What about the 50,000 excess cancer deaths, you say?

7th October 2020, by James Brunt

What about the large number of patients with chronic heart failure, who are unable to access care, scans or treatment?

What about those with kidney conditions who are unable to get anywhere close to a hospital as routine procedures are systematically postponed?

Forget Covid, you say. We should just all get on with our lives, so that these cancer patients, and heart patients and kidney patients can receive the hospital care that they need, right?

Wrong. Chillingly wrong.

If you are prepared to give this anything more than a cursory
thought, you will soon understand that the removal of social restrictions and mitigatory measures will make things significantly and painfully worse for these patients. If you think – perhaps quite rightly – that the hospitals are struggling to cope with the current situation, just wait and see what happens when you all ‘crack on’ with your lives.

If you think heart and cancer patients are failing to get the treatment that they require under the current restrictions and measures, they will have absolutely no chance if Covid-19 is permitted to spread without barriers.

Why, for the love of Jupiter, do you think things will be better for liver patients, for those with spinal injuries, or for anyone who needs any form of care from our hospital network, if we just get back to normal?

If we let Covid-19 follow its natural unbridled course, millions would need hospital care, and hundreds of thousands would die. This would also mean that hospital capacity would be entirely consumed for several years; accompanied by the deaths of an increasing number of younger and healthier Covid-19 patients, who would have otherwise have survived if there were enough ICU beds.

Please, if you are close to someone with cancer, or with a heart condition, or someone who needs regular hospital care, the last thing you should be doing is advocating a return to a pre-Covid normality.

If you are close to someone with liver disease, or with a lung condition, or someone who needs regular dialysis, the very last thing you should be blindly claiming is that Covid-19 should be ignored so that these family members can receive the care they need.

The more attention we give to Covid-19 the quicker it goes away. Not the other way around.

The more seriously we take it, as a population, the quicker the cancer, heart, liver and kidney patients can return to their wards.

It really is that simple.

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