BY: CLAIRE KIM
While a majority of tested-positive COVID-19 patients end up going to the hospital to receive specialized medical care in hopes of a fast recovery, a telling number of individuals aren’t able to go because of financial burdens.
For most low-income families, the hospital bill is just too expensive. Considering hundreds of thousands of dollars for treatment isn’t an option when one is still in debt or financially incapable of paying such amounts in a selected time frame. Minimum wage is too meager to get involved with any sort of medical services, especially specialized services like COVID-19 treatment that demand expensive equipment and medications to mitigate the intensity of the virus.
For small business owners, shutting down their businesses to receive medical treatment is a dream at best. Already brutally affected after over three months of inactivity this past spring, closing their business when allowed to finally continue is not an attractive, nor feasible option at this point financially. Bankruptcy concerns are real. If major businesses like Home Goods, Pier 1 Imports, Gap, and Neiman Marcus are filing for bankruptcy, small businesses should be wary of possible financial drawbacks if they decide to close their business for an extended period.
Lastly, for those fathers or breadwinners of the house, leaving one’s family to get treated at the hospital for over two weeks is a decision that risks the health and welfare of the family. While this condition might not associate to double-income families, single-income families can for sure relate to this sentiment, in which even one day can cause a huge deficit in financial consistency.
The assumption that those infected, yet not hospitalized are fearful of the doctor, and thus, avoiding visits to the hospital is a misconception. For so many individuals in the world, though given the opportunity to access medical care, it’s become a too costly decision that bears financial uncertainties and, as mentioned above, burdens on one’s daily life.