Different Takes: Health Care Workers Fear Next Wave; Lessons On Failed Testing In Institutions
Opinion writers express views about these pandemic topics and others.
The New York Times:
Doctors Are Dreading The Third Coronavirus Wave
Nine months after the first Covid-19 cases were reported in the United States, it is a strange time in the hospital. We spent the summer in what felt like a sort of haze, treating the usual critical care diagnoses of cancer and heart failure and sepsis, under the shadow of the coronavirus. Perhaps it was the warm air and the bright sun, perhaps it was the sight of people outdoors, eating and drinking and laughing, but it was easier to feel that normalcy might be around the bend. But now, as the air grows crisp here in Boston and the nation endures an average of 59,000 new cases a day — levels that we have not seen since August — the threat of a “third wave,” or a winter surge, of this virus builds. And we find ourselves once again in limbo, haunted by the ghosts of the spring while steeling ourselves for the resurgence of illness and isolation that might come. (Daniela J. Lamas, 10/27)
Covid-19 Testing In Congregate Housing Reveals Wide Disparities
The path to establishing widespread Covid-19 testing in the United States has been slow and painful. There finally appear to be preliminary levels of success in some institutions with congregate housing where individuals cannot easily socially distance. These institutions are rapidly implementing routine testing to identify positive cases and mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Yet routine testing in congregate housing settings is not being universally or equitably implemented. (Parsa Erfani, Caroline Lee and Nishant Uppal, 10/27)
The Washington Post:
How To Fix Our Covid-19 Testing Debacle? Create A Biomedical National Guard.
We have had the capacity for millions more coronavirus tests since the beginning of the pandemic. Thousands of academic research labs, fully capable of meeting the need for critical testing in the United States, were sidelined because federal regulations governing laboratory oversight were not designed for emergencies. This deficiency cost countless lives. Let’s never let this happen again. We propose that Congress enact legislation to create a U.S. Biomedical National Guard. (Michael Kotlikoff and Jack Lipton, 10/27)
Colleges Need To Look Beyond Stopping Parties To Safely Reopen In Spring 2021
As colleges and universities reopened in the fall of 2020, many emerged as hot spots of Covid-19 transmission. The narrative that has emerged to explain this centers on irresponsible, party-going 20-somethings who refuse to listen to reason. Some schools have expelled students who held gatherings in their dorms. A few governors have called out these students as drivers of the epidemic. With no national Covid-19 control plan in sight, it may be politically expedient to blame youths for the nation’s woes. (Jagpreet Chhatwal, Trisha Dwivedi and Benjamin Linas, 10/27)
The New York Times:
Trump Tells Coronavirus, ‘I Surrender’
As we head into the final stretch of the election, Covid-19 is on a roll.Coronavirus cases keep hitting records — among other things, five aides to Vice President Mike Pence have tested positive. Hospitalizations, which lag behind cases, are soaring. And deaths, which lag even further behind, are starting to rise, too. Put it this way: Just between now and Election Day, we’re likely to lose almost twice as many Americans to Covid-19 as died on 9/11. So how is the Trump administration responding? Actually doing anything about the pandemic is apparently off the table. What we’re getting instead is a multilevel public relations strategy: We’re doing a great job. Anyway, there’s nothing anyone can do. And besides, doctors are faking the numbers so they can make more money. (Paul Krugman, 10/26)
The Washington Post:
Trump Is Right: He Can’t Contain The Virus. But A Better President Could.
It did not not have to be this way. The United States, endowed with wealth, brains, advanced biomedical researchers and a robust biotech industry, did not have to end up as the nation with the highest death toll from the coronavirus. Yet last week the country was again shattering U.S. one-day records for new cases — and the White House was responding as it has from the start, in pathetic surrender.It does not have to be this way. (10/26)
Let’s Not Fool Ourselves About Covid And Schoolkids
What to do about schools is perhaps the biggest dilemma facing policy makers right now. Closing them could lead to a “lost generation” of learners and make it harder for parents to get back to work. Keeping them open could further propagate the virus. Should governments choose the latter, they will need other ways to mitigate the impact on health. (Ferdinando Giugliano, 10/27)