COVID-19’s Negative Effects on Healthcare: A Look at Questions that Should be Answered

When watching the news I have heard anchors talk about those on the front line of COVID-19—those who get up every morning and risk getting infected to care for those who are ill with the virus; the nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals treating those who are ill. However, there seems to be little to no focus on those healthcare professionals who have been negatively affected because of the virus.

In having a parent who works in a hospital, I have seen a different side of the healthcare world. I have seen how the virus has turned this world upside down. Just last week they were told that they would not be coming in for work every day as normal, but would instead be put on a team that switches between weeks of being off, going on call and going into work. This is because some of what is done in their area of the hospital is deemed voluntary. With already having another parent who is out of work because they work in a public school, this did not help with the stress of having enough money.

Not long before the news of less work and less money from my one parent, the hospital they work at closed their entire gastrointestinal lab, leaving all those who worked there unemployed. It was shocking to everyone in my household that a hospital would shut down an entire section because of this. 

All of the negatives on the healthcare field that my family and I have witnessed bring another element to President Trump’s economic hopes. It may be easier for large corporations and other non-essential businesses to go back to regular operations, but for hospitals, it does not seem to be as smooth. Since there has been a focus on getting equipment for patients with the virus, how can other areas of hospitals that did not care for COVID-19 patients be certain they will have the supplies they need? If they do not have needed supplies, will they be delivering the best care to their patients? Will hospitals hire fewer staff to cut costs or will they hire more? How long will it take for hospitals to be back to regular operations? What will happen to COVID-19 positive patients when hospitals do return to regular operations? These are some of the many questions that will need to be answered, but are seemingly ignored. This lack of focus could cause not only danger for healthcare professionals, but also patients.

While I would love for the economy to bounce back and for those who are currently unemployed due to this pandemic to return to work, it is not as black and white as many are making it seem, at least not for those in the healthcare field. It is a shame to me that many who are talking about those who are bravely working to fight the virus are not focusing on those who work in the same hospitals, but do not get to go to work or are barely doing any work because of this virus. Those who should be focused on answering these questions need to focus on them before we rush to open up our economy.