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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Aluminum Can Shortage

Aluminum Can Shortage

August 24, 2020

Is trouble brewing for users of aluminum cans?  Some beer and soda manufacturers fear that the existing shortage of cans will grow worse in upcoming months.

Some consumers already report difficulty finding specialty flavors of canned beverages like Cherry Coke Zero or niche brews, as producers focus on making the most popular flavors and brands instead.

Additional can manufacturing capacity is in the works, but it will be up to a year before the new facilities are ready.


Video Spotlight: Low Coca-Cola supply blamed on aluminum can shortage  (July 23, 2020, 11Alive)


This post is based on the Syracuse article, The national beer and soda can shortage: How is it affecting supplies in Central New York?, by Don Cazentre, July 29, 2020; the CNN article, Why America is running out of aluminum cans, by Alicia Wallace, July 22, 2020; and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: belchonock/123RF

Discussion Questions:

1.   What issues are causing demand for aluminum cans to spike, and what types of time-series forecasting variations are these?

Guidance: One of the obvious issues is the COVID-19 pandemic.  As more Americans consume their beer and soda at home, Continue reading

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