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Former State Epidemiologist Has a Warning for Iowans Who Aren’t Wearing Masks


Part 1

Iowa’s hospital beds are not full, but they are filling up faster than they had been earlier this summer. Over the past month, more than twice as many Iowans have been hospitalized because of COVID-19.

Iowa is approaching 900 deaths attributed to the virus, which is many times more than deaths associated to other viruses in the past. Despite this, there are some Iowans who claim media coverage of the virus is overhyped and the risk of the virus is overblown. Some still doubt COVID-19 is any more dangerous than the flu that comes around every year.

Former State Epidemiologist Patricia Quinlisk, who has studied serious viruses such as Ebola and H1N1, has no doubt that the coronavirus is the most serious and is worse than a seasonal flu. She has a message for Iowans who don’t want to wear masks and are not taking the coronavirus seriously.

Part 2

Iowa parents now have a decision to make following Gov. Kim Reynolds’ guidance on schools reopening for the coming year. She wants at least half of the learning to take place in the classroom. Parents do have final authority and can decide to have their children learn remotely if they believe that’s the safest option. Dr. Quinlisk said she has heard from many families asking what to do, but she says the answer is complicated.

Part 3

Nevada, Iowa, resident Dane Nealson found out what COVID-19 is like when it struck his family. It started as a headache for him. Eventually, he found out he had COVID-19 and so did his wife. His young son showed symptoms, too. Nealson has had diabetes for two decades, so that gave him a lot to worry about.

Part 4

In this week’s Quick 6, Dave Price looks at a recent statewide poll of Iowans on the pandemic.


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