As we all continue to distance ourselves from other people and sanitize everything we touch or that comes into our houses, I can't help but worry about all the older and chronically ill people who have been exposed to the COVID-19, and the families of those who have died.
I can't help but wonder how many would have been saved had we begun fighting this months ago. I can't help but think that what I've said for many years, we have a broken health care system, has proven to be so true, and now we hear that from many people who didn't make much noise in the past.
I knew our health care system was not the best in the world when my family members (four or more) died from medical mistakes. It became horribly evident to me when the best health care system failed my husband.
His care was a grotesque medley of mistakes from the wrong diagnosis in the beginning to the end of his life after a team of doctors in Emory Hospital incorrectly diagnosed him with an infectious disease. They filled him with antibiotics, even after they were told he was fighting cancer. I knew the cancer had come roaring back, but those smart physicians refused to contact his cancer doctor in Blairsville. Hospitals and physician practices are in competition. I didn’t know that, but learned the hard way.
I wish it had not taken a pandemic to prove my words. Our hospitals, poorly prepared, with insufficient supplies and far too few nurses, evidently had made no preparation for the day when a health crisis would explode this country. From what I have read and heard these past weeks, scientists and smart medical people who tried to warn us were ignored. In 2015, Bill Gates said we were not prepared for a deadly virus that would be coming.
Our pompous leaders fell way behind on preparing us, and we the people buried our heads in the sand, not wanting to believe we were not the best. We have heard and preached to ourselves that we are the best until we believed it. Or, we did believe it until a few weeks ago.
I am sympathetic to Senator Sanders who has proclaimed for years that we need a new method of health care. We need a central system where all people can be fairly treated. But that is not the basics of this problem to me.
My husband and I had insurance and could see doctors, but the administrators are more dollar-minded than healing-minded. Even now hospitals have been fighting over who will get the supplies needed in this crisis. With no federal oversight, it has come down to governors trying to purchase the needed supplies. Hospitals in NYC are overrun with sick people while some hospitals, where there are fewer patients, still have masks and gowns. The governors in those states hold on to them because they fear what will be coming. It makes for states competing with each other and our citizens paying the price.
I imagine some hospitals hoarded their ventilators because of what they expect will happen in their area soon. Small hospitals like Phoebe Putney in Albany, Georgia, were swamped with coronavirus patients and were not prepared at all. Not enough nursing help, not nearly enough ventilators, and not enough protection for the medical staff. Where could they go for help? We had no plan in place for such a disaster.
This deadly virus will kill thousands of people and I think many could be saved if only we had proactive people in leadership. But, I was told by a city government employee, government is always reactive. That is why two or three people have to die at an intersection before a stop light is installed or any effort is made to prevent what might happen next.
I have been accused of over-reacting, but I would rather over-react by taking precautions than wait and and see. By then it is often too late.
We need more people in leadership who look for approaching problems and prepare for them, not wait until they have to react, as we are doing now.
What do you think? Are you one to act on your concerns before they become major? Do you think our leaders in this pandemic acted soon enough?