The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has given birth to an unprecedented healthcare crisis that has overwhelmed not only the healthcare sector across the world. But more alarmingly, it has overwhelmed the human race. As we all struggle to go through our everyday routines in an isolated and alienated lifestyle, many of our minor and major challenges have aggrandized into more significant issues.
The COVID-19 crisis has overwhelmed our healthcare system, and every hospital, clinic, and facility are plowing all its resources towards fighting the pandemic. In such a situation, patients struggling with chronic ailments, injuries, and mental health challenges are being ignored. The elderly and seniors are not getting enough care as their family members, and loved ones cannot see them as regularly as they did before.
Countries across the world are reporting alarming increases in deaths, suicides, and psychological trauma stemming from isolation, fear, and depression. We need to realize the health concerns that are being triggered and aggravated by the ongoing pandemic and how we can address these concerns.
In this article, we will discuss the significant healthcare concerns that are being aggravated by the ongoing pandemic.
Mental Health Challenges
We all agree that these last three months under lockdown have been the longest three months of our lives. Millions of families and people across the globe have suffered mental health challenges and psychological trauma. In the US, the mental health infrastructure is profoundly challenged with increased cases of trauma, isolation-induced depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicide.
Reports reveal that experts are expecting a massive wave of mental health challenges, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and heightened suicide rates. Substance use and drug addictions have also increased as patients are unable to access the help they relied on. Mental health infrastructure does not enjoy the same amount of funding and attention as the healthcare facilities and hospitals that treat physical conditions.
Millions across the US and elsewhere in the world believe that the ongoing pandemic is harming their mental wellbeing. Millions are suffering from emotional distress, domestic violence, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In such circumstances, they are relying on online therapy sessions, emergency hotlines, and safe spaces on social media.
Chronic Conditions being Ignored
As the healthcare infrastructure is entirely devoted to fighting against the pandemic, patients suffering from chronic ailments, such as cancer, diabetes, and others, are being neglected. It appears that everything has hit pause as the healthcare system tackles the COVID-19 crisis, and the economy is shut down to avoid its spread. Doctors and clinics are no longer taking appointments, and patients who require medicines and supplies are fearful of visiting their local pharmacies and supermarkets. In fact, in many areas, even emergency rooms have been closed off to patients who are not suffering from COVID-19 symptoms.
In such a situation, chronic health conditions are being overlooked, and this can give birth to another massive healthcare crisis. You see, patients suffering from diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases require constant attention and monitoring. Many chronic patients need to undergo regular procedures that can only be conducted in a hospital setting and facility.
Diabetic patients need to regularly monitor their blood sugar levels, while patients suffering from congestive heart failure require regular weight checks. A specialist conducts these checks and monitoring, and this crucial care is now unavailable for patients suffering from life-threatening ailments.
Given the coronavirus shutdown and resulting restrictions, patients suffering from chest pains and chronic pain can no longer visit their specialist or take a trip to the emergency for immediate relief. What is more alarming is that patients suffering from diabetes or heart disease have a greater risk of suffering from COVID-19. As important it is for all of us to stay indoors and practice social distancing, it is more important to take care of chronic conditions, particularly for geriatric patients.
Chronic conditions still deserve our attention, and we must ensure that all patients in our family and friends are getting the help they need.
Seniors & Elderly Overlooked
The greatest cost that we all have to bear is being away from our loved ones, our parents, grandparents, and seniors who direly need our love and care. In the ongoing crisis, seniors and elderly citizens are being overlooked and ignored. We have no choice but to keep our distance from our parents and grandparents and drop off their groceries and essentials from a safer distance.
Seniors and elderly patients suffering from heart diseases, diabetes, lungs, or even kidney illnesses have a much higher risk of being infected by COVID-19. Seniors tend to have multiple chronic medical conditions, which makes them more vulnerable to the virus and severe symptoms. Reports reveal that older patients, above the age of 65, form a majority of the patients hospitalized with COVID-19 across the US.
Aside from the heightened risk for COVID-19, the elderly, and seniors who are vigilant about taking precautions against the virus are overwhelmed with their existing conditions. Those who are suffering from arthritis or mild dementia can no longer rely on homecare nurses or staff to help them out with medications and symptoms.
It is essential to understand that the coronavirus pandemic is not the only crisis that deserves our attention. This global pandemic has given birth to a wide array of challenges and aggravated our existing health conditions alongside making us vulnerable to mental health issues.
If you feel the symptoms of depression or stress bringing you down, or a chronic ailment overwhelming your physical capabilities, it is crucial to get the help you need to feel physically and mentally healthy.