By Kevin Roche
Going randomly here to pick up on a few pieces of new research. Let’s start out with the often ignored by the media mountain of evidence accumulating about the lockdown response to the coronavirus causing more health harms than the virus itself. In this article, the researchers note that the widespread fear promoted by the media and politicians is causing people to not get needed care for heart disease. (JAMA Article) The researchers note that these fears are not realistic given the actual risk to most people. They note that certain heart procedures are down over 40% and that cardiologists are expressing concern about the number of patients who are afraid to have a visit. At the same emergency room visits for cardiac arrest are increasing. As the authors note, there have inevitably been many unnecessary deaths due to the delay in care. They believe we will see an additional 1 to 2 million adverse cardiac events (heart attack, stroke), a rate 2 to 3 times greater than before.
And while we are on the topic of cardiovascular disease, another consequence of the fear-mongering and shutdowns was a drop in heart transplants. (JAMA Article) Donor hearts decreased and people had to be taken off waiting lists. If you are sick enough to need a heart transplant you aren’t going to live long without one. Another set of deaths that that lockdown proponents can take credit for.
And finally in the good news from lockdowns department, as anyone could have predicted (except our clueless political leaders and our expert epidemiologists) the incidence of sexual assault increased during the lockdown periods. (SA Article) The nation’s largest sexual assault prevention organization reported a dramatic rise in sexual assault calls over the last few months. Many of these are occurring in the home and a large number are occurring to minors.
The plain fact is that our politicians and supposed health experts have completely failed to take the damage they are doing to millions of people’s health and well-being into account in constructing their coronavirus response.
As I have suspected, advance directives are playing a role in the number of coronavirus deaths. (JAMA Article) The authors examined use of an online tool that helps with preparation of advance directives and found that there was a 500% increase in use. People are clearly concerned about ending up in a hospital on a ventilator. But obeying advance directive guidelines likely means that a number of people are ending up dying of coronavirus who might not have, at least in the near future, if there had been more intensive interventions. It would be worth understanding how many deaths of coronavirus were to people who had an advance directive.
We have seen many deaths among nursing home residents, here and around the world. This study from Canada looked at the experience of nursing home residents in Canada. (JAMA Article) Out of 627 nursing homes in Ontario province, 272 had a coronavirus case. For residents living in a long-term care facility, the risk of dying was 13 times greater than for a similar-aged person living in the community. Infections among staff were strongly linked to nursing home deaths, more strongly than an infection in a resident.