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California doctors say they've seen more deaths from suicide than coronavirus since lockdowns
by Andrew Mark Miller
| May 21, 2020 08:50 PM
Doctors in Northern California say they have seen more deaths from suicide than they’ve seen from the coronavirus during the pandemic.
“The numbers are unprecedented,” Dr. Michael deBoisblanc of John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California, told ABC 7 News about the increase of deaths by suicide, adding that he’s seen a “year’s worth of suicides” in the last four weeks alone.
DeBoisblanc said he believes it’s time for California officials to end the stay-at-home order and let people back out into their communities.
"Personally, I think it's time," he said. "I think, originally, this was put in place to flatten the curve and to make sure hospitals have the resources to take care of COVID patients. We have the current resources to do that, and our other community health is suffering."
Kacey Hansen, a trauma center nurse at John Muir Medical Center for more than 30 years, says she’s worried not only about the increased suicide attempts but also about the hospital’s ability to save as many patients as usual.
"What I have seen recently, I have never seen before," Hansen said. "I have never seen so much intentional injury."
Businesses across California have started defying stay-at-home orders imposed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, and hundreds of protesters have hit the streets, making the argument that the orders were only meant to flatten the curve of the virus’s spread, which Newsom himself said was achieved in mid-April.
Suicide has been an increasingly significant problem across the country as the coronavirus outbreak caused stay-at-home orders that led to unemployment and stress.
By late March, more people had died in just one Tennessee county from suicide than had died in the entire state directly from the virus.
A study published in early May suggested that the coronavirus could lead to at least 75,000 deaths directly brought on by anxiety from the virus, job losses, and addiction to alcohol and drugs.
Another study conducted by Just Facts around the same time computed a broad array of scientific data showing that stress is one of the deadliest health hazards in the world and estimated that the coronavirus lockdowns will destroy 7 times as many years of human life than strict lockdowns can save.
Earlier this week, more than 600 doctors signed their names on a letter to President Trump, referring to the continued lockdowns as a “mass casualty incident” and urging him to do what he can to ensure they come to an end.