Commentary / Coronavirus

600 Physicians Say Lockdowns Are A ‘Mass Casualty Incident’

physicianMore than 600 of the nation’s physicians sent a letter to President Trump this week calling the coronavirus shutdowns a “mass casualty incident” with “exponentially growing negative health consequences” to millions of non COVID patients.

“The downstream health effects…are being massively under-estimated and under-reported. This is an order of magnitude error,” according to the letter initiated by Simone Gold, M.D., an emergency medicine specialist in Los Angeles.

“Suicide hotline phone calls have increased 600%,” the letter said. Other silent casualties:  “150,000 Americans per month who would have had new cancer detected through routine screening.”

From missed cancer diagnoses to untreated heart attacks and strokes to increased risks of suicides, “We are alarmed at what appears to be a lack of consideration for the future health of our patients.”

Patients fearful of visiting hospitals and doctors’ offices are dying because COVID-phobia is keeping them from seeking care. One patient died at home of a heart attack rather than go to an emergency room. The number of severe heart attacks being treated in nine U.S hospitals surveyed dropped by nearly 40% since March. Cardiologists are worried “a second wave of deaths” indirectly caused by the virus is likely.

The physicians’ letter focuses on the impact on Americans’ physical and mental health.  “The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse.

“It is impossible to overstate the short, medium, and long-term harm to people’s health with a continued shutdown,” the letter says. “Losing a job is one of life’s most stressful events, and the effect on a person’s health is not lessened because it also has happened to 30 million [now 38 million] other people.  Keeping schools and universities closed is incalculably detrimental for children, teenagers, and young adults for decades to come.”

While all 50 states are relaxing lockdowns to some extent, some local officials are threatening to keep stay-at-home orders in place until August.  Many schools and universities say they may remain closed for the remainder of 2020.

“Ending the lockdowns are not about Wall Street or disregard for people’s lives; it about saving lives,” said Dr. Marilyn Singleton, a California anesthesiologist and one of the signers of the letter. “We cannot let this disease change the U.S. from a free, energetic society to a society of broken souls dependent on government handouts.” She blogs about the huge damage the virus reaction is doing to the fabric of society.

Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, also warns that restrictions are having a huge negative impact on non-COVID patients.

“Even patients who do get admitted to hospital, say for a heart problem, are prisoners. No one can be with them. Visitation at a rare single-story hospital was through closed outside window, talking via telephone,” she wrote us.  “To get permission to go to the window you have to make an appointment (only one group of two per day!), put on a mask, get your temperature taken, and get a visitor’s badge of the proper color of the day.”

How many cases of COVID-19 are prevented by these practices? “Zero,” Dr. Orient says.  But the “ loss of patient morale, loss of oversight of care, especially at night are incalculable.”

Virtually all hospitals halted “elective” procedures to make beds available for what was expected to be a flood of COVID-19 patients.  Beds stayed empty, causing harm to patients and resulting in enormous financial distress to hospitals, especially those with limited reserves.

Even states like New York that have had tough lockdowns are starting to allow elective hospital procedures in some regions.  But it’s more like turning up a dimmer switch. In Pennsylvania, the chair of the Geisinger Heart Institute, Dr. Alfred Casale, said the opening will be slow while the facility is reconfigured for COVID-19 social distancing and enhanced hygiene.

Will patients come back?  COVID-phobia is deathly real.

Patients still are fearful about going to hospitals for heart attacks and even for broken bones and deep lacerations. Despite heroic efforts by physicians to deeply sanitize their offices, millions have cancelled appointments and are missing infusion therapies and even chemotherapy treatments. This deferred care is expected to lead to patients who are sicker when they do come in for care and more deaths from patients not receiving care for stroke, heart attacks, etc.

NPR reported about a Washington state resident who had what she described as the “worst headache of her life.”

She waited almost a week before going to the hospital where doctors discovered she had a brain bleed that had gone untreated.  She had multiple strokes and died. “This is something that most of the time we’re able to prevent,” said her neurosurgeon, Dr. Abhineet Chowdhary, director of the Overlake Neuroscience Institute in Bellevue, Wash.

As the number of deaths from the virus begin to decline, we are likely to awaken to this new wave of casualties the 600 physicians are warning about. We should be listening to the doctors, and heed their advice immediately.

