To vax or not to vax? That is the question. As you know by now, that is a question many people are considering in conjunction with “to work or not to work.” Depending on your location, chances are that you, or someone you know or know of, has been given the choice to take the jabs or take the walk of shame out of the building with a box full of personal effects. It is a tough choice, and even healthcare workers are not exempt. In fact, the Oregon Nurses Association reported on Wednesday that 111 nurses for PeaceHealth have been placed on unpaid administrative leave. August 31 was the deadline for employees to provide proof of vaccination or an exemption.
I know, that’s exactly the kind of thing we would expect out of Oregon. But it is not just limited to the Beaver State. It’s happening in other places, and before you think that all healthcare providers are of one mind regarding COVID-19, please think again. Nurses around the nation are starting to post personalized versions of the following on Facebook under #unitedwestanddividedwefall:
“I’m an RN of 10 years and I am being fired December 1. I’m not political. I don’t watch the news. I do my job and I go home to my family. I love caring for others from every single walk of life and I take that responsibility seriously. Last year I worked the floor no one else wanted to. I have my own medical issues, but I willingly worked that floor. I sat face to face with your loved ones without fear because I trust science when it says the survival rate is greater than 99%. However, I don’t judge anyone who is scared. If I hadn’t seen all the things I’ve seen with my own eyes, I would probably be scared too. Most of my patients walked out the front door💜Yes it is real, some became extremely ill and have long lasting effects, some succumbed, but most people walked out the door!!! This year I’m working in the ER and will be fired December 1st for refusing a shot How is it possible that I worked the entire past year, most shifts on said floor, many times without the proper equipment, and without the shot , but today I am expendable??? I stand for FREEDOM! You have the right to disagree with me and I will still support your right to your opinions. I will NEVER agree to force anything on anyone. I support your right to choose the shot for you and your family. My choice, after what I have personally witnessed, is to abstain until long term studies have been conducted. I could share story after story about adverse effects I have personally witnessed, but I am not because it is your choice and you’ve most likely already chosen. If you haven’t, I encourage you to research and dig deep. Talk to people who are on the front lines. I am here today asking you stand for freedom for us all. If this is forced, what is next? Then after that? What freedoms will our children have to fight for? Don’t let this fall on them. This is simply about freedom! Much love”
“I never thought I would witness and then be forced to chose between my livelihood, how I provide for my family and taking this COVID vaccine. The personal opinions on why, or if you have been vaccinated or not; all irrelevant to me- it should ALWAYS be a CHOICE. This is the most difficult decision I have ever had to make..
“I will be walking away from a career that I worked so hard to obtain, dedicated over 13 years of my life to, and I have student loans I am still paying..
“Not ANY part of this is RIGHT..
“I am completely heartbroken”
At some hospitals, employees are leaving their shoes at the doors as a sign of protest.
The group America’s Frontline Doctors is urging nurses and healthcare employees not to bow to pressure to be vaccinated or quit, stating: “As the mandates are increasing and the “deadlines” fast approach, YOU SHOULD NOT QUIT YOUR JOB. Do not be fooled if your boss says you must resign. Make your boss fire you and do not sign anything or agree to anything that says otherwise. Do not agree with ‘voluntary resignation.’ If you are fired, you are eligible for unemployment. Anything else and you are not.” The group also offers resources to health workers who object to or cannot receive the vaccine. Their site also includes the statement “We are at the ‘delta’ variant. The last variant is totalitarianism.” I’ll let you make up your own mind on that one.
As nurses are let go and reports come in about overloaded ICUs, the true irony of the situation is that the American Nurses Association is asking the Department of Health and Human Services to declare a national crisis over the nursing shortage. And as the deadlines roll in and nurses are sent packing, the ones who remain will be forced to shoulder heavier loads, leading to more burnout and possibly even more shortages. And so it continues. And not all nurses are the same. A labor and delivery nurse has some things in common with an ICU or trauma nurse, but the reality is that they are very different fields with entirely different skills sets, and you cannot just swap them out like parts for a ’65 Mustang. And when we have burned through our supply of skilled nurses, with whom shall we replace them? Your friend’s daughter who just got her phlebotomy certificate from community college?
There are undoubtedly a few trolls and uber-progs who are reading this muttering, “Well they are nurses so they should know better.” One, shut up. Two, thank you for helping me make my next point. Three, shut up. Who do you think knows the disease better than the people who deal with it and treat it every day? A high-paid government wonk in a luxury office with a fat tax-payer funded pension? When I have a question about COVID-19, I don’t ask Fauci, Cuomo, Whitmer, Newsom or the CDC. And I certainly don’t ask the Whitehouse press office or the idiots at CNN, but I repeat myself. I ask an ER or ICU nurse. They are the ones who have been donning and doffing the PPE. They are the ones who see the symptoms. They are the ones who know how the disease is spreading and who is getting it. They are the ones rolling patients on ventilators. They are the ones who understand the comorbidities. They are the people who have been actually with this since Day One.
For the record, my wife and I both received the vaccine. It was our choice and it was based on multiple factors. Some experienced nurses made different choices. And because of those choices, they no longer have jobs. And we have a nursing shortage. People who know how to treat COVID-19 are being fired because they are making their choices based on their knowledge of COVID-19.
It’s like a freaking Vonnegut novel.