Making a stand, in Dixie.

It is only appropriate. If any music is right for the coronavirus in the United States, it is Dixie. In the American Civil War, Dixie was the song of defiance and it took many from the American South to a needless and untimely death.

This came to mind the other day while trying to decipher one of those complex graphs in The Economist that was being used to try to explain the pattern of occurrences and rates of death from covid-19 across the United States of America. (This was in the North American edition of the British journal.)

Giving up on the confused graph, the real shock of the story, for me, was the comment in the last paragraph of the article that the states of Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee were relaxing their lock-down restrictions. Those rednecks in the heart of Dixie have probably had enough of governments telling them what to do and have decided to take things into their own hands.

The point of the Economist article was that the mortality rate for covid-19 was much higher in areas of higher heart disease and diabetes and with fewer hospitals equipped with intensive care units. That is a good description of that part of Appalachia.

The article also noted that the disease is also more prevalent in places where people are crowded together, such as in New York City. The difference is that in New York, there are good hospitals and a willing population that supports a governor who took the reins and knows what he is doing. Those factors can contribute to a lower death rate.

But we have been seeing on the news how the citizens of many of the southern states have been becoming more and more dissatisfied with restrictions forced on the population because of covid-19.

It is really a shame that the United States lacks effective national leadership in this time of crisis.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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