Podcast: Battling COVID-19 warning fatigue

IowaWatch · COVID Messaging Fatigue in Iowa

A year ago, as Iowa hit the first anniversary of dealing with COVID-19, healthcare workers had a plea: use self-protection, like masks and social distancing, to keep the highly contagious coronavirus from spreading. Hospital beds were full and the ability to respond to the pandemic was hampered by overwork and healthcare workers, themselves, getting sick. “Certain days are harder than others. You know, it kind of depends on what’s going on,” Lilly Olson, a University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics floor nurse, said talking with IowaWatch in January 2021 as Iowans moved into year two of the COVID-19 pandemic. She was one of several healthcare workers with whom IowaWatch spoke last winter during a report called Voices of COVID.

Pedati talks COVID vaccine, demands of public health, Test Iowa closings and more

Iowa’s state epidemiologist thinks Iowa is not at a turning point with the delta virus, so far. In an interview with IowaWatch July 16, Dr. Caitlin Pedati also called for Iowans to continue to get vaccinated, use social distancing, masks and other safety measures related to the coronavirus that officially arrived in Iowa in March 2020. She discussed the difficulties of public health and stressed the perseverance of health care workers. 

“If I could leave you with anything it would be there really are some wonderful people in public health who never stopped working and are not going to stop even when it’s hard and even when it’s not perfect, because we believe that it’s important work. And we so appreciate the chance to get, you know, good messages out there,” Pedati said. 

The number of Iowans getting COVID-19 vaccinations has dropped considerably since June and new cases are rising quickly. New cases and hospitalizations have trended up with daily positives doubling over the last two weeks from an average of 76 cases to 199 per day.

Sexual identity: Glossary of terms

Here are terms and meanings to different sexual identities. Ace: Someone who identifies as asexual. Aromatic: Someone who is not romantically attracted to anyone and have no desire for a romantic relationship. Asexual: Someone who does not experience sexual attraction to others. Biromantic: Someone who is romantically attracted to multiple genders.

Non-English speakers get support understanding details of COVID vaccine

The Midwest is home to tens of thousands of immigrants — including refugees from countries like Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Iraq. It has been a challenge to provide information about COVID-19 and vaccines to those who don’t speak English. 

The Johnson County Public Health Department in eastern Iowa has COVID-19 information available in about a half dozen languages. But Samuel Jarvis, who works for the department, said getting this translated information out during the pandemic can be really hard. “Because the information changes quickly. And really, it’s just — it has to be at a faster pace,” said Jarvis.

Looking back, virus strained Iowa hospitals of all sizes

Joel Wells says the worst moments at rural Wayne County Hospital came last fall, when COVID-19 hospitalizations were spiking statewide. Wells works as a family physician in the third decade of his career. At that time, he said he had nine COVID-19 patients. That’s a lot for a 25-bed rural critical access hospital in south central Iowa. “We had to make lots of decisions on the fly.