The South will not rise again, but—in the post-Trumpian rush to reinvent slavery in the form of sub-par minimum wages and weakened tax laws that enable the wealthy to subjugate working-class people economically, socially and politically—it may engage in a slow motion form of mass suicide.
After 40 years of Reaganomics, Americans are suffering from increasing anxiety about their jobs, being ill-prepared for an unexpected misfortune, and fewer opportunities for upward mobility.
Families who are more likely to see possible declines in their incomes are also the ones who have substantially less wealth to cover an emergency, let alone entertain the thought of getting ahead but instead of reverting to traditional American policies, folks in the solid South have embraced conservative politics, and Trumpism.
People without a college degree and communities of color especially struggle with the dual challenge of present-day insecurities, such as losses of income due to layoffs and cuts in hours, and an uncertain future due to little to no savings.
Along with that counter-culture activism, GOP adherents are rejecting science in ways that are becoming harmful to themselves.
More than 77% of America’s intensive care unit (ICU) beds are being used right now as hospitals struggle to keep up with an influx of severely ill COVID patients, almost all of them unvaccinated, as some people who have been inoculated are suffering milder breakthrough coronavirus cases as a result of the Delta variant.
Hospitals are becoming overwhelmed and facing staff shortages due to either and burnout that only make matters worse, especially in the face of illness that was largely preventable.
The rapidly escalating surge in COVID-19 infections across the U.S. has caused a shortage of nurses and other front-line staff in virus hot spots that can no longer keep up with the flood of unvaccinated patients and are losing workers to burnout and lucrative jobs in other states at double and triple the salary.
Some hospitals have started paying retention bonuses to nurses who agree to stay for a set period. To cover shortages, nurses who agree to work extra are getting the typical time-and-a-half for overtime plus $500 per additional 12-hour shift. Even with that, those hospitals sometimes still have openings.+
The percentage of ICU beds in each state depicted on a map appears to be an inverted drawing of those states that have the greatest share of the population with vaccine doses administered, but the most occupied ICU beds and fewest vaccine doses also coincide with the states that once betrayed the Union and declared themselves the Confederacy.
Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oregon all have more people hospitalized with COVID-19 than at any other point in the pandemic, and nursing staffs are badly strained.
In Florida, virus cases have filled so many hospital beds that ambulance services and fire departments are straining to respond to emergencies. Some patients wait inside ambulances for up to an hour before hospitals in St. Petersburg, Florida, can admit them — a process that usually takes about 15 minutes, Pinellas County Administrator Barry Burton said.
One person who suffered a heart attack was bounced from six hospitals before finding an emergency room in New Orleans that could take him in, said Joe Kanter, Louisiana’s chief public health officer.
Since COVID-19 vaccine distribution began in the United States on Dec. 14, more than 364 million doses have been administered, fully vaccinating over 171 million people or 51.7% of the total U.S. population.
The country surpassed President Biden’s initial goals of getting 100 million vaccines into arms in his first 100 days, reaching 200 million vaccines by day 92.
Administration rates peaked in early April — with the United States giving out more than 3 million COVID-19 shots per day — but have declined dramatically since, once people who were most eager to get vaccinated received their shots.
Vaccine eligibility opened across the country to everyone 16 and up in the U.S. in mid-April, and expanded to kids as young as 12 in mid-May. But by July, although the country had made significant progress, it still fell several million people short of Biden’s goal of getting at least one shot to 70% of adults in the U.S. by Independence Day.
The rapidly escalating surge in COVID-19 infections across the U.S. has caused a shortage of nurses and other front-line staff in virus hot spots that can no longer keep up with the flood of unvaccinated patients and are losing workers to burnout and lucrative out-of-state temporary gigs.
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