There are so many unanswered questions surrounding the effects of the Covid-19 Virus to date. Where did the standard flu go? Is the Covid-19 virus threat over? Will the Covid variant force us back to a global lockdown? The stock market seems to think perhaps.
Flu has virtually disappeared from the U.S., with reports coming in at far lower levels than anything seen in decades.
Experts say that measures put in place to fend off the coronavirus; mask wearing, social distancing and virtual schooling were a big factor in preventing a “twindemic” of flu and COVID-19. A push to get more people vaccinated against flu probably helped, too, as did fewer people traveling, they say. That theory is very plausible but to have literally no episodes of flu is difficult to imagine. It could be it was simply more expedient for doctors to lump the diagnoses’ into Covid.
A fact which must be considered is that hospitals received 3 times the compensation from Medicare if a patient was diagnosed with Covid rather than flu or pneumonia. Of course, this is not to suggest fraud, but perhaps a convenience of diagnosis. The symptoms are very similar. Some cases would require an autopsy to determine the actual cause of death.
Sen. Scott Jensen, R-Minn., a physician in Minnesota, was interviewed by "The Ingraham Angle" host Laura Ingraham on April 8 on Fox News and claimed hospitals get paid more if Medicare patients are listed as having COVID-19 and get three times as much money if they need a ventilator. Jensen said, "Hospital administrators might well want to see COVID-19 attached to a discharge summary or a death certificate. Why? Because if it's a straightforward, garden-variety pneumonia that a person is admitted to the hospital for, if they're Medicare, typically, the diagnosis-related group lump sum payment would be $5,000. But if it's COVID-19 pneumonia, then it's $13,000, and if that COVID-19 pneumonia patient ends up on a ventilator, it goes up to $39,000."
The Ripple Effect
As Western economies roar back to life, a fresh wave of Covid-19 Variant clusters in Asia and India ,where vaccination campaigns remain in their early stages, is creating new bottlenecks in the global supply chain, threatening to push up prices and weigh on the post-pandemic recovery.
An outbreak at one of the world’s busiest ports in southern China has led to global shipping delays, while infections at key points in the semiconductor supply chain in Taiwan and Malaysia are worsening a global chip shortage that has hindered production in the auto and technology industries. Delta, first identified in India, has the potential “to be more lethal because it’s more efficient in the way it transmits between humans and it will eventually find those vulnerable individuals who will become severely ill, have to be hospitalized and potentially die,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, said during a news conference.
The new headaches add to inflation concerns, after China and the U.S. recently recorded their biggest annual jumps in factory-gate prices and consumer prices, respectively, in more than a decade. If such problems continue, and potentially, get worse they could weigh on global growth.
What Can We Expect Domestically With The Covid Variant
The highly contagious delta variant is the fastest and fittest coronavirus strain yet, and it will “pick off” the most vulnerable people, especially in places with low Covid-19 vaccination rates, World Health Organization officials warned this week.
This resurgence of the Covid virus has posed some concerning scenarios. Some states have re-instituted mask restrictions. Schools may be affected since there is no vaccine for children under 12 years of age. That will create challenges for people getting back to the office. It is believed the current vaccine is effective against the new variant but no one knows to what extent. These consumer based restrictions are a catalyst for a throttling down our domestic commerce.
We may be at a stage in our logistics planning that most of us were not prepared for 18 months ago. It may be prudent to consider a second wave and set in motion the appropriate planning now.
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Stay Safe Everyone.
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