Delta Variant Spreads | Pandemic Highlights Inequities
With state vaccination rates stagnating, the coronavirus variant is flourishing in parts of Missouri and a partnership between KCUR and The Beacon dives into the what the pandemic has revealed about longstanding inequities.
Segment 1, beginning at 1:00: Areas of rural Missouri are experiencing a rise in COVID-19 case numbers due to the more easily transmissible Delta variant.
Despite promising vaccination rates early in the year, Missouri's state-wide percentage for fully vaccinated individuals has plateaued at about 39%. A smaller number of people getting vaccinated coupled with the more contagious variant of COVID-19 has caused rural parts of Missouri to become hot spots for infection. "What we went from was brakes and the emergency brake on, to the accelerator," said Dr. Gene Olinger. "We didn't have a middle ground."
- Gene Olinger, MRI Gobal science advisor
- Nancy Yoon, chief medical officer, Springfield-Green County Health Department
Segment 2, beginning at 25:35: As part of the Institute for Nonprofit News project "AC: Life After COVID," a collaboration of KCUR and The Beacon is reporting on the region's shortage of quality housing and how that affects health outcomes.
The pandemic laid bare many of the longstanding inequities of our society, including housing access and healthcare availability. Something as simple as washing one's hands during the pandemic is common place for many but difficult for those in the unhoused population. Reporters from KCUR and The Kansas City Beacon are reporting on the metro's low-income quality housing shortage and the urgency of dealing with it, the measures to provide medical treatment to the homeless and the hidden plight of "precariously housed" families accepting substandard housing conditions