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U.S. Healthcare System Devastated By Canceled “Elective” Surgeries, Stay at Home Orders

U.S. Healthcare System Devastated By Canceled “Elective” Surgeries, Stay at Home Orders

“At a time when we feared that hospitals would get overwhelmed by a surge of patients, they have been emptied out. At a time when we thought medical personnel would be at a premium, they are being idled all over the country.”

While the Wuhan coronavirus is a real problem, our often one-size-fits-all response appears to be creating still more problems, particularly in terms of our nation’s health care system.  Cancer screenings and surgeries, most diagnostic screenings unrelated to the coronavirus, and many necessary quality of life surgeries have been canceled or postponed indefinitely to keep hospitals free to handle a massive influx of coronavirus patients. An influx that in most parts of the country hasn’t happened.

The resultant loss of medical professionals’ jobs, loss of revenue to hospitals, and potential loss of patient life (or quality of life) are creating a whole new healthcare crisis across the country.

The problem appears to have begun when “elective” medical attention and surgeries meant anything not related to the Wuhan coronavirus or not immediately life-threatening.  Or abortions, those were perversely deemed essential to human life in some quarters. Cancer screenings and treatment?  Not so much.

Reuters reports:

Routine medical tests critical for detecting and monitoring cancer and other conditions plummeted in the United States since mid-March, as the coronavirus spread and public officials urged residents to stay home, according to a new report by Komodo Health.

Diagnostic panels and cancer screenings typically performed during annual physician visits fell by as much as 68% nationally, and by even more in coronavirus hotspots.

These tests, office visits, surgeries and other medical care tied to them, are key sources of revenue for hospitals and healthcare systems that had to curb lucrative elective procedures to assure room for a crush of patients with COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

Millions of patients postponed tests considered crucial for detecting early signs of disease, monitoring its progression and improving patient outcomes, according to Komodo, which has one of the nation’s largest medical claims data bases and provided its new findings exclusively to Reuters.

Cervical cancer screenings were down 68%, cholesterol panels fell by 67% and the blood sugar test to detect diabetes were off 65% nationally. This could all prove very costly down the road.

“We’re seeing a tremendous impact on preventive care, as well as on chronic conditions with massive implications for the healthcare system,” said Komodo Health Chief Executive Dr. Arif Nathoo. “It speaks volumes to just how much COVID is impacting everyone’s health and wellness.”

The Atlantic has more in their March 17th article, “What It Really Means to Cancel Elective Surgeries: To make room for coronavirus patients, hospitals are delaying procedures that would make major differences in people’s lives”:

Three weeks ago, Robert Cruickshank went to the ER in Seattle with terrible abdominal pain. The diagnosis? Gallstones. The hospital gave him strong painkillers and urged him to come back again—and soon—to have his gallbladder removed. “It doesn’t have to happen tonight,” he recalls the doctors saying, “but get it scheduled as soon as possible.” No one yet knew that the coronavirus was already spreading undetected through the city. Cruickshank briefly wondered if this virus in the news would affect things when scheduling the surgery for yesterday, but his doctor didn’t seem worried.

By this past Friday, everything had changed. The doctor’s office called to say that his gallbladder-removal surgery would be postponed indefinitely.

All over the country, patients are finding their nonemergency surgical appointments canceled as hospitals prepare for a spike in coronavirus cases. Surgeries for early-stage cancer, joint replacements, epilepsy, and cataracts are all getting pushed back—to ration much-needed personal protective equipment, keep hospital beds open, and to shield patients from the virus. On Friday, the American College of Surgeons recommended that hospitals reschedule elective surgeries as needed. Hospitals in outbreak hot spots such as Seattle, New York, and Boston were the first to act, but more are likely to follow suit.

Some patients are left wondering if they have a ticking time bomb inside them. Others are upending carefully made plans for life-altering surgeries with long recovery times.

Elective surgery does not mean optional surgery. It simply means nonurgent, and what is truly nonurgent is not always so obvious. Gerard Doherty, the chair of the surgery department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, which began postponing elective surgeries on Friday, says surgical procedures can fall into one of three categories. About 25 percent of the surgeries performed at his hospital can be delayed without much harm. These might include joint replacements and bariatric surgeries for weight loss. Another 25 percent are for life-threatening emergencies that need to be treated right away: perforated bowels, serious heart problems, bones that have broken through the skin. [emphasis in original]

Another consequence of postponing “elective” surgeries, screenings, and procedures is that a large number of our health care professionals have been laid off, and hospitals are losing millions of dollars.

ABC News reports:

As the novel coronavirus leaves a path of human devastation in its wake, the financial future of some of the nation’s largest health care systems is also now in jeopardy — leading many of these institutions to let go of health care workers at a time when patients need them most.

While private practices and smaller health systems were some of the first to be affected, as time has stretched on, some of the country’s largest health systems have shown that they too are vulnerable.

