The only folks who miss the doctor’s office waiting room are children skipping school to find Nemo in the fish tank. These days we all get hold music and pre-recorded reminders to get our flu shots instead of time to catch up on magazines we would otherwise never read.
Nonetheless, that time spent in the waiting room is a privilege for those who can afford a costly doctor visit. At a time when healthcare is of critical importance, the economic fallout from the pandemic has shoved 13% of Americans off their healthcare plans. Troublingly, the rate of healthcare loss for Black Americans is more than double the national average at 30%.
While the pandemic dictates a pause on handshakes and high fives, no lockdown can stop grandpa from clipping the edge of a curb or a cavity from forming thanks to thrice weekly Ben & Jerry’s night. More than one-quarter of Americans have skipped a routine medical appointment during the pandemic, and 17% elected not to have an elective procedure. Deferred maintenance might as well be the motto of 2020.
Rather than risking exposure in a medical facility, one-third of Americans have recently tried telemedicine for the first time and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive: 94% rate their telemedicine experience as positive. Sounds like PJs are preferred over hospital gowns.