Monday, November 30, 2020

We Should Be Tracking More Than Just New Covid Cases

We keep daily track of the number of new Covid-19 cases that are exploding throughout this country. In Northampton County, 236 new cases were reported on November 28. If most families ignored the  admonitions about large family gatherings on Thanksgiving, as I suspect, you can expect another spike in a few days. I understand the importance of tracking this pandemic, but we are doing a shitty job of tracking similar problems - drug overdoses and suicide - that go hand-in-hand. 

In Philly, there's been a spike in overdose deaths among restaurant workers, many of whom are laid off as a result of the pandemic. But how big is this problem throughout the state and country? No one really has current data.

The same problem exists with suicide. Japan, one of the countries that has had an excellent response to Covid-19, is one of the few countries that track suicides. It reports 2,153 deaths by suicide in October. That one month tally exceeds all the deaths caused by Covid-19 in that nation. It is believed these suicides are mostly from people who have lost their jobs as a result of what has happened. 

Unfortunately, the latest suicide figures in the US are from 2018. 

We should be tracking both Covid-19 and the drug overdose deaths and suicides caused by the corresponding economic downturn.  

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

As yet no one has identified a political opportunity concerning suicides, If such an opportunity should be identified, we can bet to see a daily toll on cnn, with all the experts giving their opinion as to what to do. A hot line to call if unhappy, and a hot line to call if you suspect someone is suffering from depression. Then we can send a swat team to take them in and cure their unhappiness.

You can bet none of the experts will offer the cure to be a job and a productive life, it will all involve government intervention, drugs and money making ideas.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Not quite sure what the hell you are talking about. There already are suicide prevention hotlines. Notre over, keeping track actually would be good politics, not just good governance.finally, identifying and responding to these issues is precisely why government exists.

Anonymous said...

You should contact Susan Wild as she is a strong advocate for suicide prevention having experienced the tragedy first hand. Can you put aside your irrational feelings about her to do so...I wonder?

Bernie O'Hare said...

My disdain for Wild is a result of who she is, not what I am. Moreover, my disdain is shared by a large number of NorCo voters, where she barely defeated her Trump supporting opponent. In fact, even I voted for her. My problem with her is her basic dishonesty, which is not widely known. You do not congratulate a convicted felon for leading a mob with chants of “fuck the police.” You don’t tell people to vote straight Dem and then endorse a candidate running against the Dem nominee.

Anonymous said...

Also co-morbidity. This is a Virginia based blog from a reputable source but I suspect PA in similar.

"Only 6% of COVID-19 deaths have no other underlying conditions. So, even if COVID-19 is accelerating, the number of deaths that would have occurred due to heart disease or cancer, the death totals over time would not be markedly increased. Remember the September interview where Tim Powell of VDH’s Office of Epidemiology said, “If it’s on the death certificate, it’s counted. For instance, a cancer patient in hospice could count as a COVID-19 death if they also have the virus.”

https://www.baconsrebellion.com/wp/where-have-all-the-heart-attacks-gone/

Anonymous said...

I bet that 7:19 is a failed psyc student as well as another sulking tRumpster.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should also start counting the people on the front lines who have died from this virus or committed suicide or left their profession. The mental stress on doctors, nurses and other supporting staff is huge. Those in long term care facilities are equally affected by the death and despondent.

Anonymous said...

11.39 the point is if there is not a good political reason or money for someone, or some group, we will not see any suicide tracking or prevention effort.