COVID-19 has kept many doctors and nurses busy, but diversion of health care resources towards the care for those with the virus has been an unprecedented financial drain, since then many of the hospitals’ usual stream of revenue — including pricey elective surgeries — has been shut off. Now, some of the nation’s biggest health systems claim they cannot weather this storm without sacrificing employee jobs or cutting their pay.

The frenzy also hit primary care physicians hard.

GoLocal Prov reports:

Care New England reports that the hospital group lost a total of $44.5 million in March.

. . . . The losses were primarily due to the canceling of elective surgeries, closing of ambulatory sites, and a significant reduction in office and emergency room visits.

. . . . Dr. Michael Fine, the former Director of Health in Rhode Island, warns that primary care physicians are in significant economic peril.

“Oh they’re struggling — I mean they’ve done an amazing job making the transition like in a second to telephonic care but lots of people became afraid of going to the doctor because of you know afraid of being infected in waiting rooms and so their actual business vanished,” said Fine on GoLocal LIVE on Thursday.

He says upwards of 30% of primary care physicians may be forced to close due to lack of revenue, lack of reserves, and little chance of federal bailouts.

It’s not just patients, hospitals, and health care professionals suffering during the widespread shutdown and stay at home orders.

Parents are not vaccinating their children due to concerns about Wuhan coronavirus, and there are significant long-term problems that could arise due to delays in vaccination and routine child wellness and health checkups.

The New York Times reports:

As parents around the country cancel well-child checkups to avoid coronavirus exposure, public health experts fear they are inadvertently sowing the seeds of another health crisis. Immunizations are dropping at a dangerous rate, putting millions of children at risk for measles, whooping cough and other life-threatening illnesses.

“The last thing we want as the collateral damage of Covid-19 are outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, which we will almost certainly see if there continues to be a drop in vaccine uptake,” said Dr. Sean T. O’Leary, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on infectious diseases.

It seems counterintuitive to see a decline in health care, a loss of health care revenue, and medical professionals losing their jobs during a global pandemic, but that does seem to be a growing concern.

The New York Post reports:

Many hospitals and health centers are getting pushed near, or over, the financial edge. At a time when we feared that hospitals would get overwhelmed by a surge of patients, they have been emptied out. At a time when we thought medical personnel would be at a premium, they are being idled all over the country.

We are experiencing an epidemic that bizarrely — and in part because of the choices of policy-makers — has created a surfeit of hospital beds and an excess of doctors and nurses.

That doesn’t hold true everywhere, of course. Hospitals in New York City and parts of New Jersey have been tested to their limits. But throughout much of the country, hospitals are drastically underutilized, both because states have banned elective procedures and because people have been afraid to show up.

One reason that we didn’t want hospitals to get overrun by COVID-19 patients is that we’d crowd out everyone else needing care. But we’ve ended up crowding out many people needing care as a deliberate choice — even where COVID-19 surges haven’t happened and probably never will.

. . . . As with the lockdowns in general, it isn’t clear how much of the reduced traffic in the hospitals has been the result of people changing their behavior on their own based on fear of the virus — and how much has been the result of state edicts. But it’s certainly true that the prohibitions on elective surgeries — more than 30 governors had issued some form of them as of late April — were too clumsy and sweeping, and not geographically selective enough.

They can’t be loosened up fast enough. In retrospect, they fail the cardinal rule of health care: First, do no harm.

The Wall Street Journal reports that some states are looking at resuming procedures, screenings, and surgeries postponed by the Wuhan coronavirus.

Hospitals, clinics and surgery centers are moving tentatively to resume surgeries and other procedures that were halted when the coronavirus pandemic reached the U.S., a shift that could help stanch the sector’s financial losses but presents new risks to infection control and public health.

Tenet Healthcare Corp. […] is preparing to restart some surgeries in Texas, said people familiar with the hospital and surgery-center company’s plans. HCA Healthcare Inc., […] a national hospital chain, said on an investor call Tuesday it expects to reopen across its 43 markets by the end of June. California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that the state is working with health-care providers to resume postponed procedures.

One independent rural Missouri hospital is already advertising for patients to return. “If you stub your toe at 3 a.m. and think you broke it, yes, come in even if it’s not life-threatening,” said Randy Tobler, chief executive of Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, Mo., who went on a local radio show to announce the news. “We’re open for business.”

Hopefully, state officials will move as quickly as possible to address this growing problem before the damage to patients, hospitals, and the healthcare industry is irreversible.


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Defy the rules, we’re talking about your life, just pay for your crap with cash, this is gross mis-management, hospitals know better than bureaucrats if they should be open or not.

