Coronavirus: Coming Fast for Rural America

As cities across the United States were shutting down in response to COVID-19, rural communities often saw these measures as being overblown. In California especially, the rural/coastal divide on containment measures was a microcosm for the rest of the nation–it could also serve as a lesson for how to grapple with this issue nationwide.

But as the Hill reported, “a new analysis by the Brookings Institute demographer William Frey shows the virus spreading to new areas in almost every state in the country. But its spread is now more concentrated in smaller towns, rural areas and exurban areas that had previously been untouched.” Rural America is in trouble especially because many already struggling rural hospitals are on the verge of financial ruin.

Why This Matters: Meat plants and factories in one-industry rural towns are hotspots for fast-spreading outbreaks of COVID-19. But it doesn’t seem as if local lawmakers or the President are taking these threats seriously. Democrats (who tend to live in urban areas) are more likely to know someone who has died of coronavirus and take the threat more seriously, but as the virus spreads to rural areas that political divide may not hold. Lawmakers who have resisted shutdowns and preparedness measures will also cease to have cover for their inaction.

Casual Gender Bias: Just as female astronauts struggle with spacesuits and rocketships designed for a man’s body, female health workers are experiencing the same thing with PPE.

Michigan Mess: As Al Jazeera reported, yesterday, hundreds of angry protesters, some carrying firearms, gathered at Michigan’s State Capitol in Lansing to protest against Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s request to extend the state of emergency to combat the coronavirus pandemic. After the Republican-controlled State House refused to extend Michigan’s emergency order for COVID-19, Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended it through executive authority.

Worth noting, Michigan has been hit much harder by the virus than its neighbors. Whitmer made the right call in extending emergency orders. 

The Tweet Says it All:

Ignoring Early Warnings: As ABC News reported, two years before the novel coronavirus upended the world, a report from the Government Accountability Office warned that the U.S. could have a “fragmented” response to a potential pandemic.

Impressive India: How does India, a nation of over 1 billion people, only have 1,000 coronavirus deaths? As CNN explained, some experts say that India’s relatively positive numbers suggest the country’s nationwide lockdown to halt the spread of Covid-19 could be working — for now.


Up Next

Chris Wallace’s Surprise Debate Climate Question Reveals Trump’s Weak Spot

Chris Wallace’s Surprise Debate Climate Question Reveals Trump’s Weak Spot

When the topics for the first presidential debate were announced, climate change was notably omitted which seemed out of touch considering the persistent wildfires raging in California. However, at last night’s presidential debate, moderator Chris Wallace surprised the nation by asking a pointed question to President Trump about his understanding of climate science, after the […]

Continue Reading 960 words
Top Bureau of Land Management Official Removed, Big Implications for Other Appointments

Top Bureau of Land Management Official Removed, Big Implications for Other Appointments

by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer    On Friday, an order from the chief judge of the Montana federal court removed acting Bureau of Land Management director William Perry Pendley. Despite never being confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Pendley served as acting director for 424 days, a full 214 days past the original deadline to […]

Continue Reading 498 words

64 World Leaders – With Some Obvious Exceptions – Pledge to Conserve Nature

The COVID-19 pandemic and a series of devastating reports have made clear that our “debt” to nature must be repaid, and yesterday more than 60 world leaders, including the Secretary-General of the United Nations, pledged to conserve more of the natural world.  They signed the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, promising to address the climate crisis, deforestation, […]

Continue Reading 490 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.