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"Those of Us Who Don’t Die Are Going to Quit": A Crush of Patients, Dwindling Supplies and the Nurse Who Lost Hope

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/01/01/those-us-who-dont-die-are-going-quit-crush-patients-dwindling-supplies-and-nurse

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The ICU nurses and respiratory therapists that took care of my mother while intubated for the last two months of her life almost forty years ago were my heroes. They did not have to worry about Covid-19. Pile on Covid-19 and I can really picture what these women and men nurses are going through. I really can. The bureaucracy has truly failed them. Tears well down my cheeks and I say my secular prayers for them and their patients. As for the rest of us follow the rules and stay out of their care–they are far too busy as it is. Bless all the providers out there. This man knows what it is you go through and I want it to stop.

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As a vet reliant on the VA for any care, I can attest to the fact that the VA is in total shambles right now and has been since the loss of Shulkin, who was actually improving on the job and was resisting some of the more blatant attempts at privatization that have plagued the VA for several consecutive adminstrations.

WIlkie’s been an unmitigated disaster–one of the worst heads of that agency ever. And he’s technically only an interim. An inveterate drug warrior by trade, he’s responsible for the murder of thousands of chronic pain patients via the abuse of the Opioid Safety Initiative as well as the botched response to covid.

It’s flat out dangerous to be a certain kind of patient in the VA system right now. And logistics and staffing are only one part of the reason for that. The staff that remain are so terrified of losing their jobs that they’re committing rampant medical malpractice against pain patients and covid patients in order to comply with the “cut cut cut!” directives coming from the mothership.

It’s not going to change much with Biden, either, since Obama spearheaded a great deal of the current damage in the VA, particularly by sleazing through the OSI in a midnight logroll.

And it’s not much better anywhere else. I work with a lot of medical people, and many of them have already gotten out of the business, from doctors to nurses. Especially nurses, who are abused in unspeakable ways by capital.

If we don’t get this stupid ass pandemic under some sort of control, a year from now we’re going to have entire hospitals virtually unstaffed by anyone other than highly paid suits.

You guys can help, though. If you’re willing to do more than just pointlessly type on the internet. If anything call your reps–even the Republican ones, yes. Make it a voting issue (this is what politicians look at most closely, btw). Know your districts and organize within them, even as those of you who are radicals like me organize outside of them at the same time.

It beats waiting for the cavalry that won’t come.

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This was planned murder by pandemic.

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Don’t worry healthcare professionals, either way the goal is the same. Your deaths or your resignations, it matters not to the for-profit healthcare system. The disaster capitalists among them are about to take advantage of this situation. If they burn out (or kill off) an entire generation of healthcare professionals now, then they can replace them with cheaper labor that they don’t have to pay benefits to. They can also make sure no students will ever again aspire to serve the medical needs of the American public.
Since America is bordering on third world status we may as well have the healthcare system to match. Covid has put that plan in the fast lane

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What a mess. At one time VA healthcare was very good to very-very good. In some ways an example of what healthcare should be. Actually, Universal Health Care.

Trump and his de-based party of inveterate slime incapable of evolving will no doubt return as piss ants.

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They want to privatize the VA - this is another one of the very great many effects of the WTO GATS “agreement”.

If you disagree with this, or other privatizations, to which they will never admit, we need to push that we revisit the thing and leave it.

Keep in mind that we have no voice or standing and indeed, they are basically trying to throw the whole core idea of democracy, voters steering policy, under the bus as well. Since we allegedly voted to globalize forever.

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Resveratrol is a stilbenoid, already available in the supply chain, thats known to inhibit replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Its also quite helpful in ameliorating a great many of the pathologies caused by COVID-19 when caused by other pathogenic conditions. Including ARDS, ALI, pulmonary fibrosis, coagulopathies, other viral pneumonias, cytokine storm caused by other viruses, and so on.

Also, the plant its manufactured from is used in treating COVID-19 in China, according to Chinese state broadcasting panel on treating COVID-19 using TCM. (Its been used medicinally for over 2000 years)

Its also quite inexpensive and can be extracted from an invasive plant that people would pay to have harvested. (Literally the scourge of British gardeners)

It should be investigated more rapidly as a potential SARS-CoV-2 prophylactic agent. RESV is known to be not just safe, it’s healthy, for healthy people.

