COVID Forever Changed Our Society

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The Covid pandemic has forever changed our society. Nurses stand to lose respect unless they are consistent in believing science and supporting vaccines. Our divisiveness about vaccines is hurting us as a profession.

by Yvonne Hosey Yvonne Hosey (New)

Specializes in Family Practice. Has 36 years experience.

Which side of history do you want to be on?

COVID Forever Changed Our Society

The truth will eventually come out about the Covid pandemic. Not fake news, not misinformation, but the most unvarnished truth. The pandemic and our society’s reaction to it are being studied and will be for years to come. How it started, how politics affected it, what worked, and what did not. Who was wrong, who was right. So which side of history does the nursing profession want to be on? 

The nursing profession was already challenged by shortage before the pandemic even hit. We didn’t have enough nurses when I began in the profession over 35 years ago and that never improved. This situation has gradually worsened due to baby boomers getting older, needing more medical care and nurses retiring. There are not enough nursing programs, not enough teachers, not enough clinical placements to educate enough nurses. Tuition has skyrocketed. Covid killed nurses and drove others out of the profession. And now we are dealing with those among us who refuse to take the vaccine. 

I have yet to hear what I would consider to be a good excuse for not getting the vaccine, especially for nurses doing direct patient care. Being unwilling to get the vaccine because it is mandated is not one of them.  “But my rights!”, some nurses protest.  Working as a nurse puts a person into a very vulnerable community where the greater good has to take precedence over the provider’s individual rights. If you don’t take every precaution, you should not be there. We take Hep A, Hep B, flu, and MMR with few qualms. How did the Covid vaccine become so demonized? 

Our society in general looks up to nurses. We are not perceived to have a god complex. We are thought to be more relatable, good communicators and honest. Not always true, of course, but largely positive. Our handling of the pandemic may well cost us this reputation. 

When the truth finally sifts out, I suspect it may look something like this: The vaccine will be considered safe. Future improvements will make it even safer. Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine will probably not be used to treat Covid, but other medicines (maybe even related to them) will be developed that do and will be cost-effective as well. Rather than just accept new medicines, treatments and vaccines without question, as many people have done for years, consumers will ask for more information. This is a good thing and the knowledge they seek will be available; it has never been a secret.  

On the negative side of the situation, we will find out the total cost of the pandemic: economic, physical, psychological, political, and ethical. We will find out how unprepared we were to deal with Covid and why. We will find out how the pandemic was affected by our very divided politics. We will hopefully find ways to prevent social media from gumming up the works again. 

Nurses have plenty of disagreements, but on the subject of vaccines, we need to be on the same page. As the Covid pandemic wanes and we pick up the pieces, we need to be aware that this will happen again. Whether another dangerous new variant appears or another virus entirely, we will face a similar situation sooner or later. If we don’t want to lose another 750,000+ lives or more, we need to be better prepared. We need to believe the science that we were taught, as imperfect and changeable as it may be, and be good interpreters of that information for others. We need to be examples other people can continue to look up to. 

As a society, we have all sustained a major blow with Covid. Whether we got sick, took care of the sick, lost family, friends, jobs, businesses, or got depressed sitting at home for days on end, no one has been unaffected. We all need healing. We all need to make some sense out of what happened. We all need to hear the truth, and the truth is that the Covid vaccine needs to be accepted as one way to stay well. We don’t need to be afraid of it and nurses can help unify our society by carrying that message. So please, get your shots.

Yvonne Hosey has 36 years of experience and specializes in Family Practice.

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15 Comment(s)

toomuchbaloney

Has 43 years experience.

There was some early assessment of costs...

The COVID-19 Pandemic and the $16 Trillion Virus

That's from October, 2020. 

Strict individual mitigation would have been the fiscally and socially conservative approach under normal American circumstances.  We would have banded together to kick the virus to the curb.  We would have established ourselves as the model for the free world to follow in managing a global threat. Under normal circumstances the USA should have been well equipped to mount a robust pandemic response.  Nothing has been normal for a few years now. 

PMFB-RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Traum Rapid Response. Has 16 years experience.

For years nurses have been the most trusted profession. I fear we may lose that spot as a result of all the nurses who are dishonest people of low moral character spreading lies and disinformation.

     Fire and kick the anti vaxxers out of the profession. Well be better off for it. If it means I have to cover more shifts in COVID ICU for a while fine.

GrumpyRN, NP

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 39 years experience.

On 11/5/2021 at 1:18 PM, Yvonne Hosey said:

The vaccine will be considered safe. Future improvements will make it even safer. Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine will probably not be used to treat Covid, but other medicines (maybe even related to them) will be developed that do and will be cost-effective as well.

Covid: Pfizer says antiviral pill 89% effective in high-risk cases

First oral antiviral for COVID-19, Lagevrio (molnupiravir), approved by MHRA

We already know how safe the vaccines are (considering over 4 billion people have been vaccinated) and now we have oral antivirals. 

So things should be looking up.

As for how our society will be changed...  Look at the 1920's (the "roaring" 20's). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roaring_Twenties

Yes I know it was partly a reaction to WW1 but also to the flu pandemic (20 million dead from war, 50 million dead from flu).

Ginny AAS BBM MBA MSN

Specializes in Infectious disease.

I feel everyone may be going on too hard for those nurses who are not getting the COVID-19 vaccines. As nurses, we are advocates for patients, first. They all have different medical conditions, beliefs and faiths we have a duty to protect on their behalf. Nurses are no different.  They are using their own critical thinking skills on themselves. We don't know how they made their decisions or if they wanted to see the effectiveness of the vaccines. That is their right in the legal precept of informed consent. We don't know if they are allergic to an ingredient, has a medical condition that is contraindicated or had a previous vaccine injury, and frankly, it is not our business or our right to know under the law. Everyone should find their compassion and at least, empathy because they worked their tail ends off too!

