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COVID-19 and Suicide

If it hasn’t become clear by now, restrictions being enforced by governments around the world are hurting people. Many are suffering economically and an untold number are suffering mentally. Throughout most democratic nations, we more or less entered into an unspoken contract with the government (and each other) that we would do our absolute best to listen to the medical advice, stay home where we could, avoid contact with others and shutter businesses. All to avoid a pandemic spreading rapidly throughout our nation. Although our restrictions are starting to be lifted, many now have FOGO (fear of going out) because they feel obligated to remain at home due to peer pressure or because of fear being pushed on them by a media which has exacerbated the crisis.

In California (USA), their citizens were told it would take two weeks to “flatten the curve”. Two months later, oppressive policies are now having a profound effect on rates of suicide.

The trauma department chief at John Muir Medical Centre in Walnut Creek (located in California) said doctors at the facility have seen more deaths by suicide than from COVID-19. The mental health crisis is so severe that Dr Mike de Boisblanc says it’s time to end the area’s lockdown. He says, “Personally I think it’s time. I think originally, this [the shelter-in-place order] was put in place to flatten the curve and to make sure hospitals have the resources to take care of COVID patients. We have the current resources to do that and our other community health is suffering.” Alarmingly, he went on to say, “We’ve never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time. I mean we’ve seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.”

A trauma nurse (with 33 years’ experience) at the same facility echoed his comments. “What I have seen recently, I have never seen before,” Kacey Hansen said. “I have never seen so much intentional injury.”

It is clear from the comments above and those of various health professionals, that the restrictions are certainly doing more harm than good. In fact, medical expert Dr Marc Siegel said, “Lockdowns don’t work if there is already a lot of virus in the area, in the community, in the state, the country. Suicide, drug abuse, alcoholism, there are going to be more deaths of despair than from the virus itself.” Now, you might argue that this is only the opinion of three medical professionals. However, 600 doctors recently signed a letter urging President Trump to do what he can to end the shutdowns. The letter said, in part:

The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke or kidney failure. In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty and abuse. Because the harm is diffuse, there are those who hold that it does not exist. We, the undersigned, know otherwise.

Of course, the letter was not widely circulated amongst the mainstream media because they only wish to peddle fear onto an already overburdened population. So, for reasons based in fear, overzealousness or politics, apparently the restrictions simply must continue. This period certainly has been life and death. Those suffering from COVID have had untold medical resources thrown at them. For the rest, they have been forced to fend for themselves, sometimes with disastrous consequences.

Awaiting His triumphant return

Dean

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