Viewpoints: Pandemic, Floyd’s Death Both Reveal Infections Impacting Civil Rights; Shunning COVID Patients Has No Place Among Medical Teams
Opinion writers weigh in on these pandemic topics and others.
The New York Times:
The Coronavirus Is A Civil Rights Battle, Too
For a moment, the death of George Floyd has eclipsed the nation’s battle with a lethal virus. But the stories are not at odds. Both reveal an infection we have yet to overcome. Last Friday night would have been my daughter’s high school graduation ceremony. Because of orders I signed to protect Michiganders, my family and I were at home. No robes, no diplomas, no pomp and circumstance — like families across the country, just doing our best to make do and manage the disappointment. (Gretchen Whitmer, 6/2)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Police Brutality And The Coronavirus Are Killing Black People. But They Will Not Drown Us.
A disease enters our country from another part of the world, and within weeks is ravaging the United States. By April, this novel coronavirus was killing more African Americans at a rate faster than any other racial group in the United States. For a blink of the eye, there seemed to be an uproar. Then before you could open your eyes, the conversation was over — a foregone conclusion. Where was the support? Where were the resources for hard-hit communities? Where was the initiative to decrease all of the black bodies being put in refrigerator trucks and being buried in unmarked graves? Where was the increased testing, where was the empathy, where was the help? It was nonexistent. (Ala Stanford, 6/1)
Coronavirus, Protests, Trump: Americans Unified Only In Outrage
If I have learned one thing over the last few weeks, it is that the psychology of the American public is weirder — and perhaps more flexible — than I ever would have thought. Consider, as just one example among many, the issue of nursing homes. According to some estimates, about 40% of the deaths associated with Covid-19 have occurred in nursing homes, with more almost certain to come. (Tyler Cowen, 6/2)
The Washington Post:
What We Saw In Baltimore After Freddie Gray’s Death Is Going To Be Seen All Around The U.S.
As protests rage in cities throughout the United States, the world sees our country’s pain and desire for justice. Like everyone else, I worry about whether there will be meaningful criminal-justice reform and what we will do to finally address institutional racism. But I also worry about something else: the direct health effects of the uprisings. My worry is greatly magnified by the ongoing crisis of covid-19 — a crisis with which the ongoing protests are deeply intertwined. (Leana S. Wen, 6/2)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
My Patient Survived COVID-19. Now She’s Afflicted By Stigma.
My patient, a generally healthy woman in her mid-50s, recently overcame an agonizing case of COVID-19 that caused her nearly four weeks of physical misery and isolation. Thankfully, she avoided hospitalization, and is now back to normal. Last week, she went to have a knee X-ray for an unrelated condition. While she waited in the examination area, she overheard a technician scold a worker for not properly identifying her as a “COVID case.” The technician said little when she returned to the room, made no eye contact, and proceeded quickly through the examination. My patient felt like an outcast. (Jeffrey Millstein, 6/2)
Create A Health Impact Fund To Develop A Covid-19 Vaccine
Calls for rethinking our pharmaceutical innovation system are swirling in the headwinds and tailwinds of Covid-19. How do we accelerate the arrival of treatments and vaccines in adequate quantities? And how do we ensure that everyone can access those treatments and vaccines? (Aidan Hollis, 6/3)
We Need A New Framework To Solve Problems In The Wake Of COVID-19
The coronavirus outbreak is shining a spotlight on a large and important trend that has largely been missing from public conversation. The issues that will shape the next millennia of human history are what political scientists call “wicked problems.” ... The rise of wicked problems means that the public issues we increasingly face are hard to even define. They are multifaceted and look different at the local, regional, national and global level. Wicked problems make it hard to even develop consensus on defining the problem, as is the case with COVID-19. (Adam Weinberg, 6/2)
The Fight Against Covid-19 Should Also Be The Fight Against Tobacco
Protecting people from the dangers of tobacco products -- and holding tobacco companies accountable for their global actions -- is a critical component in the fight against Covid-19. Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop severe complications with Covid-19, according to a review of studies by public health experts convened by the World Health Organization. And, a new study of 169 hospitals in Asia, Europe and North America found that smokers have nearly double the likelihood of in-hospital death than non-smokers. (Kelly Henning, 6/2)
The Wall Street Journal:
The Measure Of New York’s Coronavirus Devastation
New York -- How deadly is Covid-19? It’s difficult to say with certainty, because there’s so much we don’t know. We don’t know how many people had the virus or have it now, how many people had mild symptoms or none at all, how many people got sick but didn’t show up at hospitals. Death certificates tell us with certainty that someone has died, but they often don’t provide certainty about the cause of death. It is extremely rare for people who are otherwise healthy to die of Covid-19. Most of the people who die with Covid-19—98% in one study—have at least two other major life-threatening conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. Surprisingly little data has been collected to sort out these multiple causes. (Robert Rosenkranz, 6/2)