2020 has given us a bit of everything this year - a deadly virus, hurricanes, derecho, protests, and political upheaval. But none of these can compare with the possibility of what could be coming our way this winter.

As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the state of Iowa, hospitals and funeral homes are bracing for more deaths. With winter quickly approaching, and the arrival of cold and flu season, it appears this could be the perfect storm for a second round of the coronavirus crisis that threatens our health, economy and total way of life.

According to KCRG, Teahen Funeral Home in northwest Cedar Rapids has set up a "decontamination room" in their facilities to insure the safety of its staff and visitors. As the funeral home prepares for an "ever-growing death rate", the number of COVID fatalities continues to climb across Iowa.

Area hospitals are already being pushed to their limits once again, and medical staff burnout is just one of the additional concerns that lingers in the minds of employers and employees.

The race for a cure continues with promising news on Friday from WCM-TV that St. Jude's Hospital may also be close to identifying a breakthrough treatment for COVID patients.

In the meantime, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced Friday that more funds for homeowners and renters will be made available for those impacted by job or income loss due to COVID-19.

Iowa's News Now says the deadline to apply for rent and mortgage assistance through the Iowa Residential Utility Disruption Prevention program is Dec. 4, 2020.

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