    NGAREADER in reply to rdmdawg. | April 29, 2020 at 8:18 am

    Relying on “experts” when the experts don’t really understand the problem is what led to this.
    I don’t blame them for not knowing about this rapidly developing problem.
    I do blame them for not being straight and just admitting they really didn’t know so the people making major decisions would know they were walking on quicksand.
    The people that were not experts and just relied on seat of the pants were often right but ridiculed at first for not following orders.

      Barry in reply to NGAREADER. | April 29, 2020 at 8:43 am

      “The people that were not experts and just relied on seat of the pants…”

      I can’t speak for all the non experts, but many of us “non experts” are actually experts at seeing through the BS and applying history to understand reality. When you take actions never tried before to defeat an unknown, and that action includes shutting down a modern efficient economic system, it’s pretty easy to predict the “cure” is worse than the disease.

assemblerhead | April 28, 2020 at 8:16 pm

The greater the number of doctors and surgeons that become destitute, the greater the chances they will ‘let the cat out of the bag’.

The only way to keep the medical community silent about ‘bio-warfare / synthetic viruses’ is to keep the money flowing.

Look at the Universities and the CCP’s ‘Thousand Talents’ program. Follow the money. That is why they are silent.

It wasn’t just to keep hospitals free to handle coronavirus patients. It was also to keep coronavirus from spreading to people already weak from other conditions. Pandemics cause shit to happen and we should be grateful that COVID is spreading slower than expected. That’s what you call success.

    redc1c4 in reply to BillyHW. | April 28, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    no: that’s how you know they’ve been lying to us all along.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to BillyHW. | April 28, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    I have several pending, but not emergency procedures. There is no way I am going anywhere near a hospital at this time. I am pretty sure that China’s Wuhan virus will kill me, in that I have several risk factors. The longer I can delay contracting it, the better my chances of surviving. There have already been a number of improvements in handing the virus.

    I find some people’s attitude about this to be quite crass.

    One example being idiots who do not wear masks. My mask mostly protects them, their mask mostly protects others, like me. What is amazing is that many are middle aged and should know better. That is especially true for the highest risk groups who are most likely to be spreading China’s crap.

      healthguyfsu in reply to JusticeDelivered. | April 28, 2020 at 11:41 pm

      You can always keep your distance from those without a mask. Many people I encounter seem to be particularly bad at that part, too.

      I would say get it done now, while it’s not crowded. Had to have appendectomy 3 weeks ago. Practically had the hospital to myself. It’s a small regional hospital in NE Texas. They had only had a few covid cases that were either sent home or segregated from others.

      Spent 2nd nite in ICU. Average 15 patients. There were 4 including me when I was there. It was so deserted it felt a little creepy. Got a lot of attention and personalized ser vice. Never felt worried about covid-19.

      2 years ago was diagnosed with cancer, and had chemo over summer/fall. Really,really glad that didn’t happen this year. Was due for return to Houston for scan/checkup in April. It’s on hold till things settle down a bit.

        gospace in reply to BKC. | April 29, 2020 at 8:41 am

        I’m happy you showed up in time. Reports are coming out that many of the people showing up with appendicitis are showing up after their appendix has burst because they were afraid to go the ER just for some abdominal pain.

        There are a lot of secondary deaths being caused by covid fright. But- traffic accidents are way down.

      Firewatch in reply to JusticeDelivered. | April 29, 2020 at 8:35 am

      Old man in high risk group here. High risk is the most likely to die you moroon. Keep off my lawn sissy.

      My husband had surgery at the beginning of April. The hospital was deserted for the most part. More staff milling around than anyone else. The hospital was closed to visitors so I had to drop him off and leave him there. I didn’t feel leaving him was really that bad because with the small amount of patients in the hospital, he was going to get very individual attention, more so than if it was business as usual. Plus the hospital was under rigorous cleaning and sanitizing. Overall the experience was very good,and he was fortunate to be able to have his surgery when so many,including our own daughter had to have procedures cancelled.

    Close The Fed in reply to BillyHW. | April 29, 2020 at 10:05 am

    Actually, at the time, stopping dentists and elective surgeries, was to preserve PPE.

    Now we have PPE.

    Close The Fed in reply to BillyHW. | April 29, 2020 at 10:05 am

    Actually, at the time, stopping dentists and elective surgeries, was to preserve PPE.

    Now we have PPE.

My sister is a pulmonary specialist in a mid/large town in a southern state.

They dedicated one hospital to the china virus, which has never been utilized above 20%. Her hospital is dead, as are the remaining hospitals in the area.

She doesn’t have anything good to say about a medical establishment that covers this s#*t up including the cause of death…

    puhiawa in reply to Barry. | April 29, 2020 at 2:01 am

    Same here. Our hospitals are empty…and no China Virus patients. Pediatric nurses are being fired.

file this under “Dun”.

then ask yourself what motivates Faucci & Birx to stick with disproven recommendations that manifestly do nothing but destroy the nation’s economy in an election year.

and the same with Gavin Useless here in #Failifornia.

