“The patients look at you with that fear in their eyes and say, ‘Am I going to make it?’” Baxter said. “You want to encourage them to not give up hope, but you also know the chances of survival are going to be slim.”
Recently, a patient’s dying wish was to have their preschool-age child come and sit with them, to see them one last time. That typically wouldn’t be allowed, but an exception was made, with staffers at the hospital draping the child in oversized protective clothing, goggles and an N95 mask. Afterward, the nurse and doctor sobbed with the patient.
“The moral distress of working in health care is for many, many people extremely high right now,” said Allen.
Intensifying that, he said, are patients or their loved ones mistreating doctors and nurses. Threats have on occasion required a police response. Screaming, profanity-laden insults are a daily occurrence. One patient threw his own feces at a doctor. Some, even in the face of an intubation tube, question the need to be vaccinated or the effectiveness of the medicine being prescribed.
Dr. Sara Nyquist, an emergency medicine physician, said she has been asked by a patient if she is a Republican or a Democrat.
“I said, ‘I am your doctor,’” she recalled. “You do wonder how we got here.”
Stage 1. You’ve had debilitating symptoms for a few days, but now it is so hard to breathe that you come to the emergency room.
Stage 2. It becomes harder and harder for you to breathe. “Like drowning,” many patients describe the feeling. We transfer you to the intensive care unit.
Stage 3. You’re exhausted from hyperventilating to satisfy your body’s demand for air. We put you on noninvasive, “positive pressure” ventilation.
Stage 4. An arterial blood draw confirms that the oxygen content in your blood is critically low. We prepare to intubate you. If you’re able to and if there’s time, we will suggest that you call your loved ones. We connect you to a ventilator. You are sedated and paralyzed, fed through a feeding tube, hooked to a Foley catheter and a rectal tube.
One thing that struck me from seeing about a dozen of these posts in the last month is how uniform the calls for prayers are once the person gets sick and dies. I guess it's the most Christian social media space I'm exposed to anymore, so while not surprising I find it striking.
For every one patient who is reasonable there are 10 that aren’t. During the first round of the pandemic I would say those numbers were opposite but now it’s only the deniers getting sick enough to see me. It almost feels like an assault.
“I think we all have some commonality that the public [is no longer] our allies,” Krell told the newspaper. “But, in instances that are surprising, patients sometimes have some real hostility. They say they couldn’t have COVID, that this is all a lie, even as we’re getting ready to intubate them.”
"I am at a point where headlines about ill and dying Covid deniers do not pull at my empathy strings the way I want them to."
do any families demand that covid is never mentioned, removed from death certificate, etc?
It's funny because they used to. We file the death certificates, but the doctor decides what the cause of death is. At first a lot of families would scream that we needed to take Covid off as the cause of death. We would refer them back to the doctor, who would sometimes comply.
Later it was announced that FEMA would compensate the families of Covid-19 deaths to help cover funeral expenses if they didn't have life/burial insurance. Suddenly these people were coming back and demanding we change it back so they could file for compensation. I think a lot of doctors just did it, because they were too busy to keep dealing with the screaming phone calls.
Dr. Fauci answered, “If you look at the history of vaccines, you know that virtually all long-term adverse effects of a vaccine occur between 15 and 30 days after you get the dose – 45 days at the most. When you get a vaccine allowed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), such as with the emergency use authorization, you have to wait 60 days from the time half the people in the trials got their last dose and observe safety before it can be used on the public. If almost all of the long-term adverse effects occur within 45 days, you’ve gone beyond that if you wait 60 days, so the chances of there being long-term effects are vanishingly small.”
Is the mRNA vaccine considered a vaccine?
Yes. mRNA vaccines, such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, work differently than other types of vaccines, but they still trigger an immune response inside your body. This type of vaccine is new, but research and development on it has been under way for decades.
Are COVID-19 vaccines safe even though the vaccines were developed rapidly?
While COVID-19 vaccines were developed rapidly, all steps were taken to make sure they are safe and effective:
Approach to Development – Scientists have been working for many years to develop vaccines against viruses like the one that causes COVID-19. This knowledge helped speed up the initial development of the current COVID-19 vaccines.
Clinical Trials – All vaccines in the United States must go through three phases of clinical trials to make sure they are safe and effective. During the development of COVID-19 vaccines, phases overlapped to speed up the process, but all phases were completed.
Authorization or Approval – Before vaccines are available to people, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assesses the findings from clinical trials. FDA determined that three COVID-19 vaccines met FDA’s safety and effectiveness standards and granted those vaccines Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs)external icon. This allowed the vaccines to be quickly distributed to control the pandemic.
Some left-leaning communities — like many suburbs of New York, San Francisco and Washington, as well as much of New England — have such high vaccination rates that even the unvaccinated are partly protected by the low number of cases. Conservative communities, on the other hand, have been walloped by the highly contagious Delta variant. (You can find data for hundreds of counties here.)
Since Delta began circulating widely in the U.S., Covid has exacted a horrific death toll on red America: In counties where Donald Trump received at least 70 percent of the vote, the virus has killed about 47 out of every 100,000 people since the end of June, according to Charles Gaba, a health care analyst. In counties where Trump won less than 32 percent of the vote, the number is about 10 out of 100,000.
And the gap will probably keep growing
When I got Covid in 2020 and spent weeks in the hospital, it was harrowing. But it was nothing compared to what my family is dealing with now—also as a result of Covid.
This is a Covid horror story in which no one actually gets Covid, and it could still happen to anyone
I truly don't think it's a good idea to ration medical care based on whether people could have prevented their illness.
Director of the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at Columbia, Lydia Dugdale, said that while it's "not surprising that people would delight on the misfortune of others," the practice goes against medical ethics. Link
“We are concerned about the constant use of federal funds to support this most notorious expression of segregation. Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhuman because it often results in physical death.
“I see no alternative to direct action and creative nonviolence to raise the conscience of the nation.”
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