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Comments of the Day: long COVID and the US Health Care System

2020-12-30

Hey Now

This is what’s so horrifying: there’s still so much we do not understand about this virus. Even with a successful vaccine, so many people have been infected already and we just cannot say for sure what the long-term impact might be.

I had covid eight months ago; no lung issues, but many other nasty symptoms such as awful nausea, loss of smell, and severe anxiety. My stomach has been off for the last couple of months; is this related to covid? Last month I felt anxiety on a very high level not experienced since eight months ago.

Covid related? How would we even know? And I’m even more worried for my young child who tested positive for antibodies. He’s complained of stomach pains for quite some time now, but no obvious explanations. It’s hard to stay positive when there are so many unknowns. And that’s coming from someone who has not experienced the worst that covid has to offer.

Miriam S. (in response to Hey Now)

@Hey Now Why is it that we spend more per person on health care in the US but rank around 25 in the world for health outcomes? Would any reasonable person spend more to get less? How does that make any sense? In our US healthcare system, doctors are often forced to make decisions not in the best interest of the patient because healthcare insurance calls the shots.

I went through this personally. My doctor wanted me in the hospital, the insurance carrier did not. And let’s be realistic, doctors, nurses and hospitals all need to get paid. I would wager most of us wouldn’t work for free.

Regarding personal freedoms during this pandemic, if someone chooses to not wear a mask right now and/or go to a big indoor gathering and gets sick, do they have the right to now risk our front line heroes working tirelessly in every community and in our hospitals? Does their right to “freedom” give them the right to risk other people’s health that do follow the guidelines about distancing and wearing a face mask?

I doubt any of the people who wrote the constitution would agree that was the intent. If we all follow the rules, fewer people will get sick. Fewer people will have these devastating long-term complications. We can keep our hospitals from having to turn people away.

We can get through this pandemic as Americans. But if we continue to politicize our health and healthcare in the US, we all are losers. We can and must do better. We owe it to the next generation.

Ed (in response to Miriam S.)

@Miriam S. Your comment is right on in tone and conclusions, but too flattering to the US on data: “around 25th” on health outcomes obscures reality. Life expectancy is the metric that can’t be gamed or manipulated to falsely flatter results.

Developed countries, with a combined population over 700 million, all have a life expectancy of over 80. The US life expectancy is 78 — peer with Cuba, Panama and Poland. The poor die earlier in the US. Health care access is an issue.

US life expectancy will never catch up to developed countries while the US health insurance system leaves a third of the population uninsured or under insured. Does the US want to join the civilized world?

(comments are from a New York Times article on people repeatedly hospitalized with long COVID)

(photo by Sathish Kumar Periyasamy via pixabay.com)

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