Isolating together is challenging – and relationship stresses can affect biological functioning
As the COVID-19 pandemic moves into high gear in Michigan, thousands of frontline hospital workers are facing increasing stress, fatigue and frustration going into the second month of the public health crisis that is projected to kill more than 2,000 in the state over the next several weeks. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed flaws and vulnerabilities in how government responds to pandemics and how hospitals staff, supply and deliver health care to populations they serve. Some medical experts fear once the current emergency is over, political leaders and hospital executives will go back to bickering over holding down budget deficits and rising health care costs instead of focusing on real solutions. They say permanent changes in health care delivery and financing should be made because future killer outbreaks should be expected. "Inertia is a powerful force. (After a crisis is over), people tend to step back to their baseline position," said Mark Schweitzer, M.D., incoming dean of the Wayne State University School of Medicine. "I hope we learn from this and change." Teena Chopra, M.D., DMC's corporate director of epidemiology, said COVID-19 has exposed Detroit's broken public health system and fragile health care infrastructure. She said high incidence of chronic disease, poverty, low literacy rates and lack of trust in the medical system of many inner-city residents contributes to the high numbers of cases and hospitalizations in Detroit. "We will see even worse than what we are seeing today (last Thursday). We haven't peaked yet. We are going to see a lot of cases; we are going to see a lot more deaths. We are on the exponential phase of the epidemic curve," said Chopra, who also is a professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine.
April 13, 2020