individuals. But the governor and this administration have made it a point to reinforce the fact that the deaths are Covid-19-related.

That should raise the question in all our minds as to why, given the comparatively small number of deaths involved when compared to overall deaths, such an emphasis is placed on these deaths?

Isn’t the magnitude of other deaths equally as important? Shouldn’t those families receive the same or at least similar condolence notifications when their loved ones die?

That brings you to the fact that it would become unwieldy for the government — if it makes it a point to issue public condolences for every death — given the fact that more than 900 people per year or roughly 75 people die each month on Guam.

This begs the question of why we are making such a public event out of these relatively few Covid-19-related deaths as compared to every other unexpected death on the island.

Is it to create a sense of fear within the community in an effort to get better control for the ever-changing rules coming out of this administration? Is it connected to gaining more federal funding? Is it both?

Only the governor can answer that question since that pile of ooze called the Legislature hasn’t been involved.

Esta


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