Something else that we need to think about, I think.
The Hidden Casualty by Something to Say
An expected 20,000 more cancer patients will die in the UK over the next year because of lack of treatment during lockdown, according to the papers. More than 6,000 of those will be newly diagnosed patients whose access to care was delayed – and that’s just cancer. What about all the other illnesses that normally bring people to see their GPs and be referred to hospital? Who is normally in all those beds that are currently free? We should really be comparing lives with lives.
It’s highly controversial to say so but I have never been quite sure about lockdown. No-one dares speak up to question the rationale behind it in case we are seen to be placing greater emphasis on the economy than people‘s lives. But that’s a false choice.
About a year ago, my husband developed a large sunspot on his temple. I urged him to see his GP about it, but he dithered and delayed, perhaps because he couldn’t see it as well as I could or perhaps because he didn’t want to know what it was. Either way, it recently started to grow and change shape and sometimes bleed. Finally, he went to see our doctor who very sensibly referred him to a specialist.
As we all know, there’s a fair old wait to see a specialist about anything at the best of times, so we were relieved when he was given an appointment for early April. Obviously, once COVID-19 reared its ugly head, his appointment – along with thousands of others – was shelved. Indefinitely.
Is his spot malignant? Who knows. Is it continuing to change in size and texture? Yes. Is he the only one in a situation like this? No. All over the country there will be thousands of people who should be receiving medical attention who are currently not, due to coronavirus.
Is every hospital overrun with COVID cases? Is every oncologist / dermatologist / neurologist / ophthalmologist / radiologist / rheumatologist / gynaecologist and urologist currently treating coronavirus? What are all their patients doing?
Our lockdown life, on the whole, is very civilised. Our children are with us and we have plenty of green space to exercise. We are both able to work from home and we are in the very fortunate position of being able to help others in our neighbourhood without being overly concerned about our own vulnerability towards coronavirus.
We’re not struggling to keep a small business afloat and we don’t have the sort of mental health issues which are likely to be exacerbated by weeks on end of social isolation.
But every time I look at my husband side-on and see that angry, crusty growth, I think of all the other people whose health and well-being is being sidelined during this crisis and I pray that he is not one of the hidden casualties.
Something to Say is a woman in her fifties who is only recently discovering her voice. She tends to shy away from contributing to conversations like this because she has seen in recent years how socially suicidal it is to go against the flow of general public opinion. But every now and then, when she really has something to say, she pops her head above the parapet.
If you would like to write your own Guest Blog, about your Life under Lockdown, I’d love to hear from you! Click here to see what you need to do. It’s more important than ever that we hear each other. And if you’re reading this, and thinking ‘she doesn’t mean me‘ – you’d be wrong. Get writing!!
Stay safe. Stay sane. It’s not forever. We can do this.
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