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The Jarring Virus

We all know that the COVID-19 has had a detrimental effect on our society and health. Citizens of the world are quarantined and have not been able to spend time with their family or friends, giving rise to mental health issues amonst people of all ages, sex, race an religion. However, the healers of this pandemic, healthcare workers, are also suffering. Not only are they sacrificing their lives to help us, but they have also had a difficult time in diagnosing conditions that aren't Covid. The diagnosis of conditions has been altered due

to Covid which leaves healthcare workers to have to use other diagnostic measures which

impacts patients (for example ones with NCD or Cancer), and their financial situation.

Lancet Public Health states,“Between March 1 and May 31, 2020, 1073 first diagnoses

of common mental health problems were reported compared to 2147 expected cases (95% CI 1821 to 2489) based on preceding years, representing a 50·0% reduction (95% CI 41·1 to 56·9). Compared with expected numbers, 456 fewer diagnoses of circulatory system diseases (43·3% reduction, 95% CI 29·6 to 53·5), and 135 fewer type 2 diabetes diagnoses (49·0% reduction, 23·8 to 63·1) were observed.

The number of first prescriptions of associated medications was also lower than expected for the same time period”. The identification of such conditions is tremendously harder, especially at the beginning of the pandemic. Doctors couldn’t differentiate between a case of Covid or something more serious without grasping a better sense of the patient which requires extensive tests like the CT scan for example. A CT scan costs roughly between $900- $8,000 USD, which leaves many patients either in debt or unable to obtain the treatment they require.

Dr. Omar Alazzawi explains how at the beginning of the pandemic, rapid tests weren't

available, so it was immensely strenuous to aid a patient since they didn’t know what they were dealing with.

Lancet Oncology also states, “Screening, case identification, and referral in symptomatic

cancer diagnosis have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. UK national cancer

screening programmed—accounting for approximately 5% of all cancer diagnoses each

year—have been suspended. Consequently, early diagnoses from screening will be delayed and symptom-based diagnosis of cancer will become more important. Unfortunately, postponing screening sends a message to the public and primary care that cancer can wait."

Both Covid and Cancer are life-threatening conditions but since this pandemic hasn’t been handled in the best manner, it leaves doctors in a dreadful situation. Not only Cancer patients, but patients with cardiovascular disease and diabetes have not been receiving the health services they need and deserve since the Covid-19 pandemic began. “The main finding is that health services have been partially or completely disrupted in many countries. More than half (53%) of the countries (155) surveyed have partially or completely disrupted services for hypertension treatment; 49% for treatment for diabetes and diabetes-related complications; 42% for cancer treatment, and 31% for cardiovascular emergencies. Rehabilitation services have been disrupted in almost two-thirds (63%) of countries, even though rehabilitation is key to a healthy recovery following severe illness from COVID-19; (World Health Organization).

The numbers are disturbing, think about it, not only are Covid patients affected by the coronavirus...but other patients too. Hearing that leaves readers in a sense of awe, even though the effect isn't direct, it is destructive.

Written by Rand Mudafr

Designs by Jeia So

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