If you follow the local obituary notices you’ll notice one glaring and disappointing fact. The death age average is dropping significantly. We tracked the last ten death notices from the various funeral homes in Crossville and the average was calculated to 58.9 years of age. Of course, this number represents all deaths regardless of cause. The mere number of deaths is proportional to the latest surge of COVID-19 deaths in the county. There have been 43 deaths just in the last month credited to COVID. This has been a pattern locally whenever the number of cases go on the rise, such as it did in January of this year and as recent as August when the case number reached more than 800 active cases. Like the January active case surge – so did the death number go on the rise following the case surge. It isn’t surprising the number of deaths rose after a surge in active cases – but it is disturbing to see the average age of the deaths dropping significantly. Two years ago we tracked and calculated the average death age locally from the notices posted and that number was 71 years old. Due to Cumberland County being a retirement community, we have the highest median age demographic of 51 years compared to all other surrounding counties. Based on 2019 data, the Tennessee Department of Health lists life expectancy for Cumberland County at 75 years old.