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Oncologist in FL forced to turn away patient with metastatic brain cancer needing urgent radiation therapy– hospital is full of covid patients.

2021-08-24

Yesterday’s Washington Post had a personal article by an oncologist in Florida who was forced to turn away a patient with metastatic brain cancer who was unable to walk and needed urgent radiation therapy to control the disease because his hospital was full of covid patients.

He said that he was told by his medical association that the current wave of covid would crest in mid-October. That means that the medical system, which is already overloaded with covid patients, will continue and get worse, with no relief for the next three months.

The national count of new daily infections has doubled in the last two weeks. The daily count has risen from an average of less than 20,000 to nearly 150,000. The death rate average has increased from a few hundred to a thousand.

Notoriously, southern and southeastern states have had the largest increases. This includes particularly Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana. There are no ICU beds available in these states. The vaccination rates in these states have lagged behind those in the rest of the country.

States with high vaccination rates, like Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, are doing much better. In the Northeast, daily case rates are 20 per hundred thousand, while in Mississippi, rates are 120 per hundred thousand. Overall, the south is averaging 72 new cases per hundred thousand daily.

(Statistics are from the New York Times virus tracking database.)

This is a sin and a crime. Vaccination rates and case rates are showing a close correlation with political persuasion, with Republican-held counties having low vaccinations and high cases. Democratic counties are mostly showing the opposite trend.

I am sick and appalled at the indications of political sway over vaccinations and mask-wearing. The reason for this is that Fox News and Republican disinformation in general has convinced large parts of the country that they should not comply with the most effective means at controlling the covid pandemic.

Republican politicians have become prisoners of the former guy’s lies. Individual-one was booed when he told his supporters to get vaccinated. I don’t know what can be done to change this situation. How can the “opinion leaders” on the right-wing side reverse course on their disease-enhancing propaganda when so many people are so convinced that they are doing the right thing?

Only time will tell us if large numbers of Republican opinion-leaders getting sick and dying of covid has any effect on this disaster. The fact that so many people will get mild cases despite ignoring basic anti-infective procedures will not help.

That is not the worst problem. The next bad thing, coming hard on the heels of the pandemic, is really serious climate change. The same right-wing lies will convince so many people to pretend that this is not coming. This is much worse than covid, and it will continue to get worse until the quality of life for everyone is destroyed.

I fear that, in ten to twenty years, climate change will get so bad that large numbers of people will begin to die of starvation and heat stroke. Forced migrations of people away from drought-stricken hot spots will cause civil strife and erode our common humanity. Cruelty towards migrants will become the norm.

We are headed for some very hard times in a few years. My only consolation is that I will soon be dead and I have no personal offspring to suffer. I feel sorry for my nieces and nephews.

coronavirus photo by Tumisu via pixabay

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