Almost a million people in the United States have died of Covid-19 in the past two years, but the full impact of the pandemic’s collateral damage is still being tallied. Now a new study reports that the number of Americans who died of alcohol-related causes increased precipitously during the first year of the pandemic, as routines were disrupted, support networks frayed and treatment was delayed.
The startling report comes amid a growing realization that Covid’s toll extends beyond the number of lives claimed directly by the disease to the excess deaths caused by illnesses left untreated and a surge in drug overdoses, as well as to social costs like educational setbacks and the loss of parents and caregivers.
Alcohol-Related Deaths Spiked During the Pandemic, a Study Shows
The deaths were up 25 percent in 2020 compared with 2019, amid heightened stress factors and delayed treatment, according to a new report.
Roni Caryn Rabin
Rudy Giuliani came once, but no one wanted him back. His phone rang constantly, and he couldn’t shut it off. He shuffled endless pieces of paper without being able to find what he was looking for. He couldn’t work his iPad to bring up what he wanted to show, reliably stalling meetings. And he went down rabbit holes—they could get Hunter Biden, if they could just find the guy who signed the forms to get Hunter the waiver to get into the military. And he passed gas, constantly.
The room had not been cleaned since Election Day, eleven days before. Refuse filled the trash cans and overflowed onto the floor. There was a heavy sour or rotting smell—in the trash was a week-old Buffalo chicken sandwich—mixed with Giuliani’s reliable farting.
Everyone sheepishly held to the president’s preference that the virus be mostly unacknowledged, masks eschewed and superspreader events overlooked, but there was, nevertheless, even without a formal tracking program in the White House, a reflex to blame each infection on someone, as the president had continued, at the least opportunity, to blame his own case of it on Chris Christie.
Now, in fact, the president was worried that the press was going to leave the impression that Giuliani had gotten the virus from him. “They blame me for everybody getting it,” he pronounced, looking for sympathy.
Then Jenna Ellis got it two days later (the West Wing joke being that she got it from a Giuliani fart).
Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency
Often, when Dr. Rosenthal talked about his research, someone would approach him to say that the same thing happened to them — but in the summer. In 1987, he and his colleagues published a report of 12 people who experienced a pattern of seasonal depression between March and October. This and subsequent work suggested that summer SAD presented differently than its winter counterpart, and might have different causes.
“Summer SAD is more of an agitated depression,” said Dr. Rosenthal, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. While those with winter SAD tend to oversleep and overeat, summer SAD often shows up with insomnia and lowered appetite.
Seasonal Affective Disorder Isn’t Just for Winter
Feeling blue even though everyone seems to be basking in perfect summer weather? There might be a good reason for that.
Doctors in New York and California have diagnosed among homosexual men 41 cases of a rare and often rapidly fatal form of cancer. Eight of the victims died less than 24 months after the diagnosis was made.
The cause of the outbreak is unknown, and there is as yet no evidence of contagion. But the doctors who have made the diagnoses, mostly in New York City and the San Francisco Bay area, are alerting other physicians who treat large numbers of homosexual men to the problem in an effort to help identify more cases and to reduce the delay in offering chemotherapy treatment.
The sudden appearance of the cancer, called Kaposi’s Sarcoma, has prompted a medical investigation that experts say could have as much scientific as public health importance because of what it may teach about determining the causes of more common types of cancer.
RARE CANCER SEEN IN 41 HOMOSEXUALS
Lawrence K. Altman
July 3, 1981
Cities also lose their livability, and open defecation becomes a threat to public health. Americans have painstakingly built new norms about dog owners picking up after their pets, but we’ve gone backward with human waste.
Meanwhile, it’s not just the homeless who suffer. Taxi drivers, delivery people, tourists and others are out and about all day, navigating a landscape that seems oblivious to the most basic of needs. The same is true of parents out with kids.
Americans have had tumultuous debates about transgender use of restrooms, but we haven’t adequately acknowledged a more fundamental failing in Democratic-run and Republican-run cities alike: the outrageous shortage of public restrooms generally.
America Is Not Made for Anatomically Correct People
As Biden pushes for an infrastructure package, let’s fix our scandalous lack of public restrooms.
From the comments:
“I guess all I can add to this piece is my personal remedy which I use in NYC, that being I find easily accessible restrooms on the ground floor of large hotels. It probably helps to dress like you might be a guest at the hotel, as you walk into the lobby.”
SAN FRANCISCO — In early 2019, a formerly homeless man named Tom Wolf posted a thank-you on Twitter to the cop who had arrested him the previous spring, when he was strung out in a doorway with 103 tiny bindles of heroin and cocaine in a plastic baggie at his feet.
“You saved my life,” wrote Wolf, who had finally gotten clean after that bust and 90 days in jail, ending six months of sleeping on scraps of cardboard on the sidewalk.
Drug overdoses killed 621 people in the first 11 months of 2020, up from 441 all last year and 259 in 2018. San Francisco is on track to lose an average of nearly two people a day to drugs in 2020, compared with the 178 who had died by Dec. 20 of the coronavirus.
“If we didn’t have Narcan,” said program manager Kristen Marshall, referring to the common naloxone brand name, “there would be no room at our morgue.”
San Francisco struggles to stem ‘horrific’ uptick in opioid overdoses, drug abuse
Los Angeles Times