DeSantis recalled a video conference he recently conducted with three medical experts — from the medical schools of Harvard and Stanford — addressing concerns of hospital capacities to treat coronavirus patients. He asked the experts if there was a danger of hospitals being overwhelmed in the United States due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“They all said, ‘No, no, no,’ and in fact, the danger is more that hospitals are underwhelmed because people are not going in at the same rates for other ailments,'” DeSantis shared.
DeSantis said March had “a massive drop in [emergency department] visits” or heart attacks and ad strokes relative to previous months. He warned how people avoiding healthcare services can experience worsening health problems — or even death — due to avoidance of needed medical services.
DeSantis remarked, “Those things don’t just go away. Those are constant facts of life, yet people were so scared to go into the hospital that they’re suffering through these ailments, and some of them obviously, are even dying at home, but the ones who aren’t end up in the hospital two or three months later with much, much worse conditions.”
“Hospitals still have not gotten back to full capacity in terms of people being really going in to get care,” added DeSantis. “In Florida, we really stress the need to go in and get your care, to do what you need to do for your children. If you have mental health or substance abuse [problems], get the help that you need, because all of those health problems, I think, are mounting around the world, and particularly in areas where the lockdowns have been so draconian.”
Marlow warned against a myopic public health approach targeting the coronavirus outbreak while exacerbating or neglecting other public health concerns.
“I’m most concerned about how we’re acting like the coronavirus is the only health issue that afflicts the country, and it’s just not the case, and we’re going to ignore other health issues that are arguably a bigger threat to most of the population.” stated Marlow. “People with comorbid conditions who are elderly obviously don’t want to get the virus, but if you’re not in that category and you’re missing doctors appointments and you’re missing vaccines.”
Marlow added, “We’re not even allowed to even ask these questions, because you’ll get shamed into silence, because we have to live in fear of the virus 24/7.”
DeSantis replied, “[Our] approach cannot just be focusing on one virus to the exclusion of everything else in society. You got to have a holistic approach.”
News media broadly are “dialing up the fear” while advocating in favor of “draconian lockdowns,” noted DeSantis, lamenting the “hysteria that has been fomented” by the industry.
The Texas Medical Center
reported on a risk of increasing cancer deaths over the next decade due to to reductions in cancer screenings and treatments related to varying shutdown measures and associated public fears of coronavirus:
Norman Sharpless, M.D., director of the
National Cancer Institute (NCI), warned that the [coronavirus] pandemic would lead to an increase of 10,000 more breast and colorectal cancer deaths in the U.S. over the next decade.
Many hospitals temporarily postponed and rescheduled cancer appointments and procedures — such as mammograms and colonoscopies — to minimize foot traffic and focus clinical operations on [coronavirus] patients. While this was the right call at the time, it bolstered the public fear of contracting [coronavirus] in the hospital and delayed the early detection and treatment of cancer.
National Post, a Canadian newspaper, relayed doctors’ observations of harm caused by avoidance of medical services due to furloughed infrastructure and those too afraid to obtain needed health care:
Health-care providers are warning of an unseen toll [coronavirus] could take if people die because they are too afraid to go to an emergency room for serious health issues unrelated to the pandemic.
“There’s going to be secondary harm. Make no mistake,” said Dr. Alan Drummond with the Canadian Federation of Emergency Physicians.
reported, “Fear of going to the emergency room during the nationwide coronavirus outbreak may be leading to unnecessary deaths and illnesses, a North Carolina ER doctor said Wednesday. Dr. Ryan Lamb said people should still be seeking medical help for illnesses other than [coronavirus].”
DeSantis described “blue-collar” Americans with inabilities to work remotely as the most economically vulnerable to lockdown and shutdown measures relative to professionals who can telecommute.
Shutdown and lockdown measures Many hospitals and healthcare clinics have reallocated resources in anticipation of a wave of a coronavirus patients beyond their capacities to absorb.
“One of the really sad things about this response is [how] it seems like it’s been more geared towards the Zoom class who can work at home and do all these things [and] get their kids tutors, whereas the blue-collar folks [are] the ones that have had to bear the brunt of it, and I think that’s wrong,” he concluded.
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