COVID: It's Time to be Outspoken

Turning the tide on COVID with our voices. Nurses COVID Article

I Am Sick of this Virus

To say that I am sick of COVID-19 is an understatement. Thankfully I haven’t been physically sick from COVID-19 but the mental anguish has been significant. It’s been a year and a half of uncertainty, fear, isolation, anxiety, grief and frustration. I’m sure some of you are quite familiar with these feelings. 

Right now my overarching emotion is disappointment. I am disappointed that we are still living through this pandemic. I am disappointed that our country is divided on how to best handle the virus. I am also disappointed that so many people are rejecting facts and beneficence in favor of misinformation and self-interest. This is dangerous territory.

When did people start renouncing what is scientifically proven to be best for the whole in exchange for what “might” be best for them personally? How did upholding personal freedoms become more noble than ensuring the safety of the masses? 

Recently I read a quote that really stuck with me and seems wholly applicable to our current situation. 

The Cherokee elder Stan Rushworth said, “The difference between a Western settler mindset of ‘I have rights’ and an indigenous mindset of ‘I have an obligation’ is instead of thinking that I am born with rights, I choose to think I was born with an obligation to serve past, present and future generations, and the planet herself”.

These are powerful words that mirror the split happening over Coronavirus.

66% is a D. That's too Close to Failing.

I had assumed that the vast majority of people would be of the “obligation” mindset but my assumption is inaccurate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 66% of Americans age 12 and older - those eligible for the vaccine - are fully vaccinated. I’m not comforted by this percentage rate; it feels much too low for such an unpredictable, deadly virus. Are four out of ten people okay rolling the dice on this one?

I have to wonder how people have lived through the same past 20 months as me but have chosen not to vaccinate, not to mask up, and not to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID. How are they so confident they’ll survive? How do they not fear inadvertently killing another human being? Were they not watching the same news as me - of tractor trailer trucks lined up on city streets, acting as mobile morgues because the hospitals were too full of dead bodies? That haunting image alone was enough to make me think the vaccine was worth getting.

Towards the beginning of the pandemic, I remember watching footage of nurses in NYC walking into their hospitals with neighborhood residents cheering and banging pots and pans together from their apartment balconies in a show of support and love. I hoped these same people showing their support outwardly and loudly were doing what was needed behind the scenes: quietly getting their vaccinations without fanfare. I hoped they were doing what was necessary to actually prove their allegiance to those fighting on the hospitals’ front lines.

What Can We Do?

As nurses, we can help turn the tide of COVID by educating our patients and peers on the dangers of misinformation and the vital importance of doing all we can to stop the spread. We can disseminate factual knowledge to those who need it, loudly. It’s our obligation to set the record straight and offer evidence-based research to those who may be getting their news from less-than-reliable sources. 

It’s Our Time to Be Outspoken. Lives Are On the Line.

We can spread the facts at our patients’ beside, to their visitors, on social media, and to our anti-vax friends and family. We can volunteer at vaccination clinics. We can tell real-life, modern horror stories of how intubation works or how organs shut down due to this disease. It’s time to scare people straight. 

We can sport a cheery “I’m Vaccinated!” pin and wear masks in public, even when not mandated. We can run for the school board and help influence safety measures in our children's classrooms. We can help organize transportation to local pharmacies for citizens who may not be able to get to a vaccination site otherwise. There’s a hundred other ways we can do good work and keep people safe.

Over the past 20 months we’ve established that healthcare professionals are heroes. Let’s continue to do heroic things, not just with our skilled hands, but with our loud, determined voices. Make yours heard. 


One Year In: COVID-19 and Mental Health

We Are All Related: A Conversation with Stan Rushworth

COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States

Specializes in NICU, PICU, Transport, L&D, Hospice.
7 hours ago, LisaNICUrn said:

I don't go and scream on top of the rooftops not to get it.

Nope.  You came to an online forum to attempt to justify your choice and influence others to choose the same way.  You even added the veil of credibility to your choice to remain unvaccinated by identifying yourself as an RN. Unfortunately, your choice is clouded by things other than science and evidence because the science and evidence demonstrates that the vaccines are safe and effective. 

Specializes in NICU, PICU, Transport, L&D, Hospice.
8 hours ago, Bluefamily said:

Some of my hesitation with the COVID vaccine is based on why do the previous regulations trialing new medications not apply here?

Which of the previous regulations were set aside for these vaccines? Please be specific? 


8 hours ago, LisaNICUrn said:

At the end of the day though, I have to protect myself before I can ever protect my patients. 

How does not vaccinating during a dangerous pandemic qualify as protecting oneself? Can you agree that the unvaccinated are the greatest covid threat to your vulnerable patients? 

Specializes in NICU, PICU, Transport, L&D, Hospice.
7 hours ago, LisaNICUrn said:

Our articles aren't necessarily the ones you read, but if you look hard enough, you will find them. We see the side effects, the deaths, the stark differences they aren't splashing all over the media. 

Are you reading self published opinion that hasn't met the standards of medical journals? Is that what leads you to encourage people to remain unvaccinated in spite of the science and evidence that everyone should vaccinate with the safe and effective vaccines?

