From their series on Voices from the Pandemic, Eli Saslow shares a story from Michael Fowler, Dougherty County coroner, on the reopening of Georgia.
I’m always driving, going back-and-forth between nursing homes, the hospital, and the morgue. All these roads should be empty if you ask me. But now I see people out running errands, rushing back into their lives, and it’s like: “Why? What reason could possibly be good enough?” Sometimes, I think about stopping and showing them one of the empty body bags I have in the trunk. “You might end up here. Is that worth it for a haircut or a hamburger?”
You start to think that way as a coroner, especially now. I get fed up. I know the governor told us we could go ahead and reopen in Georgia. I understand businesses are hurting and people need to work. But I see these folks out and about and I wonder: “Is this another death I’ll have to pronounce?”