As of February 26, 2022, there have been nearly 79 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and almost 950,000 COVID-19 related deaths in the United States. With over 430 million cases and nearly six million deaths worldwide, it is needless to say that the healthcare industry has been suffering terribly.
In 2020, while hospitals and other medical facilities began experiencing mass staffing shortages, the systems were still being crippled by the spiking number of people requiring medical assistance. This was especially problematic since they were already pushed to their limits before the pandemic even began.
Panic quickly spread across the globe when COVID-19 was first discovered, and the fear only intensified. The uncertainty, multiple lockdowns, shutdowns, shortages, and a plethora of other measures that followed took heavy tolls on people’s lives. Unfortunately, over two years later, this ripple effect is still continuing to expand.
The pandemic evoked an entirely new onslaught of physical and mental ailments that stem from this type of crisis. Extreme isolation and other COVID-19 related factors sparked countless cases of heightened and first time ever anxiety disorders, severe depression, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) symptoms, chronic pain and other long term issues, complications with blood pressure, diet, exercise, weight, breathing problems, and much more. Luckily, many of the symptoms are preventable, manageable, and even curable with the proper preparation and treatment.
The problem is that people in many areas of the United States and other parts of the world are still experiencing difficulty obtaining the medical help they need. Some factors include lack of resources, healthcare workers, finances, transportation, accessibility, and availability. Patients are forced to postpone or cancel tests, treatments, surgeries, and other procedures, risking and often solidifying the worsening of their conditions.
In late 2020, the American healthcare system spent approximately $5 million for every one million people who sought medical assistance for COVID-19 related symptoms and illnesses. It was also predicted that the industry would likely suffer an incremental increase of $125-$200 billion, resulting in a massive upcharge of $30-$65 billion in patients’ medical costs.
Experts are still discovering new characteristics of the virus today, along with its unpredictable effects on people. Sadly, a multitude of severe, long-term, and other unknown effects of contracting COVID-19 continue to emerge, and it is projected that many more deaths are still to come. Luckily, scientists and medical professionals continue to discover treatments and preventative measures as well, even though their industries have been stretched so thinly.