COVID-19’s Effect on Healthcare

Cheyenna Hall

The Charter News

5/11/20

During the current COVID-19 Pandemic everyone’s focus has been on staying home and therefore healthy.  A lot of the following  questions have not been answered: Is it safe to go outside? Should we refrain from going to the doctors? Are you putting yourself and your family in danger if you go to the store? What should we be doing to try and make sure we stay healthy? If there’s one thing that we have all learned from watching or reading the news lately it’s that everything seems to contradict other people’s research or opinions. 

Some advice given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) includes washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, according to the CDC.

Dan Hall, a Paramedic at American Medical Response in Portland, would like to set the record straight.

“The most important thing for people to know is that the survival rate is much higher than we originally thought,” he said. “Which means that if you contract this you have a high risk of surviving.” 

Angie Andrews, a nurse in Medford Or has been moved to the ICU from the floor, says “it spreads easily so people need to be mindful of that and wash their hands!”

A lot of people have been very worried about contracting COVID-19 because they think that they will die, but that is not as likely as most people think, according to Hall.

“I believe that more people have had it [COVID-19] than have been reported,” he said. “Just like the Stanford case has recorded there was about 50 to 80 times the amount of infective [sic] people than was originally thought.”  {See an article based on the study below.}

Another thing that people think about is where they should or shouldn’t go because they think that they will contract the virus. Hall’s response was, “I think that if you are ill or have underlying medical conditions or you are over 60 then you should be very careful about where you go. But if you are healthy and don’t have underlying conditions and maintain good hygiene then you should be fine.”

“There are some factors that go into how long it takes for someone to get better [from COVID-19] anywhere from 2 weeks to a month depending on what underlying conditions the person has. If your immune system is robust then you might not have any symptoms and you might get over it when your immune system kills the virus,” Hall explained. 

How long do you think it will take for people socially to “get back to normal”? 

 Andrews said “it could take a while. Fear is a very strong driving force for humans. There is likely to be economic fallout that lasts for one to two years after ‘everything gets back to normal’. Many small businesses will not make it through this.” 

Hall says, “that’s going to depend on the fear factor and the governor and her response to real data.”

Andrews said “I can not speak for them [governors], but each state [county] has a different population dynamic. Rural eastern Oregon is nothing like urban LA. The way people interact is completely different. How many people per square mile carries greatly across the country. Those things make an impact.”

Hall said, “I think that a lot of it has to do with the demographics of their state and population density because every state is different. I think initially some governors were reacting to data that is starting to be proven wrong. Some governors I believe are continuing the lockdowns for political reasons and some are starting to release restrictions based on data from their states.”

Andrews says, “the hospitals are filled with sick people all the time. Healthy people should avoid health care facilities to be protective of themselves as well as the population in the hospital. Patients often have weakened immune systems and are more susceptible to catching viruses. That being said there is a high concentration of ill people and that increases the chances of a visitor catching something. It’s a two way street. If you NEED the hospital, go to the hospital. It is as safe as it can be….”

Hall said, “If you have an emergency then you should go to the hospital. If you are severely ill you should go to the hospital. The chances of you getting it are there but they are pretty small. Most of the hospitals are fairly empty right now.”

When do you think it will all be over? 

“Maybe in a year…” Andrews said. 

“That depends on the data that we see coming out of our states and how our governor interprets that data and ESes restrictions. There’s really no timetable it’ll all just depend on the data.”

Editor’s Note: Dan Hall is the reporter’s Father.

 Sources: 

Hall, Dan. Personal Interview. Apr. 20, 2020.

Andrews, Angie. Personal Interview. Apr. 21, 2020.  

Vogel, Apr, Gretchen, et al. “Antibody Surveys Suggesting Vast Undercount of Coronavirus Infections May Be Unreliable.” Science, 22 Apr. 2020, www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/04/antibody-surveys-suggesting-vast-undercount-coronavirus-infections-may-be-unreliable#. Accessed 22 Apr. 2020.


“How to Protect Yourself & Others.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 Apr. 2020, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html. Accessed 1 Mar. 2020.