By Kevin Roche
The tide is turning in reporting, as people suddenly notice that losing a job isn’t so good for health either, or for health care workers. This article summarizes the evidence about the damage recessions and job loss do in terms of suicides, drug abuse, alcoholism, and early deaths. (Lockdown Harms)
And here is a survey from the Medical Group Management Association, showing that medical practices are being hit by the extreme shutdown too. (MGMA Survey) 97% of practices have endured a lowering of revenue due to the shutdowns. Revenue is down an average of 55% at the responding medical groups, and patient volume is down 60%. By May 8, if the shutdown continues, 60% say they will have to furlough staff and 36% will do layoffs. These are the health care workers we need to take care of medical treatment for matters other than coronavirus, and to be backup for helping with coronavirus disease.
The Mayo Clinic, one of our pre-eminent health care institutions, has suffered a loss of $3 billion in revenue due to Governor Walz shutdown order. That has resulted in pay cuts of $1.4 billion to staff. (Mayo Story)
And the shutdown is particularly hard on small-town America, where many businesses will be gone for good. (NYT Story)
And on and on, as the layoffs and job losses continue, while more moderate mitigation of spread measures would achieve the same impact on coronavirus disease and deaths, while doing far less damage to the economy. Don’t let any one tell you we aren’t paying a horrendous price for these lockdowns.