As U.S. Deaths Approach 300,000, Obituaries Force Reckoning with Covid – By Julie Bosman – The New York Times

“CHICAGO — When Kim Miller sat down in her Illinois house to compose her husband’s obituary, she could not hold back.

Not about the coronavirus that had left Scott, her fit, healthy spouse who loved to swim, golf and putter in the garden, gasping for breath and unable to move his limbs as he stood at the kitchen counter. Not about what had killed him swiftly and cruelly in only a few days.

“This disease is real, it is serious and it is deadly,” she wrote in his obituary. “Wear the mask, socially distance, if not for yourself then for others who may lose a loved one to the disease.”

“I couldn’t just write that he lived and died and had two children,” said Ms. Miller, a retired college professor, who wept as she spoke of her husband of 25 years. “I wanted people to read this and really read this.” “

Health Officials Had to Face a Pandemic. Then Came the Death Threats. – By Julie Bosman – The New York Times

“Leaders of local and state health departments have been subject to harassment, personal insults and death threats in recent weeks, a response from a vocal and angry minority of the public who say that mask requirements and restrictions on businesses have gone too far.

One top health official, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, issued a statement on Monday condemning attacks on public health directors and disclosing that she faced repeated threats to her safety.

“The death threats started last month, during a Covid-19 Facebook Live public briefing when someone very casually suggested that I should be shot,” Dr. Ferrer said in a statement. “I didn’t immediately see the message, but my husband did, my children did, and so did my colleagues.”

“It is deeply worrisome,” she added, “to imagine that our hardworking infectious disease physicians, nurses, epidemiologists and environmental health specialists or any of our other team members would have to face this level of hatred.”

Across the country, many public health officials entered the coronavirus pandemic with bare-bones staffs and strained budgets, leaving them ill-prepared to handle a mounting crisis. Before the pandemic, they had focused on illness prevention, contact tracing for communicable diseases, vaccinations and campaigns against smoking and vaping.

Now some of them, suddenly facing the public with regular television briefings about efforts to fight the coronavirus, are choosing to leave their positions entirely.

Lori Tremmel Freeman, the chief executive of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, said last week that dozens of top health officials have resigned or been fired since the pandemic began. At least four state health directors have resigned from their posts; Dr. Amy Acton, the state health director of Ohio, stepped down this month after enduring anti-Semitic attacks and demonstrations by armed protesters on her front lawn.”