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What we’re reading: Texans face winter storm recovery, ICUs struggle with COVID-19

FILE – In this Feb. 16, 2021, file photo, a woman wrapped in a blanket crosses the street near downtown Dallas. As temperatures plunged and snow and ice whipped the state, much of Texas’ power grid collapsed, followed by its water systems. Tens of millions huddled in frigid homes that slowly grew colder or fled for safety. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

Winter storm shakes Texans

Many people in Texas affected by the winter storm last week are still facing challenges, according to the New York Times.

Despite power returning to most of Texas as well as warmer temperatures on the forecast, millions of Texans now face a recovery that could be as costly as $20 billion.

This would be the most expensive weather event in the states history, according to the Insurance Council of Texas.

About 8.6 million Texans were told to boil their water, with many basics still unrestored Monday.

COVID-19 testing ICU limits

In this July 6, 2020, file photo, a blanket is used to cover the body of a patient after medical personnel were unable to to save her life inside the coronavirus unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston. The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has reached 500,000 — a number so staggering that a top health researchers says it is hard to imagine an American who hasn’t lost a relative or doesn’t know someone who died. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

ICUs have been overwhelmed in caring for an overload of patients who require complex care as hospitals were consistently filled with COVID-19 patients over the last year, according to the New York Times.

Despite cases falling since their peak in early January, around 75% of the nation’s beds were filled over the past week. This ended on Feb. 18.

Before the pandemic, U.S. hospitals generally consisted of patients who were recovering from accidents, surgery or sickness.

Capitol riot now called a “coordinated attack”

In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo rioters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. Congress is set to hear from former security officials about what went wrong at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. That’s when when a violent mob laid siege to the Capitol and interrupted the counting of electoral votes. Three of the four testifying Tuesday resigned under pressure immediately after the attack, including the former head of the Capitol Police. Much is still unknown about the attack, and lawmakers are demanding answers. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Officials testified Tuesday and called the capitol riot on Jan. 6 a “coordinated attack.”

Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger and former House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving all appeared before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Tuesday to discuss the riots, according to Fox News.

The meeting included discussion of the security failures that led to rioters entering the capitol.

“These people came specifically with equipment. You’re bringing climbing gear to a demonstration, explosives, chemical spray – you’re coming prepared,” Sund said.

Another witness, acting Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee, echoed Sund.

“As they continue to scrub social media, we are learning more and more and more that this is clearly a coordinated effort,” Metropolitan Police Department acting chief Robert Contee said.

TV shows begin to tell stories about COVID-19

FILE – In this Jan. 9, 2021, file photo, Chaplain Kristin Michealsen holds the hand of a deceased COVID-19 patient while talking on the phone with the patient’s family member at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. “I have never seen this much of death and suffering,” said Michealsen, who has been a chaplain for 13 years. “I often tell families that I’m holding their loved one’s hand when they can’t and that I am with them when they are dying when they can’t be.” (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

The decision of television shows such as “Chicago Med” to create storylines about the pandemic has caused audiences, such as Bronx educator Victoria Richardson, to turn away from some of their favorite shows, according to CNN.

Many people are upset in seeing a coronavirus-centered plot after the death of so many loved ones.

“It’s strange and odd to use something that is still very prevalent in our day-to-day lives for entertainment,” Detroit makeup artist Ashley Sanford said.

Other medical dramas have chosen to insert pandemic storylines as well.

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