Ready to Ration Care in Utah

Ready to Ration Care in Utah

 

After numerous warnings, Utah hospitals are preparing to ration care.

With soaring numbers of coronavirus cases, Utah hospitals have seen their ICUs reach dangerously high occupancy levels and have been forced to do the unthinkable: prepare to ration care. Under the Utah Crisis Standards of Care, protocols for deciding who gets ICU space or ventilators aim at doing the greatest good for the greatest number. In other words, some patients will have to be sacrificed to make room for others with better prospects of survival. It is hoped that the chilling guidelines will persuade Utahns to be more vigilant about limiting the spread of the virus.

 


Video Spotlight: Shortage of ICU Resources in Utah


This post is based on The Salt Lake Tribune article, Utah’s Hospitals Prepare to Ration Care as a Record Number of Coronavirus Patients Flood Their ICUs, by E. Alberty and S.P. Means, October 25, 2020, and the YouTube video, A Utah Infectious Disease Doctor on His State’s Coronavirus Crisis , by PBS NewsHour, October 26, 2020. Image source: Pordee_Aomboon / Shutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the factors contributing to the high occupancy rates of ICUs? Why is it difficult to Continue reading

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Cherry Picking: A Race Against Time

Cherry Picking: A Race Against Time

 

Cherries are a delicate and showy crop with an extremely short window from harvest to consumption.

By contrast, their growers are resilient people, and their pickers are highly skilled individuals with a high tolerance for harsh working conditions. This article describes the requirements for a successful harvest and addresses the challenges growers and pickers face to deliver the quality that consumers demand. It paints a thought-provoking picture of the race to secure the scarce capacity needed to harvest a product that we all take for granted.


Video Spotlight: Essential Workers Needed for Cherry Harvest


This post is based on The New York Times Magazine article, The Scramble to Pluck 24 Billion Cherries in Eight Weeks, by B. Jarvis, August 12, 2020, and the YouTube video, Cherry Farmers Worried About Harvest Season During Coronavirus Pandemic , by ABC10, April 13, 2020. Image source: nosonjai© 123RF.com.

Discussion Questions:

1. For cherry growers, what uncertainties threaten a successful season? How do they affect operations?

Guidance: The uncertainties include weather, foreign competition, lead time, and available capacity in terms of bees, refrigeration, bins, trucks, and most importantly, highly skilled labor. If there is too much rain, fans, wind Continue reading

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Lines at Airports are Breeding Grounds for Infections

Lines at Airports are Breeding Grounds for Infections

The sudden return of US citizens and permanent residents created havoc at the major airports.

The coronavirus outbreak prompted the US government to urge its citizens sojourning in Europe to come back before travel restrictions came into effect. The ultimatum caused unusually large numbers of travelers to crowd airports that were unprepared and thus understaffed for this surge. As a result, travelers had to wait in long lines before medical screening and immigration, thereby breaking all rules of safe distancing during a pandemic.


Video Spotlight: Exasperatingly long wait lines at DFW


This post is based on the npr.org article, Travelers Greeted with Hours-Long Airport Lines as Coronavirus Screenings Begin, by B. Allyn, March 15, 2020, and the YouTube video, Travelers Frustrated after New Coronavirus Screening Procedure Causes Hours-Long Wait at DFW Airport, by WFAA, March 14, 2020. Image source: Andrew Bret Wallis/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the factors that contributed to long lines?

Guidance: Wait lines are caused by insufficient capacity to meet demand as well as variability in arrivals and service. In this instance, the sudden surge in arrivals was unexpected and so was the additional time for medical screening. Longer and more Continue reading

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