Cancer Patients Fall in the Cracks

Doctors are getting fired, and patients aren’t getting treated or diagnosed:

In a usual April, we would normally see around 30,000 people diagnosed with cancer. I would be surprised if that number reaches 5,000 this month.

Coronavirus will steal the headlines, but cancer kills 450 people a day in the UK – there is no peak and the numbers aren’t coming down. Unless we act urgently, that number will rise. A group of oncologists, including myself, estimate that 60,000 cancer patients could die because of a lack of treatment or diagnosis.

People with other illnesses are in the same situation. I know somebody who is a physical therapist who got fired last week because there are no patients. People are afraid to go to the hospital to get physical therapy because they were led to believe that hospitals are filled with coronavirus patients. That’s not true but everybody believes the fantasy scenarios from early March and all these lies about people buried in mass graves in New York.

Of course, physical therapy is not the same as cancer but if you need it and don’t get it, your quality of life is down the drain.

2 thoughts on “Cancer Patients Fall in the Cracks”

  1. For the past several weeks I have been sharing articles like this, trying to shine a light on the problem of the looming massive health crisis being caused by the lockdowns. Without fail, the replies will always be the same handful of local nurses, all of whom are working in the few local hospital systems that have not yet furloughed them. These systems did cancel the vast majority of “elective” care back in early March [including surgeries, physical therapy, and most follow-up visits (and a significant portion of the uncanceled follow-up appointments were done via the Internet rather than in person)], and all the messaging from these hospital systems “strongly encouraged” people to stay home unless they were suffering from life-threatening COVID-19 symptoms. Note, the message was not “please try not to come in unless you are experiencing some kind of life-threatening symptoms”. It was “please do not come in unless you are experiencing life-threatening COVID-19 symptoms”

    The conclusion these nurses have all come to is that if it isn’t something that they know about and/or have personally experienced happening right where they work, then it must not be a thing. What’s the nice way to say “your personal experience does not equal the country-wide reality, moron?”

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  2. The hospitals here in Southern Ontario (outside of Toronto, that is, where the situation is a little worse) are literally empty–tens of thousands of empty hospital beds because all elective surgeries have been cancelled by government order. Here in Hamilton, a region with 700,000 people, we have not had a single death from Covid of a person under the age of 60 (the youngest was 63). NOT ONE. The deaths are largely confined to a few poorly run seniors homes. We have a friend who had a masectomy cancelled, because, although she is in her thirties with two young children, her life is less important than saving a few more decrepit Baby Boomers. Businesses are going under and the much-hyped money doled out by our Human TED Talk prime minister is not reaching the people who need it most: contract workers, small-business owners with no employees, etc. Meanwhile, our (conservative) Premier just warned us to expect aspects of the lockdown to continue into the summer.

    The consensus amongst the educated on this state of affairs is unanimous approval. The more degrees, the higher the approval rating. And as I’ve found out the hard way, you cannot argue with these people. They are right and if you don’t agree with them they practically accuse you of wanting to smother their elderly parents with a pillow. I feel like I’m living in some bizarre alternative universe.

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