ICUs and Mortuaries are overflowing in rural CA towns
COVID-19 once gripped America’s largest cities. But the pandemic’s blast zone has now shifted to rural areas where vaccine rates are lowest and where political leanings often preclude an acceptance of the situation’s gravity.
“In Crescent City, the mortuary is filled beyond capacity and needs a refrigerated truck to hold bodies,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “The small hospital is so full that it is lining up helicopters to fly COVID-19 patients out of remote Del Norte County. So many employees are out with coronavirus infections that businesses have closed.”
At least nine Northern California counties now have more patients hospitalized with COVID-19 than at any other time during the pandemic: Amador, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, and Tuolumne. It’s a nightmare scenario, officials say, because these regions were already grappling with a shortage of health care personnel before COVID-19 reached American shores.
“We have spent too much time fighting each other and not fighting the virus,” State Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) told the Times. “Unfortunately, politics has ruled the day."
There’s no sign that’s going to stop. As hospitalizations and death tolls mount in conservative counties and states, an increasing number of COVID skeptics are turning to an antiparasitic for livestock rather than the vaccine. Experts say the drug Ivermectin has no use in treating COVID-19. People don't seem to be listening.
As skeptics try to get their hands on sheep dewormers, counties like Del Norte report they’re completely out of available ICU beds. Crescent City Manager Eric Wier worries about the impact on public safety. Emergency personnel are inundated with calls from people suspected of having COVID-19, he said. Of those who end up in the hospital, about 83% are unvaccinated.