At first, coronavirus was sold as a very dangerous disease for everyone. Some people still believe that line, but the facts were clear months ago that for healthy, younger individuals the risk of severe illness or death from coronavirus is very low. And the risk diminishes the younger one is, with children being at nearly zero risk of death and tending to have no to minor symptoms if infected.
As these facts have become more generally known, politicians and media have shifted the emphasis in their promotion of fear and the continuation of coronavirus crackdowns. They have talked more about the need to protect older and less healthy individuals from coronavirus. Yet, overall, it seems like the fearmongering and governments’ coronavirus policies have brought more harm than help to these higher-risk individuals.
Especially early on some hospitals seemed to put coronavirus patients — often elderly individuals who already had major health problems — on care protocols that amounted to conveyer belts to death. These protocols were encouraged by policies including extra government payments that kicked in as patients moved to more intensive care in hospitals and were connected to ventilators. There was no similar government encouragement for pursuing less extreme and often more successful treatment options.
While in hospitals, many of these coronavirus patients were also prohibited from being visited by friends and family. Such visits can improve health by bringing joy and comfort during a stressful situation. Also, friends and family, even if they have little medical knowledge, can apply common sense to act as effective advocates for the improved treatment of patients.
Even visitors bringing a patient a tasty, nutritious meal can do wonders. It is amazing how terrible the food can be at expensive hospitals that are supposedly centered on bringing people to better health. Hospitals can also just ignore patients’ food requests such as by repeatedly giving nonvegetarian food to a vegetarian.
Over at nursing homes, residents have similarly been deprived of visits from friends and family as part of protocols supposedly instituted because of coronavirus. These missed visits could have lifted the residents’ spirits while allowing outsiders to judge if living conditions are satisfactory. While visitors were prohibited to supposedly protect against coronavirus infection, some governments required the transfer of coronavirus patients from hospitals to nursing homes.
A big disservice to older and less healthy individuals has been the effort to “flatten the curve” for coronavirus through actions including mandating “social distancing,” restricting travel, and closing down businesses, religious gatherings, and schools. Slowing the spread of the virus, to the extent it is successful, extends the time for which people who are more threatened by coronavirus are at higher risk from infection. It does so by delaying herd immunity.