Different Takes: Kids Are Feeling Covid Mental Health Toll; Is Amazon The Future Of Health Care?
Editorial pages tackle these public health issues.
The Kids Are Not OK
From the time they are toddlers, children are taught to be resilient. When I was in high school, my after-school job was working as a pre-K teacher’s assistant. Each day, my group of 3-to-4-year-old charges would eagerly scramble outside for afternoon recess, and every day, inevitably, one of them would fall off the monkey bars or trip during a game of tag, their small but sturdy bodies tumbling onto the wood chips. Many would immediately burst into tears despite not being injured. “You’re OK!” I’d yell, clipboard at my hip. “Shake it off!” And most of the time they did. Over the past year, young people have been told repeatedly, “Hang in there!” or “It’s not so bad — other people have it much worse,” or “It’s OK!” (Taylor Trudon, 4/5)
If You Think The Health Care Industry Is Unhealthy Now, Just Wait Till Amazon Gets In Deeper
Amazon, the behemoth seller of everything, announced last month that it was going into the doctoring business. The company already provided primary medical services to many of its own employees, mainly via an online telehealth service called Amazon Care. Now, Amazon says, it will sell access to the service to other companies so they can offer it to their own workers. It’s a preview of what our health care system could soon look like: a landscape of regional or national oligopolies in which doctors, local hospitals, labs, and pharmacies are owned by distant corporations. Many community hospitals might disappear or be severely diminished. (Brian Alexander, 4/4)
Los Angeles Times:
Treating Biology, And Sociology, Behind Mental Illness
The Nepali doctor Rishav Koirala is, by his own admission, an unusual Nepali. He’s a fan of Jim Morrison and the Doors, loves European philosophy and practices psychiatry in a country where medical schools offer little or no mental health training. What makes him especially unusual is that as the world embraces the idea that mental illnesses should be seen as brain disorders, Koirala is pushing back. Mental illnesses are the leading cause of disability in the world. But in Nepal, mental illnesses are considered so shameful that few people get help. After the 2015 earthquake, as doctors from other countries came to diagnose and treat survivors with post-traumatic stress disorder, few Nepalis wanted the diagnosis. Local counselors believed that people with PTSD — which is translated into Nepalese as the stigmatized phrase “mental shock” — had brain diseases or bad karma and were predisposed to commit murder or die by suicide. (Roy Richard Grinker, 4/4)