5 hours ago, toomuchbaloney said:

Which of the previous regulations were set aside for these vaccines? Please be specific? 

Please read the following article about the typical process of vaccine approval.

Where are the independent scientific results to support each of the COVID vaccines... including the Johnson and Johnson vaccine? I don't know where to find them? 

If the COVID vaccine can be created this quickly, why can't vaccines for other illnesses be created just as fast?

Specializes in NICU, PICU, Transport, L&D, Hospice.
10 minutes ago, Bluefamily said:

Where are the independent scientific results to support each of the COVID vaccines... including the Johnson and Johnson vaccine? I don't know where to find them? 

If the COVID vaccine can be created this quickly, why can't vaccines for other illnesses be created just as fast?

Are you assuming that the mRNA technology can't be used to create other vaccines?

Specializes in clinic nurse.
18 hours ago, MunoRN said:

there is a window where for at least some amount of time after exposure where a vaccinated individual has a similar potential for transmission as an unvaccinated individual, but that window of time is far shorter than if the person is unvaccinated. 

This is exactly correct and thank you for writing this for all to see and learn. As Scott Gottlieb (yes, Media Master and Pfizer board member Scott Gottlieb) says, "we know their viral titers fall much more quickly than those who are unvaccinated. So maybe after a day or two or three, they're much less likely to spread the virus than someone who remains unvaccinated."

It is important that accurate information be presented among ourselves and vital that we transmit accurate information to our patients.

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

All this tells me masks must be worn in public, for vaxxed and unvaxxed alike.

Specializes in NICU, PICU, Transport, L&D, Hospice.
7 hours ago, SmilingBluEyes said:

All this tells me masks must be worn in public, for vaxxed and unvaxxed alike.

In my region, the unvaccinated are not interested in wearing masks. 

On 10/25/2021 at 8:17 AM, LisaNICUrn said:

You know Finland, Sweden, and Denmark all stopped their vaccinations for males under 30 because of pericarditis. 

That is not correct.

Public health authorities in all the Nordic countries recommend that all persons of eligible age, barring medical contraindications, get vaccinated. All persons include males under 30. Males under 30 are currently being vaccinated.

It’s been known for a while that pericarditis is a rare side effect of the mRNA vaccines. It appears more common in boys and young males than other demographic groups. What has happened now is that some preliminary data from the Nordic countries (and some other countries as well I believe) indicates that the side effect could possibly be more common with one of the two approved mRNA vaccines, than the other. The gathered data has been sent to EMA (European Medicines Agency) for further analysis. 

Therefore the one suspected of perhaps causing pericaditis more often has been temporarily suspended for some age groups and genders (it varies a bit between the countries) while the data is being analyzed. After that has happened the decision to halt the use will be reevaulated.

All the public health authorities are very clear on the fact that the side effect is rare and that the risk of getting pericarditis from a Covid infection is many times higher than the risk of the vaccine. This is also true for the age group in question. 

On 10/25/2021 at 8:04 AM, LisaNICUrn said:

Why do they need to be vaccinated when all it can possibly do is lesson their symptoms if they get sick? If they get covid (whether vaccinated or not) they can still spread it to you, and you (whether vaccinated or not) can still get covid. Only thing is if you are vaccinated, it will decrease your chances of ending up in the ICU. Them getting the vaccine doesn't do anything for you. You take a vaccine for yourself, not for others.

How is ending up in the ICU and possibly dying, not a risk worth protecting yourself against, regardless of your age? 

The vaccine protects the person who takes it but it also protects others, directly and indirectly. 

A vaccinated person is likely to be infectious for a much shorter period of time than an unvaccinated individual if they both catch Covid. Being infectious for a shorter period of time makes it less likely that you have a chance to pass your infection on to someone else.

The data is also clear regarding hospitalizations. Unvaccinated individuals end up in hospital and the ICU more often than vaccinated, and use up more healthcare resources. Hospital beds and staff to care for the patients is a finite resource. The more people requiring hospital care for Covid at the same time, the bigger the risk is that the healthcare services available simply can’t meet demand. In that situation some people, not necessarily Covid patients, won’t get the medical care they need. 


22 hours ago, Bluefamily said:

If the COVID vaccine can be created this quickly, why can't vaccines for other illnesses be created just as fast?

We haven’t had a pandemic like Covid in a hundred years. The pandemic has disrupted the entire world, and has had a huge negative effects on people’s lives and the economy. ”The world” has probably never been this motivated before. The cynic in me suspects that if for example Ebola had killed hundreds of thousands in the world’s wealthy countries, instead of ”just” in poorer countries, then we would probably have seen the same type of effort put into finding an efficient Ebola vaccine in record time.

Pharmaceutical companies didn’t have the same financial risk when they developed the Covid vaccines as they normally do when researching new vaccines or medications. Governments poured billions into the the various vaccines.

One of the things that usually takes quite a lot of time in medical and vaccine trials, is to find trial participants. The researchers didn’t face that problem when trialling the Covid vaccines. 


Specializes in OB, OB surgical tech, nursing education.

Great article and a very resounding call to action for us nurses. It’s time to raise our voice to be heard above all the misinformation and rhetoric clouding people’s judgment. Congratulations on winning the contest.