The way to defeat a highly infectious disease like COVID-19 is by instituting policies to prevent it from spreading.
Social distancing, sheltering in place, and lockdowns are emotionally draining and anxiety provoking.
According to psychologist Shauna Springer,
“we’re missing the bigger picture of how traumatic recent events are for many people across America,” notably:
People are mostly concerned about survival and having enough income for essentials so they’re greatly stressed.
Priorities “are in flux or…in direct conflict.” Unemployment is hard to bear. So is working in an environment like a hospital that’s high-risk today.
“Doing nothing is harder for many of us than doing something really hard.”
Hoarding supplies is unsustainable. It’s contrary to normal behavior and creates fear of running out of what’s needed that’s always available in normal times.
Instead of interfacing and connecting with others, we’re self-isolated, an emotionally unsettling status that can take a physical toll.
Psychologist Jason Whiting explained that unemployment and hunkering down at home foster domestic violence, even self-harm.
Current conditions are “straining families and relationships,” he stressed, women mostly affected.
Psychologists Tara Thiagarajan and Jennifer J. Newson addressed the tradeoff between risk of COVID-19 infection and stress of unemployment.
Millions of people in the US and worldwide live from paycheck to paycheck.
Only about half of US households have enough financial resources “to cover three months of expenses if laid off,” they said.
“(W)hat level of prolonged unemployment are we willing to trade-off to mitigate risk to life,” they asked?
Based on their research, they “found that the average mental well-being score of those who are unemployed is 35 percent lower than that of those who are employed, and the fraction of unemployed who are at risk of or facing clinical mental health disorders is twice that of those who are employed.”
“More significantly, the mental well-being cost of economic trauma, in terms of the proportion of people at risk of a clinical mental health disorder, was far greater than the mental well-being cost of the death of a close family member or that of a life-threatening or serious health issue.”
It their findings apply to Americans nationwide, emotional well-being depends on “economic success” that includes employment for income even when entailing a health risk like now.
At the same time, illness more serious than a common cold or sniffles risks more serious health issues than hunkering down and following doctor’s orders to get well before resuming normal activities.
At a time when the US has about 30% of COVID-19 [estimated] cases and around 18% of global deaths, at least 2,000 on Friday, Trump wants the economy reopened by May 1.
Publicly he declined to give a specific date this week. Privately he aims to “resum(e) business activity by May 1,” according to the Washington Post, citing unnamed Trump regime officials “familiar with discussions.”
He’s focused solely on getting reelected and serving privileged interests, along with stock market performance, human health and welfare off his radar, never on it throughout his tenure or in private life.
He called for using the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients, its efficacy unproved.
According to independent Thailand Medical News (TMN), hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin “have no effect on COVID-19 patients.”
They’re “no better than a dangerous placebo,” citing a French medical journal study.
Studies claiming otherwise were not peer-reviewed. Earlier studies had many discrepancies.
“Many researchers…warn(ed) that COVID-19 patients taking these drugs have a higher risk of heart failure,” said TMN.
Yet on March 4, the Big Pharma controlled FDA approved these drugs for use in treating COVID-19 patients, as well as chloroquine.
No evidence proves that they are a “game changer” as Trump falsely claimed.
These drugs have potentially serious side effects. A study on use of hydroxychloroquine combined with azithromycin on 80 patients showed encouraging results.
According to TMN, most patients given these drugs had mild symptoms, “85%” having no fever, suggesting that “these patients likely would have naturally cleared the virus without any intervention.”
A Chinese study also showed positive results for 31 patients whose symptoms were milder 24 hours after receiving treatment.
According to TMN, the study focused more on pneumonia than COVID-19.
Results of another French study involving 11 patients given hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin were dismal.
TMN explained that “eight of the 10 patients still tested positive for COVID-19. Of these 10 patients, one patient died, two were transferred to the ICU, and another had to be removed from the treatment due to serious complications.”
Another Chinese study “showed no difference in viral clearance after seven days either with or without the hydroxychloroquine with the patients in the trial.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, side effects of hydroxychloroquine include blistering, peeling, loosening of the skin, blurred vision or other vision changes, chest discomfort, pain or tightness, decreased urination, defective color vision, difficulty breathing, difficulty seeing at night, dizziness or fainting, and age-related harm to the kidneys.
The Mayo Clinic warned that “the risks of taking the (drug) must be weighed against the good it” may do.
It also warned against possible harm from the drug for patients on one or more others on a lengthy laundry list of medications.
TMN warned about volumes of “fake news and misinformation being released by government agencies and health authorities and even so called pharma and drug companies merely for reasons to pacify the public, for political and security reasons and also for reasons of greed and money,” adding:
“To date there are no found drugs or pharmaceuticals that can truly cure or treat Covid-19 effectively. Most of these experimental drugs especially the antivirals are actually toxic and have been known to have caused deaths in Covid-19 patients.”
“There are a number of safer drugs and herbs and TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) preparations being researched and undergoing clinical trials, and we will be covering on these shortly.”
Clearly, unemployed workers need jobs for income to support themselves and family members.
Companies need workers to produce goods and services. They need to be well to perform their duties.
Reopening the economy prematurely, at the expense of protective social distancing, sheltering in place, and lockdowns risks escalation of COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths — forcing a second lockdown.
Inadequate US testing is being done so there’s no accurate number of sick Americans with the virus.
Infections take two to 14, possibly 21, even 24, days for symptoms to appear.
Untested asymptomatic people can unwittingly transmit the virus to others.
Medical experts stress that quarantine management is essential.
Much remains unknown about COVID-19’s transmission and dynamics.
Jump-starting the economy too soon could prove disastrous.
Trump’s indifference toward human health and welfare is why he and regime officials should never be trusted — nor most congressional members from both wings of the one-party state.
America’s ruling class cares only about privileged interests, the toll on human health and well-being considered a small price to pay.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.