This is a LTE from a doctor in Boston and the gist is that rural and smaller community hospitals may have a mortality rate of triple that of a major health center.
This study will flesh out in the months and years to come with multiple additional studies, of course. It should give us something to consider for our preparedness for future pandemics. It is not unlikely that zoonotic diseases will increase as humans expand into wildlife areas around the world. Add to that the growing refugee crisis with millions living in horrible conditions. A petri dish for future diseases is similar to the living conditions centuries ago.
We might ignore the plight of the refugees, but the diseases will not go away and no matter how isolated we think we can be, it won’t stop diseases.
I also think that the value of universal healthcare, however we will reach that goal, is becoming apparent in epidemics and pandemics. Not just in the treatment protocols, but in the health of patients overall. The mortality rates are high in at-risk populations with regards to obesity, diabetes, bad nutrition, addictions, smoking and homelife.
Yes, some of those issues are self-imposed, but in a crisis, it affects all of us. Access to critical care is limited as more people might require ICU’s. The costs are borne by all of us in one form or another. Kind of like the FRAM oil filter ads of decades ago: “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.”
Considering that the deaths and disability rates for this virus are more than any war since WW2 (so far), we might keep that in mind when assessing defense budgets versus public health.