The doctor in charge of a Bay Area, Calif. trauma center said the state should end its lockdown orders after an “unprecedented” spike in suicide attempts amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ve never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time,” Dr. Mike deBoisblanc, head of trauma at John Muir Medical Center, told local station ABC7. “I mean, we’ve seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.” He added that he thinks “it’s time” to end the state shutdown.
“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,” he explained. “We have the current resources to do that and our other community health is suffering.”
Trauma nurse Kacey Hansen, who has worked at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek for over three decades, said she had “never seen” so many attempts, most being young adults. “I have never seen so much intentional injury . . . it’s upsetting.”
John Muir Health said in a statement that while “there are a number of opinions on this topic, including within our medical staff,” the organization supports the state’s shelter-in-place order.
California governor Gavin Newsom is currently putting his state through a phased reopening, with counties in the Bay Area moving slower than other parts of the state. On Tuesday, the Department of Justice warned Newsom in a letter that his state’s banning of in-person worship “facially discriminates against religious exercise.”