There’s a joke about Coronavirus that’s become pretty standard at this point. It goes like this. A man goes into the hospital with COVID-19 and cancer. Some weeks later he is cured of cancer, and his COVID-19 symptoms are in complete remission. After being discharged, he crosses the street and is struck dead by a speeding garbage truck. EMTs declare him dead at the scene… of a deadly case of COVID-19.
It’s a good joke, not because it is well written or because the punch line contains a peppy rhyme, but because it is true to life.
In fact, the very same thin — in all important regards — is happening frequently all over America. Last week, the Spectator printed a story under this headline, “Florida health official says person in 20s listed as COVID-19 fatality had no underlying conditions, also ‘he died in a motorcycle accident’”
This is not a good time for Floridian health professionals to be playing fast and loose with Coronavirus death proclamations. Just last week, we reported on the public embarrassment of all Florida private health clinics faking between 70% and 98% of all their positive COVID-19 test results.
State officials have publicly rebuked the many health centers that have been caught faking their COVID numbers. But apparently, the incentives to pad the Coronavirus deck are so high that clinicians can’t resist even after a major embarrassment for the entire healthcare industry.
Danielle Lama, a correspondent for Fox 35 tweeted, saying,
“More questions about Florida’s #COVID19 data tonight after state health official tells us a person who died in a motorcycle accident was added to the state’s coronavirus death count.”
Local weatherman, Phil Kerpen chimed in on Twitter as well, saying,
“Reporter asks Orange Co Fla health official if the two COVID deaths listed as in their 20s had any underlying conditions. Reply: ‘The first one didn’t have any. He died in a motorcycle accident.’”
Even in the age of Fake News, this is a staggering level of intentional mendacity. The idea that a man can be struck dead at high speed and still have his death blamed on an asymptomatic respiratory infection boggles the mind.
It makes scenes like the one in the 2009 film After Life — where Christina Ricci is struck down in an auto accident and taken to the morgue seem believable — even probable. In the film, the mortician, played by Liam Nielson, tells Ricci’s character that she is dead. Despite the fact that she is moving and speaking, he convinces her that she is actually dead and that he has the ability to speak to the newly deceased.
In the film, what was most shocking was the eagerness with which Ricci’s character, the police, and others would believe anything the mortician told them as long as it had a veneer of expertise and authority.
One might even ask the question, are we all just extras in an endless series of cut scenes from After Life?
Featured Image by 4X4 Blazer 1776