By Debbie Moore-Black, RN
As I take the pups on their daily walk around the neighborhood. I come upon eight adults outside their houses, near the street, laughing and coughing and sneezing and smoking their cigarettes and huddled up close together.
They didn’t say hello to me, nor did I to them.
But I listened: “I ain’t gettin’ the COVID vaccine, I ain’t going to the hospital. If I get the COVID, I’m staying at home and taking NyQuil, and Robitussin and Ambien … and whatever I can lay my hands on.”
I don’t go out much. Except for my walks, to the grocery store or to work. The local grocery store states mandatory masks, but there are always those that don’t care. As I stood in line recently at the grocery store, distanced myself at the cash register, mask in place, a man comes directly up to my face and coughs on me. And then he begins to laugh.
I don’t know what happened to genuine respect for each other. Common courtesy during this pandemic. Apparently, some people have been convinced that Covid is not real. Or not a big deal. And laughing in the face of science, medicine, and facts.
I guess they don’t know we’re running out of ICU beds and ICU nurses.
And I guess they don’t know we are running out of propofol and dexamethasone. Propofol for intubation and sedation and dexamethasone for the lungs’ inflammation due to the COVID virus attacking the lungs before it makes its way to all other vital organs.
I guess they don’t know about masks or social distancing or the COVID vaccine.
We are running out of basic tube feedings for patients. Running out of plasma. Some city hospitals are full. Our hospital has turned our ICU rooms into two Covid patients to one room. One room that use to be for one patient. Gift shops and conference rooms are converted into COVID beds. Hospital tents are being installed in certain cities.
We are running out of body bags.
The critical care nurses gown and glove and masks and face shields for 12 hours straight. There is no 30-minute break. It is lifesaving ICU room to ICU room. Lifesaving. Or surrendering to another death.
I guess they don’t know that our America now. Today has 356,000 dead people due to COVID.
I guess it doesn’t matter to them until it matters.