This whole ‘shutdown’ is the biggest scam since ‘barack hussein obama’, or whoever he really is.

We do not have custody of our own nation: we’re enslaved by the swamp/left/islamic axis. The election of PJDT was the first shot fired by us, and it’s been war ever since.

Don’t doubt that it’s war.

but lots of people became afraid of going to the doctor because of you know afraid of being infected in waiting rooms and so their actual business vanished,”

What a load, at least where I am. Last week I wanted somebody to look at a suspicious skin discoloration (it’s no good googling pictures—everything interesting is labeled “melanoma”). Well, my primary office was open . . . sort-of. But they’d only do some sort of Dick Tracy 2-way wrist TV examination. Great, I don’t have any of that trendy hardware. There are no teenagers in the house so I don’t have the latest gadgetry. The problem isn’t that I’m afraid to go in; if they want everybody to wear masks and gloves, fine. The problem is that they won’t do it. The office ended up directing me to a facility which is a step short of the local hospital’s emergency room, and they’re apparently a bit more courageous than the office. But not any busier; huge place, totally empty. So I saw somebody—not a full MD, but a guy who might know a non-tumor when he sees one—so no great excitement. But don’t blame the patients; we’re all ready, but there’s nowhere to go.

I visited my doctor last Friday (in LA county). I called Friday morning at 8:30 for an appointment. They said I could have 9:30, 10, or 10:30 because I said I wanted one in the morning. When I got there at 9:30 I was the only person in the waiting room and his first and only patient.

His wife, who is a pediatrician and is in the same office had had 1 patient. Fortunately, they have been in business for many years. I pity the new doctors just starting practice with heavy student loans and not much sav9ngs to keep his business afloat.

I’m noticing many more cars out as the weather improves. Hoping people start telling the fascists they won’t comply and the sheriffs and local police ignore the fines the governors think are necessary. If not, then vote down all tax money for county and local law enforcement.

    MajorWood in reply to 4fun. | April 28, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    Oregon is doing their best to ignore the Governor. In my neighborhood there is a lot of foot traffic and outside I’d say 1 in 10 are wearing masks, and that is usually couple or family units. Individuals rarely have them on. The local store for normal people has about 50% wearing masks. The other local store that is a Natures/Whole Foods clone has upped their game to mandatory masks as of today. They have been doing one-in, one-out for the last month, and they have a little future political officer out front lecturing everyone on how to shop properly. Huge orange blots on the sidealk for where to stand, and huge “educational” placards every 12 ft. They didn’t just make the kool-aid, they bought stock in the company. I suspect it is their customers who mask shame me on the sidewalk as they hurry by.

    If this thing didn’t burn out so fast, I could see us going full Weimar Germany by the end of summer, and we know how that turned out.

      Firewatch in reply to MajorWood. | April 29, 2020 at 8:46 am

      In my little part of heaven (west Texas far away from I-35), Governor Abbott better hurry with the open up or he is going to be left behind. Before the quarantine I was talking to a small business owner about what was happening up north and we decided our governor would never be that stupid, then three days later he was.

stevewhitemd | April 28, 2020 at 9:49 pm

My university hospital in Chicago is working to re-open. We’re beginning to roll out an effort to start lower-risk elective surgery and procedures, to get the oncology and cardiology clinics open, and to ramp up the chemo clinic. Next after that will be more outpatient clinics and more surgery.

Of the many issues, one was that we set aside a lot of hospital and clinic space for COVID. Now we have to re-claim that space for non-COVID patients, and it’s not as easy as it might sound.

In the meantime tele-health is getting modestly easier to do (for us docs, anyways). We’ll likely have a hybrid model of in-person and tele-health for some months to come.

It’s a lot worse than Fuzzy lets on if you are in a small city or underserved area. Doctors and nurses are in your local rural hospital thanks to staffing agencies, signing on staff for annual contracts. With no patients, the contracts were canceled and the staff (for the most part) went ‘home’ to their families. They’ll likely never return and future employees won’t soon forget how they were shafted.

It’ll be harder than ever to keep a rural hospital open, or a facility in a seasonal (snowbird or summer vacation spot) regional hospital. When we need them, they won’t be there. The result will be further population migration out of formerly viable small cities, often conservative cities, because without a hospital, well…..

If they wanted, they could turn it on a dime. If they went on as business as usual, they could have postponed what they needed to handle any surge of Wuhan. The government solved a problem that the hospitals didn’t have.

I am waiting for the Left to announce that corona is a cure for heart attacks and stroke, because in Balmer 40% fewer people sought the ER for those symptoms recently.

A month ago a local ER doc had to send staff home because there was nothing to do, and those pts who did show up arrived dead, as in they waited 6 hrs before the chest pains were bad enough to risk encountering the covid zombies in the ER (according to the media).

