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Opinion: Poverty kills slowly and indifferently
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A Georgia Mountain Food Bank truck is unloaded Friday, May 1, 2020, at the Allen Creek Soccer Complex for anyone who needs food. The Department of Public Health gave free COVID-19 tests at the complex, too. - photo by Scott Rogers

I heard this song about how it's getting real in the Whole Foods parking lot. It's a strange thing that I don't understand, but it seems to be getting real in all the communities. 

We're stressed. We have contradictory statements from federal leadership. We have state level action that negated local level action. We have political actors giving medical and scientific advice. 

I'm on the side of science, medicine and life. 

I've been poor. As bad as it was, it could have been worse and it was for others. Now, it might get horrible for many already battling and those who have been struggling. We might see looting and riots and small gangs. 

I'm going to get real. I'm saying it straight. Poverty kills far more slowly than COVID-19 and far less often than the flu. It does kill slowly, especially hope. It doesn't cure diseases or pay for health care. It doesn't provide three balanced meals per day. It is far more damning in its indifference than almost any disease. 

It's poverty. It's real. We're going to see a lot more of it no matter when the pandemic releases us. 

Mike Parker

Flowery Branch

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