Why hasn’t it been determined if it is helpful in COVID-19? Numerous peer reviewed papers as well as cutting edge bioinformatics software have repeatedly suggested this would be likely.

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Well over 3000 frontline health care professionals have died to COVID in the USA. This more people then the Police lose each year by orders of magnitude yet the Police are lavished with ever more in the way of gear to “keep them safe”.

Over the past 20 years in order to “enhance profits” many industries have changed to “just in time” delivery methods. Rather then stockpiling gear which they consider a waste of resources and storage space they equipment manufactured delivered and warehoused so as to ensure the inventory of the same never becomes too high and thus “wasted revenues”. The results of that are the factories unable to keep up when something like this happens and pandemics are going to happen much more frequently.

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From McSwane’s very interesting report:

Polowczyk had spent 30 years mastering the complex logistics of getting supplies from manufacturer to user. But the Trump White House, he said, had “no bench depth” of experts to manage purchasing and distributing vital supplies.

It’s exactly as bad as it sounds, said Robert Handfield, a professor at North Carolina State University who interviewed officials who were working inside the federal effort to supply PPE. He detailed his findings in the Harvard Business Review, but early this month, he boiled it all down for me in a quick summary:

“It was a shit show. They had no idea what was going on.”

Unfortunately, because the thought of mass-murderous malice is difficult for people to attribute to our so-called leaders, passages like this wind up defaulting to the “bunch of idiots” theory, when that cannot account for the profound depth of infection wreaked on the bodies of USA’s polity. No other country has done such a superb job of assisting the bug as has COVID-45’s gang, by any measure: caseload, deaths, or deprivation.

There comes a time to consider overturning the “bunch of idiots” theory, when we hear theoretical justification for genocide from the likes of Scott Dr Mengele Atlas, the Great Baringteeth Declaration, and from Boris, the oaf across the pond. Time to consider: It sure does look as if they’re doing it on purpose. At every last decision-point, public health saboteurs have done the right thing to keep a hungry virus fed.

There has been a simple, reliable home-administered test available for more than half a year, inexplicably delayed by a pocket-veto from FDA. Denied to US Americans for no good reason, aside from public health sabotage. I challenge you to keep comparing these two theories for yourself, asking which is more consistent with events as they unfold? The “bunch of idiots” theory, or deliberate public health sabotage – a crime against humanity of unprecedented madness and consequence. And still almost half of US Americans vote for more stochastic punishment from the homicidal maniacs currently running the White House. Still you hear people predicting Biden will be just as bad as Satan Incarnate. Go figure – and please do your own figuring. Maybe you got a brain in order to put it to use someday. It’s possible that learning to use your brain might help keep you alive through this terrible madness.

Sorry about that – I got to venting my inexhaustible rage and forgot to mention why I’m not relying on CDC for much of anything anymore. They’re taking the day off again, as expected. Maybe they’re busy hosting a holiday office party for their pet bug:

In observance of New Year’s Day, the COVID Data Tracker will not update on Friday, January 1st.
Updates will resume on Saturday, January 2nd.

How nice.

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Exactly right, Trump turned procurement over to Jared Kushner and his plan involved the use of people that were required to sign nondisclosure agreements,were provided with nothing more than provider lists, and had to use their own computers.

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Michael Lewis’s book The Fifth Risk describes the FUBAR unleashed on all of us by TrumpCo. This is his wet dream, the one where he would be the super hero saving us all from the Chinese Virus. But his monster turned on him, as monsters do.
I had a dream this afternoon where I was told 23 million will die in the US from Covid and related diseases. Then I heard some murderer destroyed 50 vials of the Covid vax.
I was saved by a Trauma One team at our local hospital who was able to stabilize me and treat me without being medivaced to a large hospital with more facilities. I was in ICU for six days on a ventilator before regaining consciousness. I guess the Odds were with me, eh? I honor all first responders and health care providers, watching how they’re being treated like peons by insurance companies, all levels of government, and the general public. It’s the old Raygun mantra-do more with less. And these “non-profit” places like McLaren are multiplying like roaches, taking over facilities, cutting staff, and plowing money into shell companies.
Soon, very soon, look for Wall Street to make health care a tradable commodity, like oil and gold…
As for those who repeat “Support the Troops”, ask if they voted for Trump. Then tell them what’s going down at VA facilities.

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They’re going to do that with workers too.