You have to admire the Left for their consistency. They never ever consider the unintended consequences of their actions, or maybe they do, and the response is just F it.

I did read a report somewhere recently where it was claimed that covid is associated with patients presenting with more severe neurological disorders, including more cerebral infarct zones and clotting, but part of me wonders if that is possibly explained by a delay in getting to the ER and getting anti-clot agents on board. I wonder how many working in an ER these days even remember when these agents weren’t readily available as they are now

    Ronbert in reply to MajorWood. | April 29, 2020 at 9:42 am

    A Dr in a teaching hospital in Ca. has a low mortality rate. He was responsible for 2 hospitals but has been put in charge of 20 hospitals.
    Drs from all over US are calling him to find out the reason for their success. He says the Drs are looking for a “one size fit all” cure.
    He says the virus presents in 3 ways. 1. Flu symptoms – treat as the flu. 2. The immune system overwhelms the lungs causing pneumonia.
    3. (and the most dangerous) Auto-immune disease. i.e cardiac nephropathy (sp). (A niece works in one of the hospitals).
    My niece (a NP) says the Drs are getting lazy. This Dr does blood tests looking for markers to determine cause and treatment. This is a lot of work. This is why some meds help some patients but not others.

BierceAmbrose | April 28, 2020 at 10:57 pm

Well, that worked out so well that obviously we need a way more centralized, proclamation-driven health care delivery system. They get so much right, so fast, after all.

The medical professions stood mute while their leadership and the politicians destroyed the global and US economies over the FLU. Then the medical business community shut down hospitals all across the country, for liability reasons. And now we are supposed to feel sorry for the medical profession who did not lift a hand to save our society? Give me a break. Why do you think 75 BILLION dollars in hospital aid was included in the last PPP bill? The next one will have ten times that much to bail out state and local governments. Not only did the people of this country allow themselves to be incarcerated and stripped of their livelihoods without cause, but now we have to pay for that privilege?

The medical profession could have stopped this. Common people could have stopped this. They didn’t. What will happen when they can’t buy meat? When they are waiting to be recalled to work? What do they do when they lose their medical insurance because they are out of work? What happens when the unemployment dries up along with Social Security? What happens when they are evicted, their house is foreclosed on or their car repossessed? What happens when their bank accounts are frozen for months or possibly forever? The government can not just keep printing money. Remember the Wiemar Republic and people using wheelbarrows of Deutschmarks to buy groceries?

People were stupid enough to allow this to happens. Well, I hope they are ready for the results. hey have possibly created the economic equivalent of the zombie apocalypse. There is reason why we have never shutdown the US or world economy for a virus.

    alaskabob in reply to Mac45. | April 29, 2020 at 12:08 am

    Have to challenge you Mac45 on this. Just HOW is the medical profession going to stop this? Private practices are open although some on limited days. As for procedures, some practices may have basic equipment but there is a heavy reliance on hospitals where high tech and expensive equipment is located and the docs have no control of hospitals.

    OK…. a local physician has been a skeptic and twittered and Facebook her concerns. One of her partners told her to purge her on line comments or face a complaint to the medical board demanding her licence be revoked.

    One new ominous development. Anchorage businesses are being pushed to go “cashless” accepting credit cards only. The excuse is “dirty money” but let’s get real… this is part of the move to force all to a cashless society with full monitoring of purchases and control of what one buys. The fine mayor and ilk should realize that the entire earth is covered with a thin film of bacteria (fecal et al) and viruses are everywhere. We harbor mites such as in the nasal passages. “Good” bacteria in the gut protect us from bad germs and super infections.

    The p(l)andemic is now the key to crashing the world and force it into a new mold of global governance and control. The Wuhan Flu was billed as Spanish Flu II. It’s a killer… but not so much to people but as the weapon to kill nation states. Guess which one gets to pull the strings?

      Mac45 in reply to alaskabob. | April 29, 2020 at 1:50 am

      They could have stopped it by saying something. How many doctors did we see on television telling people that this shutdown was not only ridiculous, but harmful to the people of America and the world? That’s right, almost none. They just accepted it. Some accepted it because they were pressured into it. Some accepted it because they thought that they could make money off of it. And other accepted it because they are lemmings. Now, the hospital industry wants to be made whole again. And, we, their victims, are expected to make them whole. Are we really that stupid?

      I agree that the response to the Kung Flu was to destroy the global and US economies. It was set up by the news media. Who controls the media? It was enacted by willing politicians. Who controls the politicians? What is the one group which is best able to weather a temporary shutdown of thee world economy? And, notice one thing; the US stock market. With a three months shutdown of the entire consumer economy of the world, with a global depression setting in, wouldn’t you expect the market to tank? Instead, it dropped a mere 6000 points, about 18%. Then investors bought back in boosting it by 2000 points, dropping the loss to about 12%. Who boosted the market? The unemployed or the owners of small businesses which are now closed? Who controls the stock market? And, big investors do not lose anything, because they sell when stocks begin to slip and buy back when they are at a low. They actually make money on a market drop.

