I do like Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, and liked to join in with some quirky stories from my own newsfeeds. I pulled the last couple of posts because Corona tended to dominate the news, but I have still found a few interesting stories, with the Corona backdrop.
I wasn’t going to post again today, after my last post (Fed Up). But this story has been airing repeatedly through the day, and rather than just making me fed up, this one thoroughly pisses me off. Maybe it is just a story that my ears are tuning in to. So this is a Who Won the Week and a Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday Peeve post, all thrown into one!
So, my winner this week is universal healthcare.
Let me explain. One of the sub-stories to have come out of this crisis is that many fewer heart attacks or strokes are turning up at the Emergency Room. You can read the core of the story here (the Guardian is a reputable British newspaper, this article, though, is a week old), although the story has been picked up by many media outlets since and was broadcasting today.
The BHF – British Heart Foundation -is a UK charity, again very well-respected, is reporting a 50% drop in people seeking treatment for heart attacks and strokes. I’m making sure that I am putting all these references in, so you can go look them up if you don’t believe me.
So, what is happening? Well, fewer people are presenting, because they must figure that their chances are better if they go nowhere near a hospital. This might be because they know that hospitals are where the virus lives, and they don’t trust hospitals’ abilities to keep them out of its way (despite being gravely ill) or it might be because they just think they will not get proper treatment at the moment.
This second case, I have some personal experience. Just before the start of this crisis, my auntie was in hospital. You might remember that I mentioned it at the time. They sent her home, so they could make room for COVID patients. They could not have thought that she was cured, because they gave her some pills as they kicked her out, pills that she had never even taken before. So, they didn’t even wait to see the effect, to see whether the dose was correct.
And, as part of this whole experience, the talk with a paramedic (yes, she was serious enough to call 999) revealed that they had been instructed that any care home residents over the age of 75 would not be admitted to hospital, whatever the reason. This worried my aunt greatly because while she resides in her own home, she is 79.
I’m not sure how much weight I would attach to this hearsay, if it were not for the fact that this “policy” has also been reported in the media. When you start to hear the same thing through several channels, it makes you wonder. And the media is also starting to uncover many, many deaths at care homes, deaths which have not been attributed to the virus.
There are big question marks at the moment about what our world will look like after this virus. Here is one possible change:
In the UK, we pay for our health service through our income tax. The tax is called National Insurance. So, if I am 20, with a lifetime of NI payments ahead of me, I’m looking at this tax, and thinking if, when I need it, this system is going to decide not to treat me, then why the fuck should I pay for it?
So, hurrah for universal healthcare, and… wouldn’t it be a good idea? I say, let’s have some of that!
Do tell me, please, if your country has seen similar drops in the reporting of life-threatening illnesses.