Deaths in the US

Mass shooting deaths in the US usually get a lot of publicity. The number of gun violence deaths for 2018 is currently 12,869 – Gun Violence Archive.

There is some media coverage of the California fire toll, but despite the large number of possible casualties – currently 76 deaths have been confirmed, over a thousand people are missing. Some may have just got the hell out of the inferno area, and remain unaccounted for, but the toll is certain to grow.

The Atlantic: A Deadly Tsunami of Fire

The Camp Fire now ranks among this century’s worst U.S. natural disasters, and the number of dead could still rise.

Seventy-six people are dead. At least 1,276 are missing. And more than 7 million have been confined to their homes, as a cloud of toxic, corrosive ash darkens their windows and creeps under their doors.

The Camp Fire—which is still burning across some 232 square miles of Northern California—now ranks among the worst natural disasters to hit the United States this century. Only a handful of hurricanes and a “super outbreak” of tornadoes in 2011 have killed more Americans. This fire has robbed more Californians of their lives than has any earthquake since 1933.

There are obviously many other deaths in the US. There was one last week that will go unnoticed by all but a small handful of people.

Last Tuesday morning when on my way to work I received a phone call advising of the death in Texas of my younger brother.  As he rarely communicated – I visited him there in 2003, and last heard from him in 2013 (he didn’t reply to a recent email which was normal for him), so this came as a shock.

But from what I have learned his health had not been good for some time. he had diabetes and was suffering from related conditions.

Apparently was trying to treat himself. At this stage I can only guess, but I presume that the US user pays health system had something to do with this.  He lived on his own, and because of poor health, including being on crutches, it’s likely he couldn’t afford for decent health care.

He had options, like coming back to New Zealand and getting help from family and our health system, but for some reason he struggled on his own in the US, and as a result died early. Texas, where everything is big – apart from health care for the poor. (Neighbours and people we have been dealing with over his death have been very helpful).

I haven’t seen much of Martin since I left home – he has mostly lived overseas, in Australia, the UK and for the last quarter of a century in Texas.  His death there is just one, and more insignificant than most in the US.  But it means something to me and other family.

Martin George
Ex-Kiwi with a drawl
20 July 1959-11 November 2018

 

 

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10 Comments

  1. David

     /  November 19, 2018

    Sad news Pete, condolences.

    Reply
  2. Corky

     /  November 19, 2018

    Seems like a man who followed his own tune. I like that. Condolences. Is he coming home?

    Reply
  3. High Flying Duck

     /  November 19, 2018

    Sorry to hear it Pete, losing family is always tough. I’m very sorry for your loss.

    Reply
  4. Mother

     /  November 19, 2018

    May each day have peace and comfort for your family within this sad circumstance. Your brother Martin was an independent soul, doing life his way. I reckon he would think highly of your goal to keep free speech alive.

    Reply

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