Letters to the Editor: She had a ruptured appendix, but fear of COVID-19 scared her from the ER

Los Angeles County Hospital
Medical staff wearing protective gear work in the emergency room at Los Angeles County - USC Medical Center in Boyle Heights on April 23.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: On April 3 I came down with acute abdominal pain. Because I feared going to the emergency room in this time of COVID-19, I waited 37 hours to seek treatment. (“‘Where are the strokes and the heart attacks?’ Doctors worry as patients avoid ERs,” April 22)

Finally, I went to the hospital, where I found an ER that was operating very efficiently. I was seen by the doctor in 10 minutes. I was astonished. After a couple hours of tests, I was told I had a ruptured appendix.

Normally a healthy 72-year-old (I ran a half marathon in February), I expected to bounce back on my feet and leave the hospital in the next day or two. But waiting could have cost me my life, and my recovery has been slow: I spent five days in the hospital, which was followed by home care and virtual appointments with three doctors.


The lesson: Go to the ER if your symptoms warrant it.

Anne Logan, Orange


To the editor: That people’s fear of COVID-19 is preventing them from seeking treatment for potentially life-threatening illnesses just doesn’t make sense. For them, a specific fear of one disease is more powerful than common sense.

I’m afraid that this fear is leading our society into disastrous consequences. This behavior might have made sense two months ago, but with all the experience we have with this virus now, people should wake up to the fact that we are better off now than we were before. Our stay-home order, regular hand washing and social distancing are working.

As FDR said, “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Sally Eggen, Newport Beach