As of Tuesday July 7 many area headlines read something to the effect of '131 new COVID Cases reported in the Tri City area region,'  and we continue to see similar reports almost daily.

While it's important to keep track of what's happening, it helps to also see other figures for perspective. Of course COVID is to be taken seriously. However, one needs to see all the facts and figures to understand what is really going on.

As the number of cases in B-F County climbs over 4200, it is interesting to note some figures that have stayed rather constant for weeks, even months since this began.

Of the 109 combined deaths in the two counties, 7 are in the age category of 40-59. In Benton, there is a discrepancy between some numbers. In the case count, it shows 81 deaths, but in the charts of the county breakdowns, the totals add up to 85.

Nonetheless, all but 2 deaths in Benton County are either 60-79 (42%) or 80 plus (55%).  Similar numbers are found in Franklin. Of their 28 deaths, 5 are in the 40-59, but 28 over the age of 60.  18 60-79, and 10  80 plus.

Many of the headlines and stories consistently have been ignoring or under reporting the age and condition (when available) of the persons dying from this virus. Again and again, we see the same demographics being the hardest hit with fatalities. It's been that way since the beginning.

And the percentage of hospitalized patients continues to hover around the 19 to 21-22 percent range.  Early on in COVID pandemic, we saw numbers in the high teen. As of July 7, the percentage of persons in our four area hospitals with COVID or COVID like symptoms is 21.9%

Those numbers have been around that figure for week after week.

70 of the 319 patients were there due to COVID.  The number of patients occupying ICU beds is not listed on the BFHD site.

So, while many appear to be only focused on the rising and/or new cases, the constants appear to be ignored:  The virus hits the hardest on elderly and those with compromised immune systems, and the percentage of those hospitalized with COVID remains low, and has been that way for weeks. 

Again, it's to be taken seriously, but by not reporting all the data, and only focusing on certain elements, it's misleading the public and perhaps adding to uncertainty, stress and fear.