Julie Ann Neely

We can run. We can try to hide. But there is no Planet B

Julie Ann Neely: “We will live through this, but when the pandemic runs its course, environmental degradation will remain to disrupt our economy and threaten our health.” -promoted by Laura Belin

While simultaneously trying to stay safe and reopen the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic reminds us daily that we are all part of the interconnected web of life on earth. We are struggling with unprecedented disruptions in healthcare and the economy, as climate disasters increase in frequency and intensity, exacerbating health risks.

Long after this wave of infections ebbs and a vaccine is developed, we will still live with the reverberations. Whether we are able to deal with them depends on the leaders we elect in November.

In the grand scheme of things, Mother Earth doesn’t give a fig about politics, the stock market, big profits, or the lines we draw in the sand that divide us. Nor does she need us. 

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Rural hospitals: Our canary in a coal mine

Julie Ann Neely explores the “commonality between the financial pressures of rural hospitals and the financial pressures of urban hospitals as they treat unprecedented numbers of COVID-19 patients.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Having chest pains? Cut off a finger? Need medical care now? For anyone living in a rural area there is no guarantee the closest hospital can provide needed emergency care. 

Signs may say “Hospital” and the doors may be open, but odds are they will not have the capability or staff to care for an urgent need or life-threatening emergency.  Logic tells us in an emergency increased time and distance can be life-threatening.  One study found that rural hospital closures are associated with a 5.9 percent increase in inpatient mortality.  1, 2

Ours is a “profits above all else” economy, and rural hospitals close because they are not profitable, often operating at a loss. Those that remain open have restructured, eliminated services, and reduced staff to the point they can no longer offer basic medical care. Hospitals lose money delivering babies which has caused dozens of Iowa hospitals, rural and urban, to discontinue this service.  Iowa is 50th out of 50 states for the number of obstetricians per population. 3 , 4

Due to the nature of the population served, rural hospitals cannot compete, and rural residents are the losers.

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Yearning to return to the 1950s? You may get your wish

Julie Ann Neely is a longtime independent feminist/environmentalist/activist, now Democrat, who became politically active in retirement because she is worried about her grandchildren’s future and believes our democracy is in danger. -promoted by Laura Belin

Iowa Republican lawmakers and Governor Kim Reynolds have long sought to eliminate a woman’s right to choose, and several new attempts were introduced during the 2020 legislative session.

In plain language, this is about increasing unwanted pregnancies and trapping women in cycles of menstruation and reproduction that, once again, deny them control of their fertility and the autonomy to be free and creative agents of their own future. Anti-abortion extremist rhetoric professes protection for women and future “unborn” (an emotionally loaded euphemism for the medical term, fetus).

In reality, it means anyone who styles themselves as a fetus protector will be in a position to control women’s lives. Their stance is two dimensional:

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