If ever there has been a challenge in the medical community, 2020 has been the peak of frustration and change for many physicians across the nation. They have had to alter the way they operate their businesses, modify hours of operation, and follow strict guidelines for safety to protect patients from viral exposure. For their patients, there were some inconveniences, such as fewer available appointment slots, waiting in the car until summoned by the front desk, and, of course, wearing a mask, social distancing, and complying with temperature checks.
Physicians, on the other hand, face pressure from the medical community plus state and local regulations. Many patients who would normally come for checkups remained at home, paralyzed by fear, endangering their own health, and, consequently, impacting the physician’s business.
For those physicians that bucked the trend and spoke out about alternative treatments to the virus, public opinion has been harsh and repercussions swift, some finding themselves without a job or excoriated by the media.
- For those physicians nearing retirement age, Covid-19 was the push they needed to make the move. Aside from endangering their own lives and the lives of their staff from exposure, the disruption to the normal business operation made staying open unsustainable. Instead, they sent out notifications to patients of their upcoming closures and moved medical records to storage with the help of medical storage companies like HarborSafe.
- Some physicians treating COVID-19 patients found themselves at odds with the medical community and threatened by their medical boards for recommending preventative medications such as hydroxychloroquine, which has been prescribed for other ailments such as lupus for over fifty years.
- Physicians were deterred by pharmacists requiring a diagnosis (private information protected by HIPAA) before filling certain COVID-19 medication prescriptions.
- Surgeries and medical procedures were halted to alleviate hospital space for anticipated virus patients.
For the public, it has become exceedingly difficult to discern the truth when there are so many different versions of it. The number of flu cases has seen a significant decline while COVID-19 cases continue to rise despite widespread lockdowns and mask mandates. Many physicians have spoken out about the harsh restrictions driven by media fear and urged citizens to educate themselves about the facts.
There are reports of motorcycle accident deaths being logged as COVID-19 related deaths. People who retested after testing positive later tested negative. Some people who abandoned long Covid-19 test lines were later notified of positive test results.
What are all these unusual circumstances telling us? This is no ordinary virus and no ordinary health crisis response. The impact on the public and the way physicians treat their patients have set new precedents for a health crisis response. What both physicians and their patients need is a single set of guidelines that includes common sense and scientific proof to back up their decisions. Until then, we are left to either trust mainstream media or do our own research for valid medical information.