How bad is the COVID surge going to get?

Dear Friends,

I know that you know that the public airwaves have been coopted by a few far-right-wing corporations. Here’s one small thing you can do about it: LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S FALLON FORUM!

In our Climate Update, we talk about the double gut punch of Hurricanes Eta and Iota, which devastated struggling communities in Central America this month. These twin disasters are almost certain to increase immigration to the US. It will be instructive to see how the Biden/Harris administration responds — both in terms of immediate relief and in terms of overhauling America’s failed immigration system.

A toddler is carried over a flooded street in the aftermath of Hurricane Eta in Jerusalen, Honduras, Thursday, November 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Delmer Martinez)

We also talk about a less-known angle of the climate conversation: How rising temperatures are impacting maple syrup production.

And we take a look at recent research comparing the environmental impact of soft-drink containers. What’s worse: Glass, plastic, or aluminum? I guessed wrong, and you may be surprised at the answer. The bottom line is it’s best to avoid soft drinks altogether, for health as well as environmental reasons.

In other topics, I imagine you, like me, were appalled at the news that managers at a Tyson pork processing plant in Waterloo placed bets on how many workers would contract COVID-19. I was so shocked I had to read the headline twice. Joe Henry, national vice president of Forward Latino, joins us for that conversation and for an update on the industrial-meat boycott he helped launch last May.

Dr. MarkAlain Dery

Dr. MarkAlain Dery, an infectious disease physician working in New Orleans, joins us, too. Between the imminent arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine and the possible development of herd immunity, we get Dr. Dery’s take on when life in America might return to “normal.” We also talk about the huge surge of infections in the upper Midwest, especially Iowa, and whether it’s wise for people to gather for Thanksgiving. MarkAlain’s short answer: It’s not.

While we’re on the subject of COVID-19, I received this disturbing and heart-wrenching message from a worker at an Iowa healthcare facility: “We are fighting a battle that we just can’t win here. No matter what we do, no matter how careful we are, I know without a shadow of a doubt that all our people WILL GET this thing. It has taken on a life of its own. A third of our people have COVID and half of our staff has it. We are drowning!!!!!!!”

Maybe that message will get through to Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and she’ll shift from a coronavirus strategy based on expedience to one based on science.

Finally, we talk about big slabs of red meat with Kathy Byrnes of Birds & Bees Urban Farm. Remember the marketing campaign that asked, “Where’s the beef?” Well, turns out Betty Crocker’s answer depends on which Betty Crocker we ask.

Please check out our program either on a radio station in your area or the podcast on The Fallon Forum website. And check out our visually enhanced conversation about beef on The Fallon Forum’s Facebook page. Onward! – Ed


THIS WEEK’S FALLON FORUM: “How bad is the COVID surge going to get?

Watch our conversation with Kathy Byrnes on The Fallon Forum Facebook Page.

Please support the local businesses and non-profits who make this program possible. Click on their logos elsewhere on this site and visit Story County Veterinary ClinicBold Iowa, and Birds & Bees Urban Farm.

Subscribe to the Fallon Forum on Stitcher or Apple Podcasts. Check out our website and Facebook Page, and listen to the program on these and other local affiliates:

– KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames, IA)
– KICI.LP 105.3 FM (Iowa City, IA)
– WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans, LA)
– KPIP-LP, 94.7 FM (Fayette, MO)
– KCEI 90.1 FM (Taos, NM)

Thanks for supporting the progressive alternative to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity!

Ed Fallon