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Covid is still here

By David Kruse - Columnist | Nov 24, 2020

It’s after November 4th. The president had promised that we would no longer be talking about the Covid pandemic because it would just go away after the election. Has any prediction ever been more wrong? Covid positives are up near 200,000 per day. At that rate the country in on track toward herd immunity without vaccines. Pandemic deniers say that testing just finds more positives and that if we did not test so much the pandemic would fade away. They claim that most positive Covid-cases are just a bad cold. That doesn’t explain hospitalizations which are also now at a record and where the real story of the pandemic has now evolved to.

My granddaughter, who works at a Des Moines hospital, tells me that they have been full for over a week with no prospect of that changing. That means that if you have any kind of medical emergency whether, that be a heart issue, stroke or even pregnancy, they do not have a room for you in Des Moines hospitals. Very sick people are waiting in the ER hours for a room. Someone with Covid has to live or die and leave the hospital to create the space for new patients. Many that should be admitted are simply being told to go home. Here in our local community if you get very ill, they most often sent patient’s to Sioux Falls, S.D. That is not gonna happen as smoothly as Sioux Falls has one of the highest Covid-infection rates in the world. It is a health care crisis. It is a health care crisis like they never imagined. Their staff resources are maxed out and becoming exhausted. The rural death rate to Covid-19 is reportedly higher than the urban death rate because of differing hospital resources. They are also stunned at the lack of response from the public, a large segment of which is ignoring this train wreck in progress. They feel as though no one is paying attention to them including Governors. There is also the “small” stuff that used to be considered critical that has got knocked down by the priority of the pandemic.

My granddaughter works in oncology genetic counseling. She says ZOOM medicine is a poor substitute for the real thing. Women are not getting mammograms and colonoscopies are being delayed. When they diagnose cancer 6 months later than they would have otherwise, it becomes more difficult to treat and the success rate declines. Right now, the medical crisis starts with the ER and Covid-19 but ripples throughout the entire heath care system negatively impacting public health in general. More patients than those with Covid will die of a heart attack, stroke, cancer or many other things because of this crisis. More babies will be born in bath tubs at home because they do not want to risk the ER and a hospital wrecked by Covid. I can come up with a lot of adjectives to describe these people who have blown off this pandemic including our current president but I don’t think that they care. Some of them, who claim to be pro-life, do not wear a mask which is an oxymoron. Wonder how many old folks and babies that they actually have helped kill just because of some moronic idea of personal liberty? This is about the sickest thing that I have ever seen people who call themselves patriotic Americans do, lead by a president who doesn’t do shame.

We have postponed Christmas on one side of our family until next summer. If they stop allowing those who did not follow health protocols to take up hospital space that would be one way to ration care and get the message across to them that needs sent. Somehow when they get sick, they still come to the hospital expecting to be treated. When they do get Covid and do not get deathly ill, then they seem to think that they were smart after all. This pandemic has sorted out who the human beings are. By politicizing this pandemic, Trump will go down hard as an American disaster in the history books. Vaccines appear to be real game changers and are just around the corner. Getting them administered to the public will be the next logistical mountain to climb. That requires coordination between administrations that doesn’t appear to be happening. There is still a lot to learn about how long immunity lasts.

This is from a subscriber: “As far as “herd immunity” a guy that I buy machinery from has now had COVID 19 for a second time. He was told the first time when symptoms end you are good to go. Now they are thinking that he never really did get cleared up and it has just flared up again. Much like a chronic in a feed yard.”

The death rate relative to hospitalizations has improved but the chronic rate which is less talked about is a big deal. Some people live but they do not get well.

I think that we are fortunate that Asia, with all of our ag major trading partners there, have much better control of the pandemic. They used the same safety protocols that our CDC gave the U.S. public, but in their case, they aggressively executed on them from all levels of their government, which ours did not do in a coordinated manner, while many Americans just blew them off. When they would find a Covid-positive in China their health officials would collapse upon it with massive testing and contact tracing with local shutdowns and proved that it could be contained. Asian economies are returning to growth ahead of ours. One great result for us is that there is little/no disruption to our export flow to them. U.S. meat exports to Asia are offsetting weak domestic demand here. Right now, much of the world looks at us, with our comparatively enormous resources and wonders what the heck happened to the Americans. Did we really become the land of the free, home of the brave and chose to be stupid? We do have vaccines coming. The first major technological breakthrough on a vaccine however from Pfizer, did not come through the Warp Speed program. The second from Moderna did.

David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments Inc., author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet.

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