Business Coronavirus Government Health Opinion

Are all COVID-19 tests created equal?

Yesterday I shared my distaste for the once-in-a-while drive-thru COVID-19 testing events. With a little effort, and at the same cost, people can be tested everyday of the week in a manner more suited for a medical procedure like a doctor’s office or clinic and not through a car window.

People don’t ask enough questions about their health care and are willing to accept anything anyone brings them. I asked a few simple questions directly to the Black Doctors Covid Consortium who came to Chester in March to do a drive-thru testing in Chester and I didn’t get a straight answer. I guess they figured I had no right to ask who invited them and they had no responsibility to answer. I decided all my other questions would probably not be answered so I let it go. 

Today, I read an article in the Washington Post where the Maryland Health Department has ordered a Prince George’s labthat had been processing coronavirus specimens collected at pop-up clinics to cease operations, saying the facility does not have the proper certification. Obviously, someone asked a few questions in Maryland which led to the suspension of Advanced Pain Medicine Institute’s license to operate a medical lab and perform any lab testing.

Coronavirus Health Opinion

Coronavirus is being flushed down the toilet along with other stuff

When I’m not hugging a keyboard, I work as a certified wastewater operator. That’s a fancy term for someone who makes sure the facilities work properly that clean the water that leaves your house before it heads to the stream or river. Work is so easy if all I had to deal with was water, but people have a bad habit of putting things in the water that don’t belong.

Every plumber will stress to never put anything down the toilet besides toilet paper. Some plumbers insist you seek the best single-ply toilet paper available. Beware of thick two and three-ply papers if you have an old home because it can wreck havoc on old plumbing.

By the time the water gets to my end the toilet paper has dissolved and everything works beautifully. However, people tend to treat a toilet like a trash can.

Book Reviews Coronavirus Opinion

Revisiting ‘Underground Airlines’ during coronavirus

I didn’t realize it was so long ago, but in September 2017 I reviewed a book called ‘Underground Airlines.’ It’s a dystopian story of what America would be like if slavery never ended. I’m reminded of that great book when I wonder if the author, Ben Winters, would have changed things up a bit had the coronavirus pandemic occurred before he wrote it. 

The book was set in modern times and instead of enslaved people working the fields, they were working in sweatshops manufacturing clothes in factories in the south. I believe if he were to write the story today, enslaved people would be working at Amazon warehouses, grocery stores, Walmart, Target, and meat processing plants as essential workers. 

Coronavirus Government Health Opinion

Should people with freckles get priority for COVID-19 cases?

If someone told you 70% of the people with COVID-19 had freckles, you’d expect there’d be a mad rush to find out what was going on with the spotted ones. Yet, there are communities across America reporting 70% of their people with COVID-19 are Black, even when they represent a scant 13% of the population in those communities, and the response is, ‘Oh my, that’s interesting!’

Yesterday’s paper said the Governor’s new chief concern is minority communities but it has nothing to do with conducting tests and everything to do with urging medical facilities to follow a mandate from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to include race and ethnicity data in demographics with test results. Todays’ paper says, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be prioritizing COVID-19 testing for nursing home residents and workers, following a request from U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., this week.

Who’s got the juice to get testing to Delaware County’s Black communities? From what I’ve seen, everyone has failed up to this point. 

Coronavirus Crime Criminal Justice Government Health Opinion

Should you call the cops on people not keeping their social distance?

I was in a long line at the grocery store, as we’re all prone to do these days, and as the line was inching closer to the checkout, the lady behind me was inching closer to me clearly ignoring the bright yellow Xs on the floor. I couldn’t tell her to step back because the guy behind her had moved up, almost in the spot she should have been in.

With everything else going on, it wasn’t worth being too bothered by it. I saw a report out of New York City of the number a calls the police are getting for people violating social distance rules and people are obviously very bothered by it. The number of calls were well over 1000 and I wonder what people expect the police to do.

I normally don’t report on news out of Canada, but this story caught my eye because it deals with police response to social distance calls – ‘Crackdown on coronavirus rule breakers could have consequences.

Community News Coronavirus Opinion

Governor Wolf just became aware of minority COVID-19 issues in Pennsylvania

March 23 there were 2 COVID-19 cases in Chester and the mayor said he intended to request testing in Chester.

We learned at the last city council meeting on April 21 that the city still does not have a testing sight.

Today, we’re at 175 cases, and we learn from the Delaware County Daily Timesthe Governor’s new chief concern is minority communities. 

Community News Coronavirus Health Opinion Politics

No one would allow more pollution during a pandemic, would they?

Some people call them the Environmental Pollution Agency because the EPA is responsible for determining how much pollution an industry is allowed to emit before their pollution is deemed harmful to the environment and a health hazard, especially to the people who live nearby. Companies are issued permits that outline the rules to which a company can pollute and still operate within the law.

When done fairly, this process works pretty good. Of course, no amount of pollution is good and it’s virtually impossible for a smoke stack not toss out some pollutants.

Each state has an environmental agency that does the dirty work under EPA guidance at issuing these permits along with regulating industries to operate within the permit limits. When companies disobey, they get fined and if they continue to disobey, they can be put out of business.

Until now.

Business Coronavirus Opinion Technology

Would you like to be tracked by your Smartphone if you get COVID-19?

I took a little flack when I mentioned COVID-19 carriers should have to wear dayglow clothing so people could identify them. I’ve also written about countries tracking people using their Smartphone location data who should be in quarantine.

Since then, there’s been reports of issuing COVID-19 folks a card they’d keep in their wallet to identify them with the disease. Not sure how that helps anyone, but okay.

Since it’s unlikely any of those efforts will work, Google and Apple are teaming up to create an app that will perform ‘digital tracing’ of COVID-19 folks. I guess they figure if folks are too ashamed to identify themselves, they’ll let your phone identify you.

Community News Coronavirus Government Health Opinion

Has Chester started COVID-19 testing yet?

On March 23, Mayor Kirkland sent out a press release saying he intended to request COVID-19 tests for Chester. Those aren’t my words. This is from his press release.

I don’t know if he still intends to request; has requested; had his request denied; or the tests are on the way. There hasn’t been an update on the city’s daily updates regarding his intent to request or another press release to update us. We’ve never heard from the Chester Bureau of Health. I don’t know where to turn for answers.

One thing is for certain. COVID-19 in Chester is on the rise.

  • April 8 – 14 cases.
  • April 9 – 28 cases.
  • April 16 – 61 cases.
  • April 17 – 71 cases.
Coronavirus Government Health Opinion

Black folks, pollution, the president, and coronavirus are a deadly cocktail

I think it’s old news by now that Black and Brown folks are not faring well with COVID-19 compared to Whites and Asians. A lot of environmental racism occurs in America which contributes to the health conditions of the people living around polluting industries and the president isn’t helping by rolling back EPA regulations.

Here’s quotes from a couple articles addressing the deadly cocktail…