May. 9, 2020

COVID-19: My Two Cents

For the past few months I have been reading and listening to everything I have been able to get my hands on in regards to COVID-19.  I have read medical studies,  looked for trends in lab results,  listened to doctors, and literally have learned everything I can learn from reliable sources.  Having said that, I am no expert on this crazy virus.  I still have so much to learn, we all do.  The one thing that I keep coming back to over and over again is the complete division it is creating in our world. People are angry.  People are scared.  People are confused.  People don’t know where to turn for the answers.  From speculations that numbers are skewed to the government wanting to microchip everyone,  the conspiracy theories are running rampant. 

 

I have watched so many videos that were uploaded to the internet…videos in which people pose as experts and make claims that play on people’s emotions.  A few days ago I watched a video where a “nurse practitioner” (she didn’t give her name) said that her friend, a “nurse” (she didn’t give her name, either) said that the hospital she worked at (she didn’t give the name of that hospital) was just letting patients lay there and die…she claimed that they were “murdering” patients.   She said that the hospital was refusing to give life-saving medications (surprise, she didn’t tell us which meds) and other treatments (again, no specifics given) and that patients were so critical and that the doctors weren’t even bothering to gain consent for emergent procedures. (Newsflash- in an emergency, doctors don’t have to gain consent, they do what is right for the patient)  I also watched the hour-long video where two doctors claim that this virus is no worse than the flu. (Pretty irresponsible for them to do this…especially because they can be immediately discredited by the facts that their urgent cares were failing due to the stay-at-home order and thus they had financial ruin in their immediate future, not to mention that one of the doctors isn’t even a Board Certified Physician)  However, so many people gave them 100% credit because they are doctors. Why? Because those doctors were saying what so many of us want to believe.   None of us want to be social distancing.  None of us want to wear masks.  None of us want to believe that a virus could take out hundreds of thousands of people across the globe. None of us want to be inconvenienced in any way whatsoever.  That’s why it is so easy for us to listen to the naysayers regarding COVID-19.   Yesterday I watched the video of some attention-seeking doctor that was essentially kicked out of the medical community for falsifying studies and tests. The sad thing is that people are actually believing what she says.    In my eyes, she is a waste of good, clean oxygen.  People who knowingly place others in harm’s way are literally doing the devil’s work for him.  She is no better than a drunk driver.  (I am also a little creeped out that she looks like Carole Baskin.)   

 

I have heard people saying that most patients aren’t “that sick” and that this virus is no worse than the flu.  This is partially true although it is much worse than the flu.  But wow.  Just wow.  When they are sick, they are SICK.  I have been a nurse for longer than I would like to admit.  I have always worked in inner-city ERs that see thousands upon thousands of patients each year.  I have only seen a handful of influenza patients that are as critical as the “sick” COVID-19 patients we are taking care of.  IT IS NO JOKE.  Pronating patients who are on the ventilator? What kind of madness is this?  It is bad, people.  I cannot tell you with enough passion…THIS VIRUS IS REAL.  I can also tell you that hundreds of thousands of people are walking around with CHF, COPD, and countless other diseases.  Those people are living full, productive lives.  If they contract COVID and die from it, THEY DID NOT DIE FROM CHF OR COPD.  THEY DIED FROM COVID.  If it weren’t for COVID, they would still be leading productive lives with their underlying health conditions.  I just don’t understand the disconnect with this subject.  I do know that when you make light of this virus, it feels like a slap in the face to those of us dealing with it in our lives.  Whether it be medical professionals or loved ones of those who have succumbed to the virus. 

 

I am also a little tired of hearing how Bill Gates is responsible for this virus and that it was released from a lab so that he could make millions from the vaccine…or microchip us…whichever version you want to believe.  (or maybe both?)  I don’t know if you guys realize this but Bill Gates is a capitalist.  He is a brilliant mind who has served himself well.  It is no surprise that he might seize the opportunity to invest in something that might bring him millions of dollars in revenue.  Why is that a bad thing?  The virus is real.  We need a vaccine.  We need someone to fund the research behind the vaccine.  I really don’t care how it gets here as long as the vaccine gets here.  Vaccines don’t cause autism.  Vaccines save FAR more lives than they cause harm.  You don’t want the vaccine?  Fine.  Don’t get the vaccine. I don't think the government should mandate this vaccine.  I am actually thrilled about how many people are now on board with "MY BODY, MY CHOICE".  (I have been arguing this point for decades.) Let me repeat myself...Get the vaccine or don't get the vaccine. But you can bet your bottom dollar I will get it, my husband will get it, my children will get it…hell, even my dog will get the vaccine if the DOCTORS and their PEER-REVIEWED RESEARCH says we will benefit from it.  And guess what? That beautiful vaccine will allow me to doff that PPE for one final time in regards to this god-forsaken virus… I.  CANNOT.  WAIT.  

 

Moving on to censorship…Yes.  YouTube and Facebook have removed several videos that “don’t meet community standards.”  This has people in an UPROAR.  Is this censorship? Maybe.  The disconnect comes into play when you consider that both of these are companies owned by people and not by the government.  The videos they are taking down are videos in which people are posing as “experts” and influencing those of us who aren’t sure where to turn.  They are preying on our fears and our lack of knowledge.  They are speaking to us in terms we can understand.  They are saying exactly what we want to hear and we are collectively giving them their 15 minutes of fame.   I pose this question to those of you bothered by the removal of their videos…  Which side of the argument were you on when a private business owner refused to bake a cake for a gay couple who was getting married? For me, that was a hard one.  While I support a business owner’s right to operate their company as they see fit, I do not support discrimination.  I also find it ludicrous that anyone would want to provide revenue for a company that doesn’t support their personal beliefs.  (Disclaimer:  I fly my rainbow flag high in the sky.)  Don’t like the fact that FB and YouTube remove videos?  Remove yourself from YouTube and Facebook.  Quit supporting a company that you don’t feel supports your right to free speech.  I mean in all honesty, both of those platforms are robbing us of true-life experiences anyway.  We scroll through social media and watch videos in lieu of spending time with those we love.  We are wasting precious time and there is no one to blame but ourselves.

 

I don’t know where we will all end up after COVID-19 is finished with us.  What I do know is that I applaud those of us who have given pause to all of this governmental control. There have definitely been negative impacts from the shutdown.  Companies are failing and families are suffering financially.  It is horrible.  I do, however,  think it has truly helped us to better prepare for the impact of this virus.  We have learned more.  We understand better how to care for the critically ill.  We have since learned that this virus isn’t airborne transmission and is instead droplet transmission.  (WHEW)  We are more aware of infection control in general which makes me happy.  I am also happy that we are reopening our state.  I hope that we can do so with caution and intelligence.  The truth is that COVID-19 is here to stay.  We cannot stay shut down forever.  But let’s take this opportunity to make a commitment to each other…Let’s take this opportunity to be better, to do better, to communicate better, to seek understanding better, and to look to actual experts for guidance.  Yes, you can get lost in all of the speculations but that is exactly what they are…speculations.  I for one hope I can look back on all of this and be forced to make a public statement regarding how wrong I was about the severity of this outbreak.  I don’t think that will be the case but I assure you….No piece of humble pie will have ever tasted so sweet.