State Representative Margo McDermed and other members of the House Republican Caucus are imploring Governor Pritzker to consider the devastating effects his stay-at-home order is having on the mental and long term health of individuals and families.
Throughout the course of this pandemic, the Governor has kept his focus solely on cases of COVID-19 and related deaths. There has been almost no discussion or response related to the negative outcomes related to the Governor’s mitigation efforts.
“There is the old saying, ‘the cure is worse than the disease’ and that’s a discussion we need to at least consider having,” Rep. McDermed said.
In March alone, calls to the national Disaster Distress Hotline jumped 891% compared to the prior year. A new study released by the Well Being Trust and the American Academy of Family Physicians estimates that “deaths of despair” could reach as high as 150,000. In addition, law enforcement agencies across the state are reporting a surge in domestic violence calls, but have also warned the real numbers are likely much worse.
Rep. McDermed and her colleagues sent a letter to Governor Pritzker sharing these concerns:
“The growth of the overall human toll linked to COVID-19 and its response can no longer be ignored,” the letter reads. “We must ensure our path forward finally takes a holistic approach to save not only the lives of those infected by the virus, but also the lives of those affected by the government’s response.”
You can read the letter here.