The new year launches with the virus threatening to overwhelm Beijing, the capital of China. Xiaoguozhuang village in Hebei’s provincial capital city of Shijiazhuang has been declared a no-go zone after finding 19 confirmed and 41 asymptomatic Covid cases in one day.
On that same day as Guam records 21 new Covid infections, 75 million people in Hebei entered "wartime" mode. This powerful northern Chinese province which surrounds Beijing eminently faces the likelihood of a full lockdown.
As China ramped up its pandemic forces, the Guam Department of Public Health was confronted with the crippling loss of public school nurses and University of Guam faculty nurses who had been augmenting the local fight against Covid 19. Compounding that bad news was the loss of traveling nurses who had run up a $3 million bill at the Guam Memorial Hospital.
As Guam politicians struggle with the new normal, eleven Covid-19 patients are in local civilian hospitals, three are in the intensive care unit, and one is on a ventilator. On this day, island hospitals are full of non-Covid patients dying of heart attacks, strokes, and poor judgement.
Down on Tumon beach, the United States military is working with local hotel officials to soon bring 5,000 sailors for liberty, rest, and recreation. At the same time, island schools are actively planning the return of 20,000 students to virtual and face-face classroom instruction. Not to be outdone, the Guam Visitors Bureau is hard at work trying to bring 1.7 million tourists back to Guam.
Somehow, the governor confidently declares that Guam Public Health has all the necessary trained personnel and technical resources to reopen and keep open Guam’s schools, hotels and tourist economy. Also, the governor says that Public Health officials would be able to safely monitor the 4,000 foreign construction workers housed in cramped, vulnerable barracks. In addition, Public Health would simultaneously continue to provide timely, accessible, effec