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COVID-19 has killed in so many ways

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started a little over a year ago, many people have lost their lives.

COVID-19 has been a cause, but not the only cause.

For millions of Americans, their mental and physical health has not been adequately addressed, with health care instead opting for telemedicine.

This is a forum where you can neither touch or examine the patient. Visibility is limited and things go overlooked.

I have refused to pay for someone to sit behind a computer screen or phone to do exactly what I can do at home as a nurse.

We have elderly people who, out of fear of contracting the virus, have ignored health concerns or refused treatment and sadly lost their lives to chronic, unmanaged health conditions or to an acute situation like cardiac arrest. Those in nursing homes were isolated from loved ones, just as society was encouraged to socially distance and avoid others.

Instructed not to touch or hug, hide behind a mask and spend the year in solitude while continuing to work and deal with everyday stressors only made worse by the pandemic.

Funerals were impacted as families no longer were allowed proper goodbyes because of social restrictions, leaving an emptiness and incomplete closure to something that mattered dearly.

Suicide rates and drug addiction/overdose deaths have also risen as people struggle to calm anxieties, escape depression, and leave a world that seems to be inescapably worse with each passing day.

One study showed an alarming percentage of ICU nurses either considered suicide or turned to alcohol during the pandemic — and that’s only in one area of nursing.

Psychiatry, emergency room, operating room, medical surgery and long-term care are among other high stress nursing specialties that have seen a decline in performance, a breakdown in functioning, and a desire to leave the field.

As a society, we are in trouble.

Losing our front line with so many people marching out of health care, an option I’ve frequently dreamed of myself, will only worsen matters.

In short, everyone was failed during this time.

Chrissy Friday

Tyrone

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