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According to KansasCity.com, doctors in Missouri are equating gun violence to coronavirus. Grabbed from the article:

“There’s no part of medicine that’s safe from the impact of gun violence anymore,” Mueller said. “Just like COVID, it’s touching every aspect of our medical care.”

Gun violence was already difficult to manage before the pandemic, but now physicians must handle two widespread, life-threatening health crises together.

“It’s really emotionally and physically exhausting,” Mueller said. “I put my N95 mask on at the start of the shift, and I do not take it off once until the end of the shift. So most of the time, I’m going eight to 10 hours without any water or any food.”

Hospitals try to administer COVID tests to every patient who comes in for treatment, but there is no time to test those who come in with severe injuries like gunshot wounds. Doctors have no way of knowing if they are at risk to catch COVID from the person they are operating on.

Inquiring minds would like to know how this is different from the inability to rapid-test myriad transmittable diseases on trauma victims. This is why there are so many solid barrier and preventative methods used. It isn’t new. The article did go on to make some broad statements about gun violence and its causes as well:

Public health experts say gun violence is an epidemic, and the way it spreads continues to infuriate the doctors trying to contain it. They point to easy access to high-caliber weapons and poor public health infrastructure as key factors driving the violence they see in their operating rooms.

Poverty, social unrest, racial inequality, food and housing insecurity — all contribute to how comfortable people feel in their environment and could be addressed with a robust public health system, they say.

It couldn’t possibly be a problem tied to gang violence, drug dealing, or the overall amazing crime rate in St. Louis, right? Yes, you do see trends in poverty level and crime but then it becomes a chicken or the egg situation.

What do you guys think, does poverty create the violence level or does the violence level infiltrate and bring an area down? Is it more of an issue of cultural issues (and by cultural I refer to growing up in and around a culture of crime and violence and the overall psychology of violent criminals)

Guns are tools and can only do what the living being holding them makes them do. Knives, bludgeons, fists, and feet are extremely common weapons, too. And referring to the above quote saying “access to high-caliber weapons” is a problem, I wonder what they consider “high-caliber?”

The author and the specific health professionals quoted pushed hard on the gun violence button:

During the onset of the pandemic, visits to the ER were down overall. Gun-related cases, however, remained the same. The reason is simple, but has far-reaching consequences: gun violence and the pandemic are linked by inequity, according to Randi Foraker, director of the Data and Training Center for the Institute for Public Health at Washington University.

“It’s just so telling when gun violence isn’t impacted by something as major as a pandemic,” Foraker said. “The issues surrounding gun violence are systemic, and they’re things that don’t change with the pandemic, and might actually be exacerbated with the pandemic.”

So guns are the problem, not peoples’ behavior — criminal activity, rioting, etc? What do you guys think?

 



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