"...I have just finished a night shift and seen 6 new Covid cases, all unvaccinated, and one was a 4 month old and another a 5 year old..."
What appears below, I wrote a couple of days ago. As I write this now, I have just finished a night shift and seen 6 new Covid cases, all unvaccinated, and one was a 4 month old and another a 5 year old. That's not fair at all. When are people going to start thinking of others rather than themselves?
My Covid Plea
Dear Friends, family, distant acquaintances,
As many of you know, I am an Emergency Physician, and I’d like to share my thoughts on our current Covid crisis. I hope this reaches an audience of more than just my close friends and colleagues who know quite well how I feel, to an audience of those who don’t know me at all. Please feel free to share this with anyone you think might benefit from reading it.
I am compelled to write this because I care about my patients, my family, and most of all, those of us who can’t protect themselves. The innocent ones. The ones that depend on the rest of us for their safety because they can’t provide that safety for themselves. (For those of you who really know me, I have always had a huge soft spot for the underdog; yes, at some level I knew the lion had to eat, but I was always heartbroken for the gazelle that never made it home to its family. And I could go on.)
I care about the life we used to have, as imperfect as it was in so many ways. The freedoms we used to take for granted like visiting family, traveling, going to work, hugging our loved ones, and being at their side when they passed away. We were so close to victory over this virus we could taste it. We had the solution handed to us and we blew it.
Viruses are smart. They learn, they mutate. And now we’ve allowed this virus to mutate, unchecked, in large swaths of unvaccinated people. The original Covid the (alpha variant) spread at a 1:2 rate, meaning for every person infected with it, 1 or 2 others would get infected from them. Enter the delta variant. It is estimated that for every one person the Delta variant infects, it will spread to another 4-8 people, and each of those will transmit it to ANOTHER 4-8. This variant spreads faster than Ebola, The Spanish Flu, Chicken Pox, SARS and MERS. With that infectivity, it’s a certainty that when an unvaccinated person (or an entire unvaccinated family as I’ve been seeing more and more) gets infected, they will infect a huge number of other people in a very short time. And with all those that that family infects, it’s sure to kill someone. And that someone will undoubtedly be an unvaccinated person who couldn’t be vaccinated or was immunocompromised (ie, old or young) who was depending on us for protection. The vaccinated must be the “force field,” as it were, to surround and protect those who can’t yet be vaccinated.
I frequently ask people who are eligible to be vaccinated but who have not yet been vaccinated, which of your family members or close friends are you willing to see die because you chose not to protect them. Say their name. Picture their face. Say your goodbyes. Yes, you may be strong and you may survive, but will your victim be so lucky? It’s all a numbers game, and many lose that game.
What I fear most is that we have continued to allow the virus to infect unvaccinated people rather than shutting it down when we had the opportunity, and it will mutate into a variant that completely evades our vaccine. Then, we’re at best back to the drawing board, or at worst, screwed.
And now to the ER doc part of this. I’ve heard it all now. And so have my colleagues. And we’re mad.I’ve seen individuals (and entire families!) who KNOW they are infected, not wearing masks.
Patients, who when you tell them they tested positive and have Covid pneumonia say it’s not true and you’re lying. Seriously.
Patients who thought being a vegetarian would protect them
Patients who “didn’t have time” to get vaccinated, now with low oxygen levels and pneumonia who have infected their ENTIRE family (resulting in an ICU admission of one of their immediate family member) and multiple friends.
And each of those infections is spreading and spreading and spreading.
There is no way I can address every one of the absolutely bonkers things my colleagues and I have heard as excuses not to get vaccinated. Think of it this way. If you had a pipe burst in your house, you’d call a plumber, not an electrician or a doctor. And if your car needs repair, you’d trust your mechanic, not a plumber or a house painter. So, when it comes to life and death decisions, vaccines and medicine, please trust the folks that have spent their entire lives getting smart on this topic, and your common sense. Don’t trust (and spread) the crazy stuff that’s out there. It’s destroying lives, and families. Are there off-the -rails people out there with MD and PhD after their names? You bet, and they are an embarrassment to all the good docs. Just like the lousy mechanics, attorneys, contractors and plumbers are an embarrassment to those in those professions who care about what they do. That’s where your common sense comes in. You were born with it, just use it. Take 15 minutes and evaluate who you’re going to trust; lives are depending on you.
Vaccination saves lives and suffering.
My uncle was a Sheriff in Estes Park, CO and didn’t get vaccinated against Polio because he thought “only kids” can get it. He began getting ill on a Thursday, called my mom who was a nurse in Denver and by Sunday was in an iron lung (the original ventilator) in Colorado General Hospital. He eventually made it out of the iron lung but was in a wheelchair for the rest of his life left with only the ability to move his head little and his right thumb to drive the wheelchair.
I can excuse my uncle. We didn’t know what we know now. Vaccinations were relatively new and lack of understanding then was excusable. What’s happening now is inexcusable, selfish and cruel.
Today, we (should be) smarter and should expect better of ourselves.
If we could only spread knowledge and accurate information to those who have the power to protect themselves and their families, as effectively as the evil in our world is spreading disinformation and lies, and as Covid spreads disability, misery and death.
It has been said “A lie can travel around the world, while the truth is still putting it’s boots on”.
Well, we’ve got to get our boots on and get going.
Thank you for taking the time to read this,
Christopher White, MD, FACE