      So, look around at who is making money off of this shutdown. Who is benefiting from it. It ain’t the common man. But, you know who is expected to pay for it all? Yep, the common man. On such ground is revolution built. This is likely to get ugly as things get scarce and the economy is only a shadow of its former self. Except for the government economists, who are nothing more than snake oil salesmen for the government, most economists are predicting a very long, very painful recovery and some are saying that the economy will not even resemble what was in place in January of 2020. We can hope that they are wrong. But, if we do not control our economy and society, how can we be sure of that?

        Barry in reply to Mac45. | April 29, 2020 at 8:55 am

        A lot of the medical establishment try’s to speak up. Where do they go? The media? Don’t make me laugh. Facebook, twitter? They’ll just remove you. Youtube? They’ll remove you.

        I know some that have spoken. It goes nowhere.

          Mac45 in reply to Barry. | April 29, 2020 at 1:21 pm

          How about this forum, Barry? I’m sure that doctors and other medical people could have posted to this forum at any time over the last three months and told us all just what a scam this all was. Did that happen? No. In fact, we have seen medical people come on here and support the response to COVID-19. Now that they are out of work and living off savings, suddenly they want to have their voices heard.

          Look, I’m a old retired guy and have no medical credentials to speak of and I have been stating on every public forum that I can access that this whole reaction to COVID was a political scam. I have been doing this since the lock downs started. Before that I made many public statement that COVID would turn out to have the same mortality range as seasonal flu without the vaccines and therapeutic treatments that we have for the flu and that we had never shutdown the entire global economy or that if the US for any disease. And, it appears that I am correct. You are right that nobody wanted to listen; not even on this forum. Now that it is too late to save the economy, people are lining up to say that they were against these responses all the time. It is too late to make excuses. People with medical degrees could have spoken up. Almost none of them did, except the shills for the AMA and the government.

          The hospital industry shut down and abandoned their patients, some of whom had serious medical conditions. They kicked these people to the curb and let them suffer. Now the industry wants these same people to bail them out with government largess. Gotta love the chutzpah involved there. It is at times like these when you find out whether people who provide necessary services for you really care about you or only about the money. The medical community is just as much to blame for all of this as the media, the politicians and their masters.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | April 29, 2020 at 6:13 pm

          The questions were not a criticism, just a dose of reality. There have been medical people speaking out, they get shut down, and in some cases fired for speaking up.

          As for your take on the scam, I agree 100% and I’ve said from the beginning that shutdowns were not only unnecessary, but the opposite of what we should do.

          You’ve been consistent and early and correct.

          I believe a lot of people went along with it, the shutdown, believing they were doing the right thing. I live in NC, with under 400 total deaths, population > 10 million. Just over half our deaths are congregate living facilities. People here are waking up – Gaston County today issued an open up statement defying our democrat governor. That is going to grow and include most if not all the non urban (democrat) counties I’m willing to bet.

          I believe Trump screwed this up, listening to the “experts” who clearly misled him from either incompetence, hubris, or corruption. I think the administration has done a hell of a job otherwise. I know for a fact that many of the medical people were convinced this was going to be a catastrophe. Early on, my sister (pulmonary specialty) told me she knew it was going to fizzle but those above her in the hospital administration were convinced a big wave was coming. This was an honest mistake on their part. They were sold by the same data that sold the administration, all complete BS as we now know. You, and I, and a few others knew it early.

          Back to my point. Without a media that we can rely upon to tell the truth we can’t get the truth out there. This blog isn’t big enough, not even close.

          The real need we have is an alternate media that people turn to. And I have no idea how to create it. I do think we need to start treating facebook, twitter, and you tube as democrat media arms and take away all their protections. That would be a good start.

          Mac45 in reply to Barry. | April 29, 2020 at 9:07 pm

          T%he problem is that the medical establishment was in a position to actually mitigate the COVID panic. They are recognized as experts and people would have listened to them. But, the vast majority of them either went along with the bogus medical opinions coming from the AMA, the CDC, the NIH and others or they supported them. Even today, medical “experts” going on about needing widespread testing before we can open the economy. But, they are either ignorant of the actual usefulness of testing or choose to ignore the shortcomings of testing. Where are the voiuces from the medical community about that? I know it is impossible to hear their voices over the crickets.

          It is now too late to excuse the inaction of the medical community. Their silence on this subject may be worthy of compassion. But, they can not claim that they were staunch opponents of the measures taken, in the name of fighting a flu bug, which will cause incalculable damage to the people of this country and the world. And I, for one, see no reason why they should be rewarded for not doing their jobs. They chose to accept the actions of the political class and so they must accept the result of their inaction. Ignorant lay people, including the President, can be excused for believing the ridiculous claims made by the medical establishment. But why would medical professionals, of even marginal knowledge and ability, accept these claims without question. Your sister didn’t, did she? So, how many of her patients suffered because her “superiors” went along with the bogus predictions put out by the media.

