Opinion | COVID-19 isn’t under control

Johnson County, along with the rest of Iowa, is still suffering massively from Covid-19 and it will only get worse from here.


Tate Hildyard

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are seen on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

Zeina Aboushaar, Opinions Columnist

The past few weeks, Iowa has been breaking records for the highest numbers of coronavirus cases. This recent increase in cases has caused a record number of admissions of sick patients into local hospitals all across the state. Despite the reassurances from Kim Reynolds, Iowa is setting records of maximum patients in local hospitals leading to a dire lack of medical equipment, and assistance. 

Will our hospitals be able to withhold the increasing cases?

Across the state, more than 1,000 Iowan are being treated — the highest number recorded since the beginning of the pandemic. As of this Monday, Iowa reported 4,055 cases. In Johnson County, there have been 253 new cases bringing the total to 7,182. 

Hospitalization numbers continue to surge, indicating a high risk of hospitals being overwhelmed and understaffed. Local experts say the situation in Iowa is in critical conditions as there has been a record-breaking number of hospitalized COVID cases all over Iowa, stated infection control specialist Dr. Jorge Salinas. As a result this will lead to the state’s hospitals to be overrun with sick patients. 

While it is always important to view situations with optimism, from where we’re standing today this will only get worse. As we enter the colder months where groups are in concentrated indoor, there will only be a sustained increase of cases. The most recent White House Task force expert reported that Iowa continues to be in the red zone for the rates of surging cases and ranked 10th among all states in the rate of new cases. More than 80% percent of these cases contribute to high levels of community transmission. These trends are very worrisome and this new wave of cases has already left hospitals overwhelmed. 

We are reaching a breaking point. We are on the verge of not having enough staffing capacity and the critical care that is needed to battle the increasing number. Unitypoint Dr. Austin Arnold said that their biggest concern about the hospitalization is the staffing. As the cases increase, the staff decreases. Dr. Arnold states that this is “an endurance issue that’s been going on for a long time.” 

Hospitals in Linn county have already reported a large number of admissions over the past few months. Doctors and hospital staff have expressed their concerns and promoted a sense of urgency within the community and the staff struggles to meet the needs of all of it’s patients. What makes this even scarier, is that people are disregarding the most common sense public practices. 

This is not a political issue, it’s a matter of waking up and realizing the reality we live in today. 

Implement science based recommendations into your daily life. Not only for your sake, but for the sake of your loved ones, and the people around you. We have to change the way we are doing things, because clearly it has only caused damage thus far. 

Without changing our behaviors and taking the correct precautions Iowans are, “going to continue to suffer the consequences,” according to epidemiologists at the University of Iowa. 

This battle is not over. Politicians are urging us to not let it “dominate” our lives, disregarding the fact that many are left at hospitals afraid for their lives. Instead of dismissing the virus that has killed thousands, leaders and students everywhere need to step up and address that this is a serious matter. 

If we don’t do this, then our lives will be dominated for a very long time. 

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.