I don’t normally like to talk about anything too serious as I like to keep my scribes like my radio show as upbeat as possible. If you are like me, you’re trying to make sense of all the information about coronavirus that is being shared 24 hours a day on television, headline news, and across social media channels around the world. Something though has been worrying me since the beginning of the lockdown so I thought I’d air it today. I’ve commented all along about this being hyped too much by the media. It’s like a pandemic of fear. Piers Morgan for instance you either like him or loathe him but he for one has been banging the drum about how bad this is. When you read the report below you might say he’s right to question the Uk approach but at the expense of what is not being talked about.
Countries are adopting different ways to contain the spread of coronavirus as there is no one-size-fits-all approach. If for instance you compare the UK, Spain, Germany and Sweden then you can see the differences. Some have also changed their policy as time has passed.
Germany, went down the testing route and has been commended for its low death rate.
Sweden, has not imposed quarantine on its population. Instead the government has called on citizens to “take responsibility” and follow the recommendations of the health authorities. It has worked but cases there have started to rise in the last few days.
Spain has been on full lockdown with adults only allowed out to go to the supermarket, chemist or bank. Some listed jobs are considered essential. Certain heavily populated areas like Madrid and Cataluña account for more than 50% of the current 22,500 deaths. The number across the Balearics is much lower standing at 172 today at the time of writing.
The UK has taken criticism for taking a little longer than most to go on lockdown. Some of the population have also been criticised for flouting the “allowed out for a certain time for exercise” rule. Cases are starting to fall right now.
At the moment it’s far too early to say who was right and wrong as this is taking a lot longer than I think most people predicted. I’ve said before every death is regrettable but we are now going to be dealing with something for a lot longer and something even worse I believe than the virus itself, the fallout.
Most of us deal with things in different ways but I’ve listed all the other different illnesses and problems that I’ve read about during the last six weeks.
I’m sure there are a lot more but let me highlight just one report from Professor Karol Sikora, an Oncologist for 50 years, CMO of Rutherford Health, Founding Dean and Professor of Medicine at the University of Buckigham and ex-Director of the WHO Cancer Programme.
He says, “When this pandemic emerged, Government ministers were understandably fearful that the NHS could be overwhelmed by the sheer number of infected patients.
But in the weeks since the Prime Minister made his first sombre statement to the nation on the threat posed by coronavirus, this rational concern has morphed into an all-consuming tunnel vision about Covid-19.
The result is that our healthcare system is abandoning its most basic responsibilities. As thousands of Britons are discovering – anyone who is struck down by a serious acute illness or who has developed worrying symptoms of disease – the new reality is a dangerous one.
Some stroke and heart attack patients are routinely waiting more than two hours for an ambulance, while 2,300 cancer diagnoses are being missed each week because patients are not going to see their GP or because they are not being referred for urgent tests and scans at hospital.
Indeed, the cancer diagnostic system has all but seized up.
Another 400 cancers a week are, it is estimated, being missed because breast, cervical and bowel cancer screening has been suspended. For any of these patients, delay can be a death sentence.
In addition, the NHS has cancelled most routine surgeries for three months. That’s tens of thousands of people who must endure further pain and distress as they wait for the operation or procedure that might dramatically improve their quality of life.
All of these individuals are collateral damage in the war against coronavirus.
And yet if you walk around most NHS hospitals today, you’ll find whole wards are empty; operating theatres are eerily silent, while scanning equipment lies unused. As for the 4,000-bed Nightingale hospital in London, it has seen only a handful of patients.
Right now coronavirus is dominating the news cycle, but the next public health disaster facing this country will be the millions whose lives were put at risk because they were neglected during this crisis.
My own specialism is cancer, where the number of patients being referred by GPs for urgent hospital appointments has dropped by 75 per cent since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
If this continues for six months, I suspect that in the years to come there will be at least 50,000 excess cancer deaths. That is a terrifying number.
Normally about 30,000 people a month are diagnosed with cancer. But this April it’s likely to be fewer than 5,000. And the reason for that is, quite simply, they are not being diagnosed.
Abandoning Britain’s non-coronavirus patients as we are doing is unacceptable and a stain on us all.”
Makes you think doesn’t it and just one disease that will be worse after this has passed. Some other context to this is the predicted Covid19 death rate was going to be approximately 5% of the Worlds population or 1 in 20. Which basically means someone close to you would die. Compare this to say Influenza which is normally 0.1% of the Worlds population or 1 in 1000. Not many of us know someone who has died of influenza. The 5% figure was the basis for us all to panic about this disease. Statistics are currently saying the actual number is less than 1% just like influenza.
Take a look at the numbers below, which are deaths every single day globally.
Tuberculosis kills 3000
Hepatitis kills 2400
Aids kills 2100
Malaria kills 2000
We haven’t stopped the World economy for any of the above and have you ever heard Piers Morgan spouting off about them?
You have to ask the question has it all been worth it?
Take care everyone and enjoy your weekend!
Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance!
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