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Photo by Brian Wangenheim on Unsplash

“Is this how I’m supposed to wear it??” (Embattled front line healthcare worker trying to figure out what to do with a bandanna which has been proven to NOT protect from transmission of COVID-19)

‘Let Them Eat Bandannas’ #2:

As per usual, healthcare workers in America are being treated as both necessary AND dispensable, an intolerable incongruity. Mainly, healthcare workers are ‘complaining’ because they are not being given enough safety equipment, a bare minimum requirement, and the Trump administration is responding with its customary tough sh** on you. Repeat: healthcare workers are being asked to sacrifice their health AND lives — and that of other patients and family members— because the government, including the CDC, has recommended bandannas as reasonable protection for coronavirus even though hospital laws specifically state that only PPE masks are protective. Utterly severed from truth, this new ‘discovery’/lie is particularly embarrassing coming from a national institution. In addition, when doctors do speak up, they are threatened by noxious corporate representatives unwilling to reveal ugly truths about this catastrophe.

Apparently, if frontline doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers aren’t willing to ‘use’ an utterly useless bandanna to ‘protect’ themselves — thus forcing them to endanger the lives of patients — corporate ‘leaders’ recommend simply shoving it down their throats in the form of a muzzle.

As one doctor stated on a CNN interview, frontline healthcare workers feel like “lambs [sent] to the slaughterhouse.”

Despite the fact that the United States already has a shortage of nurses and doctors — both can choose from a wide range of equally unappealing jobs in which they are lackeys for a corporate hospital ‘system’ — the Trump administration feels that they are wholly dispensable. In a nation of almost 350 million people, there are less than 1 million doctors and less than 3 million nurses. Yet, they are treated as if even something as basic safety — what should be expected at baseline — is merely an aside, as if their lives are wholly dispensable. Trump could have both signed and invoked the Defense Production Act to produce/supply safety equipment much more quickly, yet he only just signed it on March 23rd, weeks to months into this crisis. Because he isn’t invoking it, nothing much is happening. He seems to want to get credit where none is due. As one doctor stated on a CNN interview, frontline healthcare workers feel like “lambs [sent] to the slaughterhouse.”

Because I have a friend who is a doctor and recently retired early, I have been privy to certain articles written in medical forums in which doctors report current front line conditions to each other. In a journal called Medscape, one doctor, John Mandrola, reported that he had received an anonymous Tweet by another doctor on the front lines describing dire safety violations AND threats/bullying from the administration with regard to reporting this issue.

This attitude places the doctor in a multilayered ethical quandary: his life is at risk, other patients’ lives are at risk if he isn’t protected properly, AND the corporation refuses to let him report these deadly facts. He tweets to Dr. John Mandrola: “PPE is a huge problem. Admin has warned all about messaging…we will start dropping like flies very soon.” I attempted to access this article independently and could not, but the Tweet is accessible through Dr. Mandola’s twitter feed.

On top of forcing nurses and doctors to risk their lives — which is both unethical AND short-sighted — corporations taking their lead from Trump and his administration adopt a general attitude of authoritarian bullying reminiscent of an Orwellian dystopia on steroids. What do they propose doing after the 3.7 mil healthcare workers out of 350 mil people are sick or dead? Why aren’t they prioritizing our front line healthcare workers when they are the most integral part of this system at this moment?

This is the point at which this country’s leaders need to reexamine their disregard for healthcare workers. Treating people who are actually necessary as if they are wholly dispensable is not only immoral, it is also short-sighted. Of all people who understand the way in which power is negotiated, Trump and his authoritarian administrative buddies are best. Why can’t they understand that treating necessary people as if they are trash is an incongruity that will only result in disaster?

What happens when all our doctors, nurses, and front line people are gone?

Written by

She/Her: Distort lies until they amplify truth. CryBaby: As loud as necessary.

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