COVID-19 – Chronic Pain – Are We Listening?

As the COVID-19 public health emergency expands—dramatically in some parts of the country—the impact it’s having on all of us—particularly those with chronic illness—is beginning to sink in.

Fill your state in this graph and you will see how your state is faring as far as coronavirus cases are concerned. Let us share that these numbers will increase substantially the more tests that are conducted—a number that is still woefully small compared to the population of the country.

Reports on struggles to stop the spread of this virus have centered on the tri-state New York area, as well as major cities like Detroit and New Orleans. However, COVID-19 knows no boundaries, and its spread throughout rural America is gaining speed.

The number of cases reported have nearly tripled in nonmetropolitan counties. A major concern is that rural communities will be particularly disadvantaged by the pandemic because of what makes rural America unique.

Rural communities have disproportionate shares of residents who are older, disabled and have chronic health conditions. These areas also have fewer financial resources and a struggling health care infrastructure.

In the meantime, remember the issue of hospitals. In the latest Congressional funding, the nation’s hospitals are going to reap $75 billion dollars in funding.

So, what happens now?

Long-time public health expert and chronic pain advocate, Terri Lewis, Ph.D., called out hospital executives:

“Hospital executives who are building their portfolio on the back of public $ should have an obligation to assure coverage, meet representative public health objectives within their service area, and do so without deriving egregious, excessive benefit from these transactions,” she wrote.

For another activist—Arianna Grande—the issue is whether people are paying attention to the issues of chronic pain. She pointed out—with an appropriate intensity—the following. The questions are appropriate:

  • Maybe you outside the pain community do see these tweets.
  • Do you just scroll on by?

Here is what she posted on Twitter: