Hey! Maybe the solution for health care staff shortage is more mandates!

Problems with Rhode Island’s health care industry indicate an across-the-board failure of government management.  Remember when they shut down our economy to avoid overwhelming our medical infrastructure?  Well, that move — and all that came after it — may be resulting in a much more intractable, longer-term failure.

Want to count the ways?

One. Staff at facilities are stressed, overburdened, and facing undue restrictions.

The most emblematic restriction, of course, is the mandate that all health care workers must be vaccinated, regardless of individual circumstances.  This policy could have come straight from the classic movie, Idiocracy.  Officials knew about staffing challenges beforehand, and yet chose to take the hardest possible line, refusing to make any enduring accommodations whatsoever.

But that policy is only emblematic.  Our regulatory system (along with labor union priority) has long been overly restrictive, emphasizing government control over adaptability and actual need.  Government and politics simply are not capable of micromanaging complex systems.

Two. Lockdowns and the constant drumbeat of doom are doing huge damage to all of our mental health.

Note this, from the above-linked Boston Globe article by Alexa Gagosz:

“But what we are also seeing, in addition to our sick medical patients, is an increase in the number of behavioral health patients, including behavioral health pediatric patients and that’s because of a lack of beds for them — not just at Landmark,” [Dr. Matthew] Sarasin said. “And they’re staying in the emergency department longer.”

Increases in overdoses and suicides are only the extreme tips of a much larger problem.  We can bet that they indicate large increases in various stages of substance abuse, depression, stress, and other markers of mental unhealth.

Three. Restrictions and fear kept people from taking addressing problems sooner.

In addition to increased mental health problems, our government’s response to COVID kept people out of doctors’ offices and hospitals for regular checkups and screenings as well as non-emergency surgery and treatments.  There’s a reason we do those things, and we’re going to be dealing with the consequences of taking a break from them for decades to come.

That is one reason forbidding hospitals from providing non-emergency services as punishment for continuing to schedule unvaccinated staff is so crazy that even the characters of Idiocracy wouldn’t have thought it reasonable.

As the government and news media ramp up their irresponsible hysteria for COVID 3, The Relapse, it is going to be up to the public to be the rational adults.  We must insist that government and its satellites stop pretending they can come up with the answers and therefore should have the responsibility.  They can’t, and they shouldn’t.

Sorry, folks, but that means only you can and only you should.


Featured image by Daniel Adesina on Unsplash.

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