[Ed. – Flattening the curve is flattening hospitals. –Brit Hume]
Public-health officials have directed Americans to stay home to slow the coronavirus spread and ease the burden on health-care providers. Most areas of the country are succeeding — so much so that hospitals and physicians are hemorrhaging cash due to declining demand for care.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month recommended that health-care providers postpone “elective” procedures to free up capacity and conserve protective equipment for treating coronavirus patients. Governors have likewise ordered providers and citizens to reschedule “non-essential” appointments. For better or worse, these directions are being stringently observed.
Hip and knee replacements are being delayed, but so are mastectomies. Some doctors are pausing chemotherapy treatments for less aggressive cancers due to government recommendations but also to avoid suppressing patient immune systems. Preventive screenings including mammograms, colonoscopies and melanoma checks have been cancelled.