          Now, about hospital administrations. They are a business. They are terrified of litigation resulting from a claim that a patient may have contracted the virus while in the hospital. So, they barred almost everyone not suffering or thought to be suffering, from COVID-19 from treatment in the facility. Now these medical facilities want the people, whom they refused to treat, to pay for their losses through government largess. Hubris is alive and well in the world.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | April 29, 2020 at 11:15 pm

          Mac, I’m not really disagreeing with what you are saying. However, there are some mitigating factors. The American people accepted the government recommendations for a period of time because they believed the medical establishment within the government and NGO’s. Now, It’s my belief this is the same thing the doctors did. Remember, most are not infectious disease experts. They have their specialties and infectious disease is a different animal. They simply didn’t know either – but some suspected it was overkill. How many is “some”, I don’t know.

          Not every state shut the hospitals down for the china virus. In my sisters case they devoted one county hospital for the china virus. The rest of the hospitals are open for business, staffed and supplied. But very few people want to go to the hospital now because they’ve been told the virus is deadly. So that is the reason why they are at 50% capacity currently. The hospital administration took early action that did kill the business of the hospitals and they have not recovered. I don’t remember how low they got but IIRC they were at about 30% earlier this month.

          There are going to be a lot of doctors hurting after this is over. I’m also reminded that they had this foisted on them just as much as a restaurant owner did, as much as any other business had it. All doctors are not wealthy. The average is somewhere between 200 and 300K depending on what source you use. Sounds like a lot, but many of those are practicing in high cost of living areas.

          So, I differ a bit in that I don’t blame the every day doc. They knew not much more than any other educated person knew.

This has damaged rural hospitals. We have had ZERO cases of the Chinese virus in our area. Luckily hospitals in AZ are going to be allowed to restart elective surgeries so hopefully our hospital can recover. Dentist practices also need to be addressed.

There was a red flag. Anytime you have “scientists” with models of complex systems run them out of town. They are the modern equivalent of snake oil salesmen. Stay tuned for the sequel, Global Warming.

Fortunately, my doctor hasn’t been affected by any of this madness. I’m still getting “routine” appointments.

Some New England hospitals have reported lay offs in the hundreds due to cancelled test and treatments. Insane.

I wrote this rant a couple of days ago, but I’ll share it here too. I worked my ass off last night trying to save a patient that bled out from a GI bleed, she didn’t make it. Waited too long to get attention. She stayed home. Does anyone care about her? She didn’t have Covid. Does anyone care about her loved ones? No way, she didn’t have Covid. This myopic obsession with one disease is starting to sicken me. I don’t want people to die – but maybe, just maybe there is more than one way to mitigate this pandemic? A way that doesn’t endanger the rest of us and our lives and our livelihoods. I waited four months for an appointment that was the first available that I made before the shutdown. They changed it to a useless telemed visit. I was referred to a specialist, had to make an appointment for late May with the “hope” that maybe I can actually be seen in person. I was told I should get an Echo and that they would call to schedule it – I have yet to get that call. Flatten the curve they said – don’t overwhelm our hospitals. Well over and done. Our hospitals are empty and healthcare workers are being furloughed and laid off all over the country. Even in states that have less than 1000 cases and single digit deaths. Now they move the goal posts and tell us we can’t get back on our feet until we have testing. Testing, testing, testing! What are they going to tell us when we get a test? What then – why maybe we should wait until we have a vaccine. When does it all end? Who’s going to pull the trigger? We told everyone NOT to wear a mask and herded them all into crowded grocery stores in search of toilet paper and hand sanitizer and a month later we told them “how dare you go out without a mask!!!” WTF??? They are making arbitrary and totally uncalled for restrictions on all of us (can’t buy seeds, can’t go hiking, can’t take your boat out) and if we peep up and “Hey, that’s doesn’t make sense” we are told to shut up and go home or you’ll kill Grandma. Well Grandma is going to die all alone in her nursing home bed wondering why nobody loved her enough to come see her anymore because we have to save her. She may have died of a broken heart but dammit – at least she didn’t die of covid. This is madness.

I might add that yesterday an old friend from NY posted that her 99 y/o father died of covid. They haven’t been able to visit him in weeks. So not only did he die without the comforts of his loved ones, they didn’t even manage to protect him from the damned disease. They won’t let family visit, yet the workers come in and infect them as well..

I will also add that a friend of mine – a family practice doc in NH has been in agony for two weeks with biliary colic and needs her gall bladder out. Not even with her connections can she get them to remove it. Can’t do it unless she advances to more serious disease. WTF??? Less than 2 years ago every doctor I encountered with my 1 month adventure with pancreatitis told me I should not have ignored by gall bladder pain, “it would have prevented this.” Now it’s ok to wait?