Because, as you point out, it is already available in the supply chain — so nobody can set up a monopoly and make a few billion dollars distributing it.   Ditto Acyclovir, I presume.

How about a little basic triage of incoming patients — those who have refused to wear masks because they believe “Covid isn’t real” should be told “Your sickness isn’t real” and then sent to the back of the line . . .

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when your health care system is designed for profits there is little in the budget for preparation or crisis–what is happening now in this country is the direct result of our for profit health care–the kind the incoming administration promises will be what we get as our people continue to die from the failures of that system, coupled with incompetent and even dangerous political establishments, corrupt media coverage, and the stupidity of the anti-science bunch which is determined to kill us all just to prove how very ignorant they are

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@Suspira,

Great point about the police getting endless amounts of “safety gear”–yet far fewer than 3,000 police die each year. Too bad the Trumpers in my family who ARE police won’t believe FACTS.

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Regardless of its accuracy, or not, that’s not an acceptable answer for 2021.

Really?  Why should already beleaguered, endangered & exhausted medical personnel be asked – practically forced – to care for MAGA-Morons who refuse to wear masks even in the hospital when undergoing treatment.   Suppose your son or daughter, spouse, or mom or dad is ill with Covid-19 and you take him or her to your local clinic in Metra, Cal or Smoke, S.Dak or Nohitsnorunsno, Ariz. and there’s only one space left in the ICU and there’s a MAGA-Moron in a red hat in front of you demanding treatment for “the flu” 'cause (s)he can’t breathe but refuses to wear a mask.  Should the clinic staff waste their time on the cretin, or treat the person you have brought in?  If I worked at the clinic in Gravely, Il. or Aightnein, Ten., I know which of the two I would spend my time trying to help, and it wouldn’t be the ASSSSSO. *

* Animal Self-Selecting for Sacrifice of Sub-Standard Organisms

You’re trying to change the subject. I asked why we’re not fully investigating a substance that could possibly solve this problem, as well as quite possibly improve peoples immunity against the cumulative health effects (scary, isnt it) of CoVs which are breaking out into the general population more frequently as people travel more. (we don’t know, but its quite possible it would, Ive been collecting arguments for and against. )

This is a failing at the top, that shows how broken our so called Washington Consensus is. Similar things happened during the AIDS Crisis. Maybe 30 million poor people died because of this blind lust for profit who shouldn’t have. That’s a lot of people. See Fire in the Blood, its on Netflix.

RESV has shown its utility against other pathogens, including the two closest similar viruses (both beta-coronaviruses), as well as against ARDS, and also ameliorates at least a half dozen - as far as I can tell most, perhaps all of the major symptoms caused by COVID-19 when caused by other viruses, (a really remarkable profile)

plus it inhibits replication of SARS-CoV-2 the virus that causes COVID-19.

What does that have to do with what you said? nothing.

Maybe they hate it because a smart teenage girl is on the record of having had the idea, (for treating MERS) when she was still in high school. She won an Intel Science Fair award because of it.

People are dying.

Everybody deserves to live. Stupid people often become smarter people. How would you like it if I judged you based on one or two stupid things you might have done? You wouldn’t.

I think its reasonable to not treat people unless they put a mask on.

But not to abandon them because they voted for Trump. Maybe they absolutely could not survive were their job outsourced. That’s a major reason he’s gotten votes in much of the country, even if he in fact was intending to change his mind in his second term.

Some very powerful people are chomping at the bit to outsource tens of millions of jobs and its going to be a disaster if they do.

We should ALL stand together. Thats what our best selves do.

Not do our best to divide the nation. Why? What good would that possibly do? Money isn’t everything. This country was founded on ideas which emphasized the good things in all of us.

But neoliberalism is focused on money and power - not a global unity, a global pillage. Global extraction. The undermining of wages. A race to the bottom on labor and health standards.

Even this site has printed their arguments. Recently.

What are the people of this country going to do if they do this, putting millions of us out of work, leaving just the jobs that aren’t worth outsourcing, the jobs at the bottom. Move into the wilderness? Become homeless and die? Neoliberalism really doesn’t hold out much hope in its rigid ideology for most of us to do anything. Those hopelessly spoiled by “unrealistic expectations” are “dead wood” it seems, to them.

But its living wood they want to trim away. That’s not a way to run a country. Give people slack, my friend. These are difficult times.