By Charlie Melton
Where are the graves? We’re in the winter of a worldwide, deadly pandemic, but where are the graves?
I love walking through old graveyards. Maybe it’s morbid, but I find it interesting and calming. I love seeing the old stones, sometimes handmade, with their icons and poetry barely legible. It’s in an old cemetery in Columbia, Illinois that I noticed several gravestones of children and young adults who were in one section. They all died in late 1918. I assume that they’re victims of the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918.
The 1918 epidemic killed (according to the source) 50 million people worldwide, so of course there are a lot of graves. So far, the Chinese virus has killed (if you believe the sources) 1.53 million worldwide. Even at that number, there should be a lot of graves.
I walked around Maple Ridge and North Maple Ridge cemeteries in Carmi. I found several graves from 1918, and in some cases, more than one member of families died within a few days of each other. The families must have been devastated as they watched their kin die.
New graves are easy to spot by the mounds of earth. There were a few, but not as many as you’d expect in a pandemic. Still, it’s just one area out of many.
I used findagrave.com, which is commonly used by researchers. According to the website, so far in 2020 the Maple Ridge cemeteries have had four burials. In 1918, there were 56. Once again, it’s just one place. I’m not even sure if they still use the old part or if the online databases are up to date.
One of the nicer graveyards in the area is Union Ridge near Herald, Illinois. I used “find a grave” again, and there have been 21 burials this year. In 2019 there were 21 as well. In 2018, 19 people were buried. The pandemic graves aren’t here, either.
I queried an enormous cemetery in St. Louis County. Mount Hope in Lemay, Missouri seems to go on for miles. According to findagrave.com, 130 people were buried there in 2018. The year 2019 saw 134 burials. Three weeks from the end of 2020, Mount Hope has seen 84 new graves. The graves from the Chinese virus aren’t here, either. If the database is current, there are fewer people being buried this year than in recent years.
Maybe the local obituaries can tell us where the dead from the Covid virus are. I went on the website for WFIW radio and counted obituaries. If I counted correctly, the graves for the pandemic casualties aren’t near here. The radio station reports deaths from a multi-county area that seems to have remained constant for the last decade, at least.
By my count, in 2020, the station reported 627 obituaries. That’s sizable, but normal. I counted 618 obituaries in 2019. The year 2018 had 606 obituaries. The highest number I found for one calendar year was 730 for 2016, four years before the Chinese virus.
Where are the graves? Where are the deaths? Who are the casualties?
I contacted a local expert. My source found the numbers of deaths in White County over the last several years. The deaths in the county by year seem constant. In 2014 147 died in White County. 2015 had 125; in 2016 we lost 122. The years 2017 to 2019, we averaged 162 souls passing on, each year. Deep into December, we currently have lost 162 during the pandemic. With all things being equal, we can expect a few more by the end of December. Obviously, the graves aren’t here.
Maybe there are no graves from the pandemic because it’s a non-event.
I’ve been all over the place on this Chinese virus. I was one of the first people in my small circle to be alarmed by it. Now, several months in, it makes no sense. While I’m sure that some have gotten sick and died from Covid, it still makes no sense.
Of course, the graves aren’t anywhere. Even the news reports of mass burials in New York City is a non-event, because New York, and Chicago, and others, do that all of the time. It’s common to put the indigent in mass graves. These aren’t the Covid graves.
When I see this, and I see that we don’t expend any energy disposing of contaminated masks and protective equipment, I have trouble believing the reports. When I see that nobody has, or has plans for, decontamination of any kind, I have trouble. When I go in Casey’s and see a sign lying, saying it’s the law to wear a mask and there is no law, I have big trouble. When I hear that ventilators on Covid patients can harm them, I have trouble. When I learn that Hydroxycloroquine is banned even though it’s been used for viruses for decades, I can’t believe in this virus. When my Governor locks me down and then goes to eat in Wisconsin, I have a lot of trouble. When my grandkids can’t go to school, but I can go gamble, I have trouble.
We hear that many are dead from the Chinese Covid 19, but where are their graves?