Overall, health indicators will deteriorate as a result of the pandemic since all medical efforts are now focused on preventing and treating COVID-19. The pandemic will be followed by an increase in mortality rates among the vulnerable population (Bedford et al., 2020). Although the coronavirus pandemic has touched everyone, for some, such as the poor, the elderly, the chronically ill, its effects are more intense.
The economically disadvantaged groups may be denied access to health care for financial or other reasons. Though for now, the treatment of COVID-19 is free in the US, complications of the virus in the future may not be covered by the insurance. For vulnerable people, without insurance, the situation will be even direr (Bedford et al., 2020). The pandemic will expose problems such as the underfunding of free universal health care, which means that access to quality care for some will depend on purchasing power rather than on health needs.
The elderly is the most susceptible to the coronavirus, so they need to follow all preventive measures against COVID-19. They are weakened by many age-related diseases and a frail immune system (Bedford et al., 2020). Although the state-at-home order has been lifted almost everywhere in the US, except California, the restrictions imposed to combat the pandemic will apply to the older generation until a coronavirus cure is available.
People with chronic diseases may decide not to go to hospitals because of the fear of catching the coronavirus. As a result, chronic diseases will become more acute, and they will need far more complex and expensive treatment afterward (Bedford et al., 2020). Moreover, some may not even realize they have serious medical issues. However, when the situation with COVID-19 improves, their chronic problems will become known.
As for the rest of us, lack of physical activity in self-isolation, overeating, and depression will contribute to the deterioration of health. Although other medical problems are neglected or temporarily relegated to the background, they still kill people (Bedford et al., 2020). If people put off the 911 call in life-threatening emergencies because they are afraid of being exposed to coronavirus in emergency departments or hospitals, there will be an increase in mortality among these patients.
Bedford, J., Enria, D., Giesecke, J., Heymann, D. L., Ihekweazu, C., Kobinger, G., Lane H.C., Memish Z., Oh M., Sall A.A., Schuchat A., Ungchusak, & K., Wieler L. (2020). COVID-19: towards controlling of a pandemic. The Lancet, 395(10229), 1015-1018.