First Do No Harm With COVID-19: Corona Collateral Damage Syndrome
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5811/westjem.2020.5.48013
Language matters and communication has consequences, sometimes unforseen. During the Covid-19 public health emergency, public health and elected leaders messaged "Stay at Home" to encourage social distancing to reduce viral transmission. The message in combination with a widespread public fear of acquiring Covid-19 at hospital emergency rooms, resulted in a steep decline in ER visits, even for time sensitive conditions. The Corona Collateral Damage Syndrome is described. A public health messaging course correction is suggested to encourage people with emergencies to come to the emergency room for care.