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    All editors welcome fan mail from their readers

Tell us what's on your mind

This is your opportunity to reach thousands of fellow readers

Don’t you love letters? Me, too. I just wish we got more.

It always tells me that readers are paying attention to what they read in the Chronicle.

Readers Tara McLean, Jim Selkregg, Mark Fox and Rod Mortenson wrote to correct my math in a covid-19 article.

They were right. We published the number with the decimal point behind the wrong digit.

The SC Department of Health & Environmental Control data shows 1.6% of the total covid-10 confirmed cases actually die.

That is an encouraging number.

It means more than 98% of those infected recover.

But it is a fraction larger than the 1.5% researchers say is the US fatality average.

My thanks to careful readers like Tara, Mark and Jim and especially Rod who humorously pointed out the error.
All editors should be careful when they pick up a calculator, especially those who did not ace calculus or quantum physics.

Another fan note arrived by email from Cristi Moore at DHEC.

Cristi was unhappy that we reported that her agency was misleading the media and the public with their reporting on covid-19 deaths.

Twice last week DHEC reported high numbers of deaths – 56 deaths the 1st day and 49 deaths the 2nd.

Actually, 12 died the 1st day and 10 the 2nd.

The others died over several days but had not been reported to DHEC.

But you had to go to their site to learn how many actually died the day before.

We felt DHEC was misleading the public, unintentionally or not.

We commend DHEC and Cristi since they have started including links  to a list of the deaths, their dates and the counties where they occurred.

Yet I have not forgotten that it took an order from the governor to make them start reporting cases and deaths by county and zip code on their web site.

DHEC officials seem to feel that data on their web site is enough for the public. 
Unfortunately, except for pesky editors like me, most people are too busy taking care of their families to check a government web site every day.
Despite all of this, I believe the people at DHEC have our interests at heart and do not purposely set out to mislead us,
I cannot say the same for some of my colleagues in the media. 

Local TV stations report alarming rises in covid-19 cases and deaths without analyzing what it means or in context with other diseases and other states,
Worse than that is the national media which seizes on any bad news about covid or anything else to try to frighten us.
Even psychologist and popular science author Steven Pinker who teaches at liberal Harvard University writes that the media exaggerates negative news – and this distortion has political consequences.

Are they doing it for political reasons in an election year? Some may be.
We have reported on the violent aims of the leftist Antifa group and the rightist Boogaloo Bois and other anarchists.
There’s no question that we are a divided nation. But we have been divided before. 

In 1776 we fought among ourselves for control of our colonies. In 1861 we killed each over whether some states could pull out and form a different union. 
But we have come together as Americans during world wars and terrorist attacks.  
This isn’t the end of our democracy, It is another test of our strength as Americans,
Next: Good news in bad times

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