    Barry in reply to labrat. | April 29, 2020 at 8:59 am

    Multiply this story times 100 thousand and you begin to get an idea of the disaster our government led response has caused.

Montana Anesthesiologist checking in with 4 days of work in the last 7 weeks. My hospital furloughed 600 workers, and the remaining have had to take pay cuts. We have had very few Covid-19 admissions.

By the second week of the shutdown, it was obvious that a regional approach was best. Many of us advocated for this, to no avail. Hospitals are now hemorrhaging cash.

Doctors have been speaking out, but our tech overloards have seen to it that any dissenting voices are silenced.

I’m a conservative saver. I’m not a prepper now, but I previously lived off-the-grid for enough years to know how. I’m set for up to a year of no work, but most of my colleagues aren’t.

Now, we have the talisman of the mask. Don’t buy the, made for Facebook, BS about transmission rates with/ without the mask. We can’t definitively say whether it does or does not confer any level of protection, despite multiple studies. That would suggest a minimal protective effect at best, certainly not the 90% plus effect I’ve seen some people quoting on FB.

this was a gamble by hospitals that they could make more money off covid patients than run of the mill ho-hum stuff. they gambled, lost, and will now want us to bail them out. nope, don’t do it.

Close The Fed | April 29, 2020 at 10:23 am

People on fixed incomes are going to suffer. The bailouts will cause inflation, because the money will be spent. The cash will have high velocity.

In Colorado government offices were deemed ‘essential’ as were lawyers. That was BS right out of the gate.

If they ever start making noises about another societal lock-down, we need to have a list of non-essential government offices included in it. All elective positions and their staffs would be a good start. I’m sure we could come up with a long list.

Let’s find out / figure out how much government we can actually do without.

I would not worry about doctors and hospitals losing money–they may not be providing needed services to patients, but they they will continue to rob them. Let me note the behavior of one–Indiana University Health, the profit making arm of the medical school. It has adopted policy of only virtual visits. When asked how much they would be ripping off for that, I received no answer

AF_Chief_Master_Sgt | April 29, 2020 at 10:57 am

I see lots of whining from people who are incensed because others aren’t wearing masks. Stop your complaining. Hide in your homes in fear of a boogeyman.

I have a medical condition that prevents me from wearing a mask. I can’t breathe C02 that is captured within a mask, so I am exempt from wearing one.

I am sick and tired of the same nasty people who bitch about whether someone should park in a handicapped spot whining about me not wearing a mask. I don’t need to park in a handicapped spot, but I damn sure have no intention of causing myself harm because not wearing a mask makes some of you uncomfortable.

Get over yourself. Stay inside, hide. Cower in fear. Me, I am living my life and worrying about me. Worry about you.

Am I the only one who thinks this is all part of a plan to bankrupt what’s left of the private health care system so the government can take it over and give us their long-desired “one payer plan” which will be an unmitigated disaster for the American people?

What will be noticed is the total number of deaths vs excess deaths on a 2019 v 2020 basis. Some of the data on a weekly basis is out there and the interesting thing is that the excess deaths are far below the reported covid deaths.

It will take some time to slice and dice these numbers but obviously traffic fatalities would be expected to fall while suicide might be expected to increase during our stay at home order period.

Going to be harder to tease out preventable deaths due to delayed/ deferred treatment. Not just surgical procedures. How many folks didn’t get a ‘stress test’ and will be undiagnosed for a heart condition?

Carry that throughout the nation and we can say with confidence that many deaths will be attributed to the second order effect of closing down the nation. It will take time to accurately measure the total but it is possible that the rate of death attributed to shutting down will equal or exceed the direct covid death toll. Certainly it will be a much larger number that the general population realizes.

It’s not just “medical tests critical for detecting and monitoring cancer” that have been cancelled but also procedures to remove tumors for newly diagnosed cancer patients.

“TURBT” in the link below means “trans urethral resection for bladder tumor”: it’s a procedure used to remove early-stage cancerous tumors from the bladder.

Patients who have been diagnosed with early-stage bladder cancers and who were scheduled for this (almost always outpatient, ambulatory) surgery got cancelled indefinitely. Apparently because hospital operating rooms have been re-purposed as ICU treatment rooms, just in case these may be needed to treat the COVID-19 patients who have yet to present in sufficient numbers to require use of this resource.

Perhaps there’s a nicer way to put this, but it appears that known, intentional harms are being inflicted to obtain a resource which may never actually be needed.

Have our “medical ethicist” geniuses been at work again?

    Barry in reply to Albigensian. | April 29, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    “Have our “medical ethicist” geniuses been at work again?”

    The other, more common name, for “medical ethicist” is communist.

    Once you understand that, everything else falls into place.