Sunday, August 29, 2021

Covid Reality at a New Level

I'm sure you've heard the argument by now that people who have chosen not to be vaccinated (who could have been) shouldn't be taking up beds in hospitals from other people. I've seen counter-arguments made, sometimes based on the way people have been brainwashed by propaganda, sometimes just on humanitarian grounds.

I am not unpersuaded. One reason is because many of us do not have good (or any) access to real health care, so when we hear messages like, "Consult your primary care physician," it rings hollow. Many of us don't have primary care physicians, are you kidding? In this country? And it's hard for a public health message to get through the clamor of normal modern life, let alone the shitstorm of misinformation that is being promulgated.

But still, it's difficult to hear about people dying from some other cause when there wasn't a bed for them because the hospital is full, mostly with people who wouldn't have been there if they had gotten vaccinated when they pretty easily could have. And especially if they didn't get vaccinated because they believed what are obvious lies or self-serving stories from someone selling something. I personally know multiple people like this. They are making a conscious decision.

Someone named Rod (@rodimusprime) put that concept this way today:

The demand to have an unlimited supply of empathy is where I draw the line with the unmasked / unvaccinated. You can’t take up all the hospital beds, resources, money and then demand my patience / empathy too.

Another person (@5691Yenoh) shared this image:

That point — about politicians like Ted Cruz, Greg Abbott or Ron DeSantis — getting vaccinated themselves and then playing politics over it is one of the things that gets me the most about this. Trump obviously did it, too, but has at least publicly said a few times he's vaccinated (though not nearly often or clearly enough). And as far as anyone knows, a few of the true ravers like MTG are not vaccinated, so I guess they get some kind of sicko points for being consistent. (Though who knows, maybe they've gotten the shots. They'll never tell.)

Perhaps you saw discussion of what chest x-rays of covid patients look like for those who have or haven't been vaccinated?

That white stuff in the unvaccinated image is scar tissue, according to the medical people commenting. 

The Star Tribune today had a story where the reporter interviewed people who were finally getting vaccinated. Family pressure was a major factor, for those who were willing to go on the record. They were the young or relatively young, who should know by now that there's a Delta variant and it's people just like them who are in the hospital, but they still weren't worried about getting sick, just wanted to appease their families. One woman was quaking in her boots because she was so scared of the vaccine, she said, but she was getting it anyway, for her family's sake.

All of the above is material I've been reading and thinking about before I read an article reprinted in today's Pioneer Press (originally from the Los Angeles Times). It's by a respiratory therapist in a hospital in Ventura, California.

She describes, briefly but thoroughly, the seven stages of severe covid (no paywall on that link). The first stage is when your oxygen saturation drops low enough that you're concerned and go the ER, so they put you on oxygen, steroids, monoclonal antibodies, and a bunch of other treatments. 

The seventh stage is death. 

In between, the other stages are not gradual. At stage 2 you feel like you're drowning. At stage 3 you're going into the ICU. Stage 4 is intubation, which — as I've been reading lately — is generally a one-way ticket these days. Stage 5 is ECMO, but a lot of hospitals don't have that kind of equipment. Stage 6 is your body failing in a bunch of ways because intubation is really hard on humans.

And all of this is true only as long as medical staffing levels hold out and you actually get a bed and access to all that equipment that takes highly trained personnel.

It seems as if anyone who isn't vaccinated and is rational would, upon reading this, run to the nearest vaccine site immediately.

But instead of reading it, they're online talking about horse dewormer, I guess.

1 comment:

Jean said...

My brother is a respiratory therapist up in Oregon and says that their ICU has never been more full. He isn't saying a lot about the gory details (we are all vaccinated so he probably doesn't feel the need), but my friend's daughter, a nurse, has flat-out said that she'd rather be burned to death than die of Covid; it's that awful. Meanwhile, a friend of mine who would definitely for sure die if she got it has only just gotten the jab, and only under pressure from her job. I wish she hadn't had to be pressured into it. I did express my concern to her before that. The whole thing is so horrible.