Next winter the Covid 19 problems will affect the nation’s homeless more so than most Americans. Homeless shelters usually are over-crowded and with poor ventilation. Older and pre-conditioned individuals that need to use the shelters to get off the streets and sub-freezing temperatures are likely to find the shelters closed or serving as contamination traps.
Presidential leadership has been out of touch during much of the Covid crisis. The President cannot seemingingly cannot walk and chew gum at the same time, much like politicians of both parties, in failing to develop complete face protection masks including eyes that would allow actual defense against the virus. Covid 19 defense and school and business recovery should occur together rather than in opposition. American leadership actually seems fairly daft on the concern. The blatant incompetence I suppose, is an explanation for why the economy of the U.S.A. cannot transition to ecological sustainability and income security and quality of life standards for all Americans; walking and chewing gum are multi-tasks beyond their comprehension.
I ordered a mask with eye protection made by an entrepreneur in Texas, and it was his last one. Most of the masks at eBay are made in China and take several weeks to arrive in the U.S.A. It should have been possible to transform Halloween masks sold this year into Covid defense masks. When ancient viruses from Mar’s past are brought back to Earth by tourists and begin to erase the population of the planet politicians will be equally incapable of innovating defense masks that are practical and affordable health care for everyone (an easy one-time payment of $19.95)
If it is necessary to send kids to go to school where they can become infected as the President wishes, the kids should have quality face masks that protect the entire face including the eyes. The masks need not have telescopic lenses, night vision capability or communication devices built in. neither need they resemble gorilla heads or Darth Vader helmets; they need to be effective.
Sure school kids could be sent to clean, small cages and be fed raw meat and trained as M.M.A. fighters instead of academia this fall until the Covid crisis passes, yet that would train them for N.P.R. jobs perhaps and nothing socially useful.
One winter during the Obama administration I looked for a job in Anchorage, couldn’t find one and lived in a small tent in a forested area without even propane to heat water. I had no money to wash clothes (one needs clean socks for sub-zero months) so I walked several miles down the Old Seward Highway to the Brother Francis Shelter to use their facilities (slipping on the icy sidewalks and falling a half dozen time each way wearing my slick soled army combat boots); I stayed there the month of December 2010 and got flu and then pneumonia, so I returned to my tent for the year of 2011. People in the shelter slept shoulder to shoulder on mats on the floor. Several had frostbite injuries. Everyone got some sort of communicable virus with over-crowding and bad ventilation; homeless shelters are notorious for having poor ventilation.
There are homeless people with retirement checks too small to afford Medicare B payments of $200 a month comforted with the knowledge that those who had good paying jobs and job security during their lives have very inexpensive Medicare Plan B coverage the poor can’t afford themselves. It is heartening that at least the comfortable remain comfortable until they bite the dust singing songs of sweet bippy.
An improved system would include the most poor Americans with a progressive charge for Plan B; it might be free for those that are the most poor and increase in cost as the size of the social security check increases in order to make it actually affordable.