In the past year, we have endured the sickness that the virus caused, resulting in the deaths of loved ones, the isolation of family members, and economic losses. Recent studies by Gallup, the COVID-19 Consortium, the American Medical Association, and the Centers for Disease Control have shown a substantial amount of collateral damage from COVID-19. Reports now being released by these groups show:
1) The suspension of in-person schooling has resulted in poor learning, school dropouts, and social isolation, especially in lower-income groups.
2) In a three-month period, 78% of cancers were never detected due to missed screenings. That means 750,000 to over a million new cancer cases missed over a nine-month period.
3) People being afraid to go to the hospital has resulted in a massive increase in pediatric illnesses, heart attacks, and strokes.
4) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported a four-fold increase in depression, a three-fold increase in anxiety symptoms, and a doubling of suicide ideation.
5) The American Medical Association (AMA) reported an increase in drug overdoses and suicides.
6) Cases of domestic and child abuse have “skyrocketed,” while many child abuse cases have gone unreported because they are usually detected through schools.
A significant factor in these reports is that specific economic and racial groups dominate the most affected areas. Recovery from the pandemic will depend on churches and ministries addressing many of these areas, but Government rules for gathering have prevented many Christian groups from helping the needy.
We hope that we have all learned some things from this horrible experience. Christian involvement can help create a cooperative effort to heal the divisions and minister to the needs of those dramatically injured by both the virus and the collateral damage from COVID-19.
— John N. Clayton © 2021
Data from Imprimis, February 2021 – available at imprimis.hillsdale.edu.