Grief in the time of COVID

Amy Ward: “We heard that Jay’s passing was peaceful and that two nurses held his hands, but oh, how we hungered to make sure the last words he heard were from those who really loved and knew him.” -promoted by Laura Belin

In early February, our family watched the news about the novel coronavirus. We hoped, as I imagine others did, that our family would somehow remain untouched by the pandemic. That was not to be our fate.

Many of the most powerful COVID-era images that I have seen were taken from New York City or Los Angeles: stark cityscapes that seem far away and nearly foreign. In May, we buried my father-in-law Jay at a peaceful suburban cemetery – not in a big city, but in our verdant hometown of Des Moines, Iowa.

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COVID-19 crisis unmasks health care system's failures

Dr. Glenn Hurst: The nursing homes know that if they accept one COVID-19 patient in their facility, they will likely be sending ten new patients to either the hospital or the coroner. -promoted by Laura Belin

As we look to reopen the U.S. economy, many questions arise regarding whose interests the economy serves. In the health care sector, the answer is large health systems, often at the expense of some of the most vulnerable populations in our state. Their vertical integration of the profitable components of health care provision, hospitals, surgery centers, rehab and physicians, and the casting off of components such as nursing care and hospice have acutely left the older generation at grave risk.

Today’s crisis illustrates the problem. The continued outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Iowa nursing homes should be shocking. The response to calls for assistance to protect these patients should be met with the same distress.

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New COVID-19 testing program may miss Iowans in high-risk groups

“I do want to encourage every Iowan to go to TestIowa.com and take the assessment,” Governor Kim Reynolds said as she rolled out a program to increase the state’s coronavirus testing capacity during an April 21 news conference. The governor announced the following day that more than 80,000 Iowans had completed an initial assessment during the first 24 hours the website was online.

However, the online survey at the new site is not accessible to all Iowans in high-risk groups for COVID-19 infections and complications. Representatives of the governor’s office and Iowa Department of Public Health did not respond to Bleeding Heartland’s repeated questions about barriers to taking the survey.

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What better time?

Ira Lacher reflects on the unprecedented crisis we are facing. -promoted by Laura Belin

What will we have learned after this has ended?

How will America and Americans be different?

How will America and Americans be better?

What kind of nation will America be in the year 1 A.C. (after COVID-19) that we were not in the year 1 B.C. (before COVID-19)?

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"Plan B" for the Iowa caucuses will leave many disenfranchised

The Iowa Democratic Party has approved a plan to replace the “virtual caucus” recently nixed by the Democratic National Committee.

But while a news release hailed the proposal to “increase participation and make the caucuses more accessible for Iowans who have traditionally been unable to attend their in-person precinct caucus,” many Democrats won’t be able to use satellite caucuses.

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Amy Klobuchar's practical health care plan for seniors

Bill Witt represented part of Black Hawk County in the Iowa House for ten years and is a well-known advocate for improving health care services and environmental causes. -promoted by Laura Belin

While the big political noise machines have traded barrages in a host of high-profile battles over border security, student debt, the Affordable Care Act, Afghanistan, and more, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar has quietly, and with her customary adroitness, slipped around the flanks of the clanking, clattering behemoths and planted her standard on strategic, long-term high ground: the security and health of America’s seniors.

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