A “New” Monster

Just over 50 people in Mississippi have tested positive to Candida auris, a fungus that causes bloodstream infections and has an extremely high mortality rate. All infections in Mississippi seem to originate in a long-term care facility (sound familiar?) in a central part of the state. The fungus is extremely transmissible–it stays alive on the skin for hours, which means that many who show no symptoms will carry the fungus to those more susceptible to the problems it poses. (Sound familiar?) It is also drug-resistant.

Given the way that Mississippi responded to earlier pandemics, how well do you think people here will respond to this new issue? I get it–50 people doth not a pandemic make. However, this is the sort of issue that’s just a few mutations away from being truly scary.

I hope, of course, that C. auris is isolated and poses no further damage to folks around here. However, most people I know who are not immunocompromised stopped wearing masks several months ago. Most people I know have not kept up with a vaccination regimen, whether that involves protecting against the flu, the coronavirus, shingles, or HPV. Call it pandemic exhaustion or vaccine skepticism. Whatever you call it, what will the long-term implications for Mississippi’s health system and economy be?

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11 Responses to A “New” Monster

  1. Bill Arnoldus says:

    I don’t think Mississippi will address this fungus. People here either won’t ever know about the fungus or know about it and not care about it. Mississippi’s health system will continue to be second rate and the economy doesn’t look like it’ll be on the rise anytime soon.

  2. Vishnu Gadepalli says:

    Hopefully the fungus will not spread any further, but even if it does Mississippians are not going to care about it. It will simply be labeled as a “far-left” thing if it continues to grow just like how COVID was labeled. Mississippi’s health system is a reflection of the US’s health system as a whole — only the upper-middle/upper class will be able to afford decent health care while the majority of the population will suffer in silence. This problem is further amplified in Mississippi since it is one of the poorest states and the economy is on the lower end and will continue to be until there is a changed mindset.

  3. James Talamo says:

    It will be too late before anything can be done about it. If this fungus is able to cause an issue, it will. The people of Mississippi are not willing to go into another shutdown. It will be, what it will be, until it is too late.

  4. Avery McMechan says:

    Mississippi, being the more conservative state that it is, with the light that it did not truly care to buy in to the pandemic precautions in the first place, being one of the last to mandate masks and one of the first to remove the mandate, likely would not much care. The truth is that Mississippi only became involved in public health because of national security and backlash of opposing the Covid-19 procedures. The issue with this is that Mississippi has very little care for any kind of medical strength, having some of the worst healthcare rates of malpractice in the entire US, little to no university medical research of any note, especially in the more recent years, and even corrupt laws preventing several different individuals from suing medical offices and physicians for horrid malpractice. Mississippi will not care for a new pandemic, nor provide any “inconvenience” to their everyday lives, certainly one even less as noted by national standards as the last.

  5. Julia Nguyen says:

    I do not believe that Mississippi will address this issue until it is on the brink of wiping out 99% of its population. A little exaggerated, of course, but you get the idea. From my experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, it was already difficult to get Mississippians to mask up even with it being a globally-affected virus. Even if News Broadcasts were to stress this upon Mississippians, Mississippi will be one of the last states in the nation to do anything about it– leaving for our economy to decline and our health system trending downwards.

  6. Kadie Van says:

    I do not believe that Mississippi will take action against the issue. I, personally, did not know about the issue until reading this blog, and most Mississippians probably do not care for the issue. During the pandemic when mask mandates were around, I saw some people in my local hometown with no masks, no gloves, and nothing to keep them protected from the virus. Unless Mississippians were threatened by the issue, I do not believe they will take action.

  7. Mira Patel says:

    The people of Mississippi seem like they would not care about the new virus plaguing its population, because during the worldwide pandemic, many members of the population refused to believe the virus even existed. There are many skeptics in the state of Mississippi that do not believe in getting vaccinations for the benefit of themselves as well as others, and that leads me to think that they would not be worried about the new C. auris virus. The further implications of not taking the pandemic seriously is a deteriorated economy and a heightened burden on healthcare workers.

  8. Gracyn Young says:

    I agree with everyone else in the thread, I truly believe that Mississippi will put it off, possibly even claiming it as that of “far-left,” until it is too late. Unfortunately, they’ve already proven themselves with how they handled Covid, and it is only a matter of time before something similar happens again.

  9. Eddie Lai says:

    This is the first time I have heard of Candida Auris, and it seems scary. I believe that the people here will respond a bit more attentively because of the lethality of the fungus. It is harder to deny the existence of a pathogen if its effects are, unfortunately, more visible. There will always be opposition and skepticism to vaccines, but the necessity of them will, more likely than not, sway some of the opposition. Long term, Mississippi’s health system seems like it is not ready to weather this pathogen if it becomes widespread. It seems very likely that the health system will collapse if another serious pathogen attacks Mississippi, especially a more lethal one.

  10. Ava Wilson says:

    I highly doubt that this is going to be addressed, especially since it is coming from Mississippi. I mean, I’m responding to this prompt a month after it has been posted and I’ve heard squat. If it does become a problem, I don’t think that the population is going to take it seriously. After Covid, the looming possibility of new scary diseases isn’t as scary as it used to be. Now a lot of people on the right are most likely just going to chalk it up to government-control propaganda or media exaggeration, and with Mississippi being a red state, I feel very confident that that mindset will be widespread here.

  11. Komal Patel says:

    Like most people in this thread, I don’t believe that Mississippi would take action against or address this fungus unless absolutely necessary. Candida Auris will most likely(and has) remain unknown to the public of Mississippi. The early and late reaction to Covid 19 has made it clear that healthcare in Mississippi is not the best and seems unnecessarily tired into political views. So, I think if this becomes a big problem it still won’t be treated with the measure that it should.

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