local time, during the final round of presidential debates, the Democratic presidential candidate Biden stated that a “dark winter” was coming. The data provided a basis for this judgment. There were more than 75,000 new confirmed cases of new crowns in the United States that day, which became the second highest point since the outbreak, and there is a continuing upward trend.
The third wave of epidemics in the United States is breaking out. Rural areas in the Midwest have become the new “epicenter”, and the already fragile medical system is even more overwhelmed. Some experts warned that it is more difficult to prevent and control the epidemic in rural areas. Only by respecting science and giving up political prejudice can we tide over the difficulties.
American rural areas are hit hard
A new round of outbreaks in autumn and winter swept rural areas in the United States. According to the New York Times, the number of confirmed cases per million people in rural areas is significantly higher than that in urban areas and is twice as high.
Compared with urban areas, rural areas in the United States are sparsely populated and have limited personnel mobility. Rural areas will be minimally affected by the epidemic before September. However, with the outbreak of the epidemic in the autumn and winter, rural areas have become a new “epicenter.”
Foster County, North Dakota, an area with a population of about 3,000, had only three confirmed cases of new crown before July. However, as of October 20, 1 in every 20 people here has tested positive for the new crown, and half of the cases came from within the last two weeks.
Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, has already had a medical system panic and has to transfer patients with new crowns to surrounding hospitals and even across states. As of October 19, there is only one free ICU ward in all Bismarck hospitals. At the same time, the close contact tracking project here has been suspended because of the large number of infected people.
Norton County, Kansas, is the region with the most confirmed cases per million people in the United States. 62 people in a nursing home here were infected and 10 of them died. Since the Kansas City Medical Center has no free beds, the delivery of ambulances has to be suspended.
At present, 9 states in the United States have a diagnosis rate of more than 10%. Among them, South Dakota, Iowa, Idaho, and Wisconsin have recently confirmed rates as high as 20%.
Medical experts said that an unprecedented bad situation is coming, and predicts that the number of deaths per day in January next year will reach 2,300. This number will be twice the current highest number of deaths in a single day.
Slack epidemic prevention and fragile medical system are the culprits
According to expert analysis, rural areas in the United States have become the epicenter of the epidemic for two main reasons.
First, the willingness of people in rural areas to wear masks is very weak. On the one hand, people in rural areas have not experienced a major outbreak before, and gradually become tired of fighting the epidemic. Experts have noticed that compared with urban areas, people in rural areas seem to be less willing to wear masks and maintain social distance.
Public places in the Bismarck area where the epidemic is high are still crowded with people who do not wear masks. Locals said in an interview that whether to wear a mask is a matter of personal choice. The Bismarck Public Health Director felt very powerless about this. After she suggested that the area enact a “mask enforcement order”, she even received insulting and threatening emails.
On the other hand, most of the areas where the epidemic is high are the “red areas” where Trump supporters are located. The New York Times stated that after Trump recovered from the new crown, he still told Americans “Don’t be afraid of the new crown virus.” This has largely misled people who were originally weak in epidemic prevention awareness and further hindered the scientific fight against the epidemic.
Rural hospitals have been facing the problems of insufficient funds, limited medical staff, and poor clinical capabilities. Their fragile medical system has appeared vulnerable to the new crown outbreak. According to the National Public Radio (NPR) report, in many rural areas, small hospitals do not have enough medical equipment and treatment capacity, and can only transfer most severely ill patients to metropolises.
In addition, compared with suburban and urban areas, the aging population and the incidence of chronic diseases in rural areas are higher, and they are more likely to quickly develop into severe patients. In addition, it is difficult for people in rural areas to get timely treatment, so the mortality rate is relatively high.
Not without successful experience, it’s not too late to make up for it
However, not every region is in dire straits. In the past two months, there have been almost zero new confirmed cases of new crowns in Vermont.
The American media followed up and reported on the successful experience of Vermont and found the difference between this place and other regions.
First, the Vermont government strictly regulates scientific public opinion to prevent the spread of misinformation. The two major local news media, VTDigger and Seven Days, have successively closed the comment areas for articles related to the epidemic, and actively encouraged the public to comply with relevant regulations on epidemic prevention.
At the same time, Vermont is one of the few areas where the epidemic has not been politicized. Although the Republican Party has almost reached a consensus on a passive fight against the epidemic, the Republican Governor of Vermont Phil Scott did the opposite. He continued to encourage citizens in public to take the new crown epidemic seriously, be strict with themselves, and abide by relevant regulations on epidemic prevention. For most of the briefing on the new crown epidemic, he gave the leadership to medical experts.
Scott is not the only decision-maker who can put aside partisanship and actively fight the epidemic. In Fargo, North Dakota’s largest city, Mayor Tim Mahoney used his emergency administrative power to issue a “mask injunction.” Previously, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum insisted not to force citizens to wear masks, and claimed that “small government” was beneficial to the prevention and control of the epidemic, which eventually led to the state’s complete fall in the outbreak.
The US media and experts have called for “politicization of the epidemic” to be impossible. Government officials must put aside their political prejudices, respect scientific facts, and actively implement the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s epidemic prevention guidelines, so as to reduce unnecessary deaths and survive the epidemic. “Bitter Winter”.