The coronavirus pandemic has provided countless new phrases. Social distancing, flattening the curve, and sheltering in place are but a few.
Underlying conditions has also become a common term that puts fear in the heart of anyone suffering from a variety of health matters. For those diagnosed with mesothelioma, one of the most severe of underlying conditions, the thought of contracting COVID-19 is terrifying. Fear of that combination creates stress. Stress can further compromise immune systems already impacted by continuing chemotherapy treatments.
Depleted Healthcare Resources
Fear of contracting the virus is only the beginning. An overloaded healthcare system sees limited options for care. Doctors, nurses, caregivers, and other medical professionals are forced to focus on the immediate crisis that coronavirus presents. Instead of seeing their mesothelioma patients, they are diverted to handle the incoming flow of those afflicted by COVID-19.
Prioritizing the pandemic-driven spread of a deadly virus limits the time they can spend providing much-needed cancer treatments. Growing job losses also remove the option of employer-provided health insurance. Unemployment further limits options for help or creates a financial burden with a future of sky-high medical bills.
Any type of delay in care is dangerous and deadly, stopping the progress from those responding well to treatments. Emotionally, a lack of regular contact with their physicians brings feelings of isolation. Their view of the future becomes grim when all they see are limited, if any, options.
Data Details Fear
A study conducted by the American Cancer Society reveals that half of patients surveyed are struggling with their mental health that comes with a mesothelioma diagnosis and not being able to cover treatments financially. More than two-thirds fear becoming infected when they leave their homes due to a lack of social distancing.
A global outbreak of a deadly virus combined with depleted health care resources and other factors has evolved into the worst type of “perfect storm” for not only mesothelioma patients but also those suffering from and being treated for cancer of any kind or severity.