Honoring those who passed into the night

Guest Writer

In the midst of this worldwide crisis the vulnerable population of  Longboat Key has been largely spared the devastating toll that this Black Death has ravaged on the rest of the state.

But the death toll in Florida has risen to nearly 1800, and is still rising, with 40,000 total infections. Sarasota and Manatee counties have nearly 1200 infections with 120 deaths, (Maybe more); a troubling factor is the lack of dependable information for contact tracing, and names, from the Florida Department of Health.

The Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times have threatened to file suit demanding this critical public data. Governor Ron DeSantis has refused to let medical examiners release vast swaths of information, and the names, of those who died from the corona virus.

The Longboat Key News exclusively obtained the names of those who died in Sarasota and Manatee Counties related to the pandemic. See below.

The names and the information are important for a number of reasons. First, we need to show that these people were somebodies, not just anonymous numbers on a spread sheet. The public should feel for them, and we might learn how their deaths could have been avoided, perhaps if… we had reacted sooner.

Second, the names can help in contact tracing. We should be able to know if an infected person who died, lived down the street from us, or was a resident in our condo building or was a member of our church or tennis club. There is little or no contact tracing, rapid testing, going on in LBK. This kind of investigation is the key to allowing restrictions to be lifted, while maintaining a safe environment.

Information on Longboat Key’s deaths and infections is almost impossible to obtain. Anecdotally, we all know of people who have died, but there are no reliable official records.

Mayor Ken Schneier has been pressuring the state health department to do more testing on LBK so we can find out what the risks really are, but so far to no avail.

The Miami Herald said “Its like pulling teeth to get the state to release specifics.” The state’s own top medical examiner is crying foul, a “sham”.

The death records from the medical examiners have been much higher than the records released by the Florida Department of Health.

Withholding names during a pandemic is against the law in Florida. Hiding information is what they do in totalitarian countries, like Russia, China, and Venezuela.

In Washington DC the Vietnam Memorial powerfully honors the death of some 58,000 soldiers.

In New York City the 9-11 Memorial celebrates the names of 3,000 who perished in that cowardly terrorist attack.

Democracy thrives in sunlight.

The following names are related to Covid-19 deaths in Sarasota and Manatee Counties as of May 7. from the medical examiner’s office.  Some questionable cases are still pending awaiting sufficient information/records, according to the chief medical examiner Russell S. Vega, MD. These figures differ significantly from state health department numbers:

Albero, Richard 70

Green, Mary 80

Damvelt, Marine 86

Herfort, Edward 86

Milliken, jeremy 25

Tift, Calvin 69

Acevedo Beltran, Antonio 56

Marquardt, Billy 77

Hirschauer, Matthew 66

McNally, Michael 81

McCoy, Elva 93

Croswell, Cornelius 87

Lacasse, Roger 74

Huber, Richard 88

Pasternak, Albert 82

Reynolds, Kristy 40

Cantrell, Brett 28

Erwin, Stephen 89

Russo, Geraldine 68

Sheehan, Thomas 68

Huber, Norma 89

Zduniak, Mark 58

Seiler, Milton 88

Lambar Cuevas, Edgar 28

Robinson, Jimmy 67

McDermott, Gerald 74

Newlon, Stephen 77

Calandra, Timothy 62

Cook, Steven 59

Gordon, Earl 87

Kornhaus, Hertha 80

Fowler, Sharon 61

Grzegorz, Maniara 68

Skow, Stevie 31

McGregor, Doris 93

Hause, Lawrence 65

Ali, Ben 74

Schafer, Patricia 80

Long, Rosemarie 85

Ervin, Patti 48

Miller, Charles 90

Wingate, Dozier 69

Poe, Judith 75

Helphinstine, Payton 89

Rice, Kenneth 80

Vazquez, Crescenciano   45

Nichols, Stephen 70

Davis, Susie 77

Jackson, Joe 65

Dalessio, Dennis 76

Kilgour, David 66

Gamble, Ann 90

Sullivan, Raleigh 79

Fox, Paul 58

Sternberg, Wayne 71

Rosenberg, Gerard 85

Santos, Mannuel 82

Skirboll, Morton 82

Boudreau, Roger 52

Jones. Robert 81

Deblasio, Gaetano 73

Stamper, Kevin 34

Inganamort, Thomas 51

Henrion, Shelia 75

Kozens-Long, Sheryl 57

Elzerman, Richard 91

Fishkin, Eugene 75

Gianficaro, Josephine 88

Morgan, George 78

Armhold, Shawn 76

Streib, Charmaine 85

Brown, Ashley 44

Carter, Arthur 82

Philippe, Therese 67

Look, Carol 84

Daidone, Charles 91

Adamson, Susan 75

Fazio, Jacqueline 83

Nelson, Jacquelyn 83

Childers, Clare 72

Harrison, Ruby 46

Marino, Josephine 92

Holbrook, Jackie 68

Newman, Christopher 58

Oakes, John 90

Hulbert, Donald 84

Ramirez, Benjamin 74

Fields, Nathan 79

Godzine, Joseph 84

Liuzzo, Benedict 69

Londo, Willis 89

Englilis, Frederick Charles 44

Edmundson, Frank 83

Forbes, Charles 75

Scott, Linda 75

Mazzanti, Walter 75

Hadley, Derrik 73

Baumeister, Margaret 85

Jeffcoat, Lloyd 87

Czaplewski, Pamela 52

Yoder, David 46

Madison, Herbert 59

Buckley, Judith 78

Davis, Dorothy 80

Craddock, Carl 83

Reha, Darrell 68

Devol, Nancy 76

Gomes, Theresa 64

Wollham, Jay 80

Hoepfer, James 81

Deloma, Ralph 100

Bromow, Leslie 68

Virtues, Rita 61

Cannon, Willie Mae 85

Salzer, Hilda 98

Gerber, Regina 54

McKown, Helen 94

Miller, Joseph 79

Fatas, Antoinette 49

Lindsey, Betty 96

Reid, Paulette 66

Silva, Connie 90

Guerrero, Arturo 90

Brown, Gwendolyn 68

Aho, John 75

Lamagno, Concetta 88

Stalcup, Rodney 59

Cook, Myra 83

Brooks, Mary 61

Lietsch, Aurelia 93

Ukropec, Ambrose 78

Therrian, Thomas 84

Logan, George 82

Pitt, Catherine 95

Mahon, Benjamin 27

Brown, James 85

Wright, Suzanne 99

Nadon, Joseph 83

McKee-Kelley, Imogene 94

Richardson, Lois 80

Therrian, Judith 80

Harper, Robert 83

Quinn, Jerome 81

Hubschmitt, John 84

Manchester, Mona 69

Barr, Herbert 60

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