The COVID-19 pandemic appears to have created shorter waiting times at hospital emergency departments, but that might not be a positive development. According to data in the Journal of the American Medical Association, this April, in the height of the pandemic, ER visits dropped 42 percent compared to last April. It appears that fears of COVID-19 are keeping many patients who have medical emergencies from seeking care. A recent survey in the New England Journal of Medicine showed a large percentage of people see hospitals as infection reservoirs.