 

 

PMFB-RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Traum Rapid Response. Has 16 years experience.

7 minutes ago, Ginny AAS BBM MBA MSN said:

I feel everyone may be going on too hard for those nurses who are not getting the COVID-19 vaccines. As nurses, we are advocates for patients, first. They all have different medical conditions, beliefs and faiths we have a duty to protect on their behalf. Nurses are no different.  They are using their own critical thinking skills on themselves. We don't know how they made their decisions or if they wanted to see the effectiveness of the vaccines. That is their right in the legal precept of informed consent. We don't know if they are allergic to an ingredient, has a medical condition that is contraindicated or had a previous vaccine injury, and frankly, it is not our business or our right to know under the law. Everyone should find their compassion and at least, empathy because they worked their tail ends off too!

 

 

Vaccination status is not protected health information. 

    WE have been refused thier compassion and empathy.  Now you suggest we find ours for them.

     The anti vaxxers are the moral equivalent of drunk drivers, worse at this late date, and with all the evidence available,  they are repeate offenders.

     They are literally killing us.

     Where is thier compassion and empathy? 

Ginny AAS BBM MBA MSN

Specializes in Infectious disease.

Conditions that could keep them from being vaccinated is not our business and is protected health information. They have a right under law for informed consent. Informed consent includes long term effects and legal repercussions for adverse events (not side effects) and as of right now, there is neither. 

Additionally, most had COVID-19 and carry antibodies. This is a true science yet, not being respected even though the CDC recognizes on their own website. 

toomuchbaloney

Has 43 years experience.

55 minutes ago, Ginny AAS BBM MBA MSN said:

Conditions that could keep them from being vaccinated is not our business and is protected health information. They have a right under law for informed consent. Informed consent includes long term effects and legal repercussions for adverse events (not side effects) and as of right now, there is neither. 

Additionally, most had COVID-19 and carry antibodies. This is a true science yet, not being respected even though the CDC recognizes on their own website. 

Then they should say that they have a contraindication rather than trying to justify a choice with nonsense and pseudoscience. 

1 hour ago, Ginny AAS BBM MBA MSN said:

Conditions that could keep them from being vaccinated is not our business and is protected health information. They have a right under law for informed consent. Informed consent includes long term effects and legal repercussions for adverse events (not side effects) and as of right now, there is neither. 

Additionally, most had COVID-19 and carry antibodies. This is a true science yet, not being respected even though the CDC recognizes on their own website. 

To my knowledge, the Covid vaccinations are actually medically contraindicated for very few people.

I find it enormously troubling, not just from the point of view of disease transmission, but on a professional level and ethical level, that health care practitioners would choose to be unvaccinated and continue to work with sick patients and their families.  Putting acutely/chronically ill patients, who often have significant co-morbidities, at risk by their nurse being unvaccinated and continuing to take care of patients, when patients have been denied the presence/visitation/support of their own family members (who may be fully vaccinated), and when patients have been dying in the hospital/facility without their loved one with them, resulting in huge emotional trauma for both patients and their family members/SO's, appears to be something that some health care practitioners find to be a trivial concern, and I wonder if they even think about this situation at all.

I would not want an unvaccinated nurse taking care of my family or myself.

My personal view is that those who have medical contraindications to the vaccine and those who choose not to vaccinate for philosophical, religious, or other reasons, should not be working where they can transmit the virus to patients and their family members.

Edited by Susie2310

nursej22, MSN, RN

Specializes in Public Health, TB. Has 36 years experience.

1 hour ago, Ginny AAS BBM MBA MSN said:

 

Additionally, most had COVID-19 and carry antibodies. This is a true science yet, not being respected even though the CDC recognizes on their own website. 

Do you mean the same CDC that recommends vaccination after infection, unless there are medical contraindications? The same CDC that published an MMWR that reported that post-COVID patients can be re-infected at 5 times the rate as vaccinated patients? 

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

3 hours ago, Ginny AAS BBM MBA MSN said:

I feel everyone may be going on too hard for those nurses who are not getting the COVID-19 vaccines. As nurses, we are advocates for patients, first. They all have different medical conditions, beliefs and faiths we have a duty to protect on their behalf. Nurses are no different.  They are using their own critical thinking skills on themselves. We don't know how they made their decisions or if they wanted to see the effectiveness of the vaccines. That is their right in the legal precept of informed consent. We don't know if they are allergic to an ingredient, has a medical condition that is contraindicated or had a previous vaccine injury, and frankly, it is not our business or our right to know under the law. Everyone should find their compassion and at least, empathy because they worked their tail ends off too!

 

 

Then their critical thinking should guide them to the right decision. Vaccinate. And public health and vaccination status have been, and will continue to be, EVERYone's business.

PMFB-RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Traum Rapid Response. Has 16 years experience.

5 hours ago, Ginny AAS BBM MBA MSN said:

Conditions that could keep them from being vaccinated is not our business and is protected health information. They have a right under law for informed consent. Informed consent includes long term effects and legal repercussions for adverse events (not side effects) and as of right now, there is neither. 

Additionally, most had COVID-19 and carry antibodies. This is a true science yet, not being respected even though the CDC recognizes on their own website. 

Those who have one of the very few legitimate medical contraindication to being vaccinated don't need to lie and spread disinformation. 

    Thus if one is lying and spreading disinformation then they don't have one of the legitimate medical contraindications.