Health Care Scares: Health care availability drops with pandemic


Photo By: Ana Torchia

As the need for healthcare facilities rise, the ease of access is steadily declining. Minute by minute hospitals are not accepting walk-ins if they are not emergency procedures and clinics are not seating anything more than 4 people. COVID-19 has not just taken the lives of individuals who have the illness but has also hurt those who face other health issues.

“Doctor appointments are hard to come by when looking to align them with my schedule because of COVID-19. I couldn’t take off on the days available,” Stephanie Lewis said. “So, I ended up scheduling two months out because my doctor isn’t available. Other doctors were available, but I didn’t feel comfortable with seeing a doctor who wasn’t familiar with my health.”

Not being able to check on one’s health and wellbeing could be dangerous in many ways. Some face appointments that have been pushed back months later while others are being transferred to different doctors when they have a doctor’s visit.

“I had a medical issue and went to urgent care because it was once a faster alternative than the emergency room,” Bryan Mackle said. “My visit to the urgent care recently turned into me wait- ing for four hours only to end up leaving without being seen because the workers didn’t know how long the wait was.”

Others have not been able to see their doctor at all, instead turning to at-home remedies for their ailments,

“My fear of getting Covid has pushed me to try at home remedies to see if I can correct the issue because the wait is too long,” Kaluier McDaniel said.

With COVID-19 comes over- crowded emergency facilities resulting in longer waiting times and limited availability of beds for the ill. Overcrowding also makes it nearly impossible to abide by the six feet rule to prac- tice social distancing. This leaves doctors in a situation where they must choose which patient to attend to first based on age range, past medical issues and other factors.

“I do not think doctor sched- uling will be back to normal anytime soon. Life won’t be normal for a while, and I’m just hoping that I won’t have any major medical issues any time soon,” Lewis said.