Claudewell S. Thomas, MD, MPH, DLFAPA, is an established psychiatrist currently retired and living in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. He received his medical degree in 1956 at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and specializes in social psychiatry, public health psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry. Dr. Thomas was board... more
We (The USA) are at war. It is undeclared, it is cyberwar, it is spyware, it is economic war, and it is psychological war. There are no treaty derived rules that can be pointed to establish war crimes. There are no rules of engagement to be broken since the very act of engagement is concealed. The combatant themselves are shifting and shadowy, and you can only count on your own nationals provisionally. It sounds like a nightmare and indeed it is. Nevertheless, since the economy is a target in this ongoing bizarre struggle, you and I and our health care dollars are soldiers in this war. By now you have figured out that one major problem is that the terrain for these wars is also the terrain for political struggles that are supposed to go on within our walls, where the combatants are major and minor politically. For those of you who have followed these posts, the interconnection between anxiety/depression, suicide, gun violence, addiction, and human abuse have been sketched. The vulnerability of streams, rivers and reservoirs have been outlined, the expense of emergency room care, (national budget threatening) and the flooding of ER’s by routine care patients unable to acquire basic benefits. Thus, rendering ER’s unavailable for first line defenses against epidemic disease or injury flooding should be familiar. Your health is a critical resource in this struggle and your access to care a vital weapon.
Russia emerges as our principal antagonist, using her armed might to secure a regional sphere of influence and her cyber tactical skills to infiltrate some structures directly and cripple others indirectly. It will settle for having Americans at one another's throats, incapable of responding to further Russian intrusion. We have not fared well in the cyberwar with Russia, earlier posts have dealt with the IBM selectron hack in the U.S. Embassy, in Moscow etc.
He who treats himself has a fool for a doctor. This is not withstanding. There are a lot of addicted, depressed and/or burnt out physicians. Physician suicide, homicide, addiction and burnout are climbing, and thus a first line defender is being threatened. Nurses, licensed therapists, and other healthcare professionals have to be counted on more than ever. State and county licensing processes have to be modulated (tightened or loosened) according to local and regional need. More and more reliance will be placed on devices. But these devices can readily fall prey to hackers.
What can you and I do? We can make sure that we maintain maximum health, try to avoid addictive practice, avoid opioids, and challenge their prescription. Cannabinoids will often suffice when NSAIDS and salicylates fail. Do not purchase AHP’s (alternative health plans) that give insufficient coverage and convert anything paid for partially to a non-payable preexisting condition. We can ask our health care providers what they consider suitable coverage while wishing them well.
We can also call our congressmen and women and tell them that we want ACA and Medicare protection continued. We do not expect party rivalry to be in witting or unwitting support of the real undeclared war going on against our country.