I generally agree, but it’s also true that many reported deaths are simply of people who died in hospital without symptoms or without a significant enough impact to be a leading cause of death. Many patients with comorbidities, of course, had their deaths accelerated, or caused, by contraction of the virus. So the numbers aren’t as perfect of a data set as we would like them to be.
I’m in my late 20s and many friends have just graduated from medical school and in residency, very few of whom are emergency care specialists. A number of them are planning on fields such as plastic surgery, pediatric care, etc., and are wholly unprepared to be on the front lines here mentally; the stress nearly broke many of them in March (I’m in NYC).
This is anecdotal, of course, but I’ve heard of far too many cases where a resident, or another doctor untrained in its use was asked to use a ventilator and contributed to a patient’s death. Obviously you can’t blame the medical profession for making mistakes- and I agree with the malpractice exemption granted- but it’s clear that a number of deaths have been caused by improper care. Of course this stems back to the fact that the country wasn’t remotely prepared, from testing to PPE efforts, and we should be ashamed of that.
But between these cases and the number of people dying from other diseases (eg, the do not resuscitate order for heart attack patients in NY) because of fear of COVID transmission in hospitals, there are a lot of sad medical realities resulting from the prioritization of COVID care above all else.
More than anything, and without wanting to get too political, I’m extremely disappointed and disturbed by the partisanship and stubbornness shown by both parties- from Democrats calling Trump a racist for stopping flights from China, while telling people to go out and live their lives as early as the first week of March (DeBlasio, Pelosi, etc.)- to Trump’s lack of urgency on many fronts, especially domestic PPE production/procurement and a focus on increasing testing capacity. Having worked on PPE procurement myself, the inefficiency of NY state in particular (going back on contract approvals and taking a week to authorize or longer when shipping could be done in two days from China) compared to the private system is shocking.