Reprinted with Permission from - Forbes by - Grace Marie Turner

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anna hubert
1 year ago

St.Barack had a dream , remember, transforming the country looks like an attempt to realize that nightmare

Mimi
1 year ago

This country has endured many “plagues” over its history. But we have never gone in to hiding as we have for Covid. I am 70 have heart trouble, and diabetes. I am allergic to flu vaccine, haven’t had any vaccine in over 30 years, haven’t had the flu in over 30 years either, because I use common sense. During flu season I stay out of crowded malls and stores, if someone I know is sick I call but do not visit. I use common sense. We we would be much better off if we had treated Covid the same way. I think we over reacted to this whole situation. Let’s get back to living in the United States, not hiding!! If, you’re susceptible use common sense. God gave us common sense, so let’s use it and get back to the business of living!!

Lynn Wilson
1 year ago
Reply to  Mimi

I am in total agreement. At 85 years (soon to be 86), I believe the lockdowns are part of a political conspiracy to control our population. All of that is a further debate that requires much more time and space.

Cindy
1 year ago
Reply to  Mimi

Mimi, I too am in my seventies. I do take the flu shot every year and try to do all the common sense things like washing hands, staying away from crowds etc. The problem is the educational system has so dumbed down our children and grandchildren that common sense is a thing of the past! They are all little snowflakes, GOD FORBID they don’t get a trophy or ribbon for just participating in a so called competition. My granddaughter has so many competition ribbons that they cover a whole wall. Granted some are for 1st., 2nd or 3rd place but most are for just showing up.

Rik
1 year ago

If the entire American population doesn’t now realize that they have been duped all along with this “Wu Han Flu” epidemic, they are dumber than just Dumicrats! … Watching rioters loot and burn cities run by Dumicrat Mayors who don’t seem to give a crap about American citizens or their property and livelihoods being destroyed is just downright TREASONOUS!!! … We will Now watch our country’s economy go into Depression or ar least Deep Recession just to be able to “Blame it All on President Trump” to hopefully derail his re-election is more than treasonous, it’s despicable beyond belief!!! At least 95% of ALL THE CITIES that are experiencing rioting, looting and burning ARE RUN BY DUMICRAT MAYORS!!! … Dumicrats don’t just hate President Trump, THEY HATE AMERICA and WANT TO DESTROY AMERICA JUST TO ACHIEVE THE MEANS TO THE END OF DEMOCRACY AND CAPITALISM!!! … I think it’s time We the American People should rise up and march on these Mayor’s AND Governor’s residences with hangman’s noises! … and maybe then they would realize that we aren’t all just stupid donkeys to be harnessed and led into captivity!!!

PaulE
1 year ago

This is the best quote from the article: “Ending the lockdowns are not about Wall Street or disregard for people’s lives; it about saving lives,” said Dr. Marilyn Singleton, a California anesthesiologist and one of the signers of the letter. “We cannot let this disease change the U.S. from a free, energetic society to a society of broken souls dependent on government handouts.” At what point does the American public stand up for itself against these politically driven Blue state Governors and Mayors and force them, yes I said force them, to re-open society? Or has the public become so docile that they will “shelter in place” indefinitely or until after the election, which is the plan of these Blue states? Meanwhile, we have organized anarchist groups leading riots, looting and destruction of countless businesses nightly in various Blue state cities. All with the apparent blessing and approval of these same Blue state leaders.

Ruth C
1 year ago
Reply to  PaulE

The PLANdemic didn’t work, so now the demon-rats are planning to burn the country down.

PaulE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ruth C

As a number of Democrats have said over the years “Whatever it takes! The ends justify the means.”. They weren’t kidding when they all repeated that phrase over and over again. However, it appears most people weren’t paying attention. The vast majority of the public has sat idly by over the last four years as the Democrats first tried to get rid of Trump in an orchestrated coup by claiming he was a Russian spy. Strike one! Then they changed the means of their coup attempt to claiming he committed an impeachable offense with the President of the Ukraine. Strike two! Then they tried and are still trying to destroy the economy by hyping up the dangers of the Wuhan virus long after it known it wasn’t anywhere as severe as the so-called “experts” claimed. Can’t call this a strike yet, as this strategy still continues.

Now they have latched onto the George Floyd killing (never let a good crisis go to waste) by allowing and even assisting groups like ANTIFA, through stand down orders and lending vocal support to the so-called “protestors”, to highjack the once peaceful protests and turn them into nightly burning, looting and assault riots in the Blue run states and cities. All being stoked by the media that is 100 percent in lock-step with the Democrat party and its agenda.

The media is egging on the rioters by claiming they are merely venting their frustration with a racist America, as that fits neatly into the socialist playbook they are all working from. All in the hopes that Trump will, at some point, call out the National Guard, when the Blue state Governors and Mayors continue to refuse to so. All so the media can get a phtoto op of a National Guard member shooting one or more of the protestors and saying endlessly between now and election day that “It’s all Trump’s fault!”.

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