Over the weekend the authorities attributed 48 new deaths to the COVID-19 virus, 24 on Saturday and 24 on Sunday. As usual, the vast majority of the deaths reported Saturday involved people in their 70’s or older, though one of the 24 was on Saturday was in his 40’s and “had no underlying conditions and was not in long-term care.” That person is an outlier and state officials are not releasing any further information about that case. Also as usual, 21 of the 24 deaths reported Saturday occurred among residents of long-term care facilities.

Total deaths attributed by the authorities to the virus as I write this morning are 419, with 338 of the 419 among residents of long-term care facilities. Nursing home/long-term care deaths now account for slightly in excess of 80 percent of all deaths attributed to the virus. The median age of all decedents remains 83.

In Sunday’s St. Paul Pioneer Press Dave Orrick looked back at our time in lockdown to ask what it has accomplished. It’s a good question. Orrick does a passable job, but he fails to note the discrepancy between the (fictional) basis of the lockdown posited by Governor Walz on March 25 and the facts (then and now). There can’t be any proper reckoning that fails on this score.

Toward the end of his article, Orrick observes, “In some ways, nothing has changed.” The continuing economic devastation wrought by Walz’s shutdown orders is beyond the scope of Orrick’s review. There can’t be any proper reckoning that fails on this score either.

The Pioneer Press now operates with a skeletal news staff more appropriate to a high school newspaper than a metropolitan daily. Orrick deserves credit for exploring the question in a multi-dimensional article. With a substantial staff devoted to the story of the epidemic in Minnesota, it is an effort that the Star Tribune has omitted to make so far.

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