UNSUSPECTED DANGER: Unvaccinated Doctors
This morning I set out into a slightly cupric day with sun through smoke on a familiar road between fields finishing the second cutting of alfalfa. This time I knew that one side of the hospital had been separated and assigned for Covid cases. I wasn’t quite sure why I had a second appointment with the doctor since the change in meds had been a success.
This time there were far fewer people and they all seemed to know each other. Around here, the anthro premise is true that people — even into modern times — cluster into “tribal” groups of about a hundred people like themselves and assume that this was “how all people are.” The tourists are gone now. They don’t count.
No one was supposed to enter without a mask. We were seated to wait side-by-side. The nurse came to guide me to the exam room — a tiny airless cube. The doc came and I told him how grateful I was that he had replaced my diabetic Devil Metformin prescription with another drug because I felt so much better. I’d taken the old med too many years — it was backfiring. No one had paid attention to the warnings. When I asked him whether he were vaccinated for Covid he was frank: he was not vaccinated. I froze for a moment.
Then I rose and left. My head has been in a knot ever since. He didn’t try to stop me from going.
1. Our slimy resource-extracting governor seems to believe he will get more votes if he lets people die. He is forbidding masks be required and withdrawing support.
2. I had not known prior to this that any doctor would refuse vaccination. Now I will always ask.
3. My doc said his decision was based on the idea of freedom, that he was choosing not to be vaccinated to show that he was free. I assume he had the usual childhood vaccinations and if he traveled, he accepted the shots necessary for a passport.
4. I had refused to take statins, but he was insisting. He said, “Why can you resist statins but you don’t want me to resist vaccination?” I pointed out that a statin only affects the person who took the med, but vaccination/contagion affects the whole community. His free will to not take the shot, meant that I lost my free will to avoid contagion.
5. I don’t know whether this doc treats people with Covid symptoms or whether he tests them for Covid if they have been exposed but don’t have symptoms. I wonder whether he himself is a silent carrier. Should I have a test? Should I notify the hospital?
1. I did not wish to blow the whistle on this doctor nor did I know whether the administration would be willing to listen. On the phone I never made it past the “customer satisfaction” women. They were nurses and said, “What do you want me to do?” and “What do you need?” They could not grasp the idea of raising consciousness or designing new strategy. They just took the company line about shutting down complaints. That was their job.
2. This is familiar. Assigning an obedient woman to confront any trouble is a bureaucratic technique familiar to schools, the law, hospitals, or any other institutions that arouse emotions. People hate women who are doing what men tell them to do, but women can be sacrificed. I’ve played this role in the past. Gate-keeping.
3. The assumption of all the higher ups was that anyone would call only to be angry and demand things. Not that they would try to figure out better ways to proceed. They feel powerless in the face of a politically enraged public.
THINGS PEOPLE COULD DO
1. The administration should keep a quiet list of all employees (not just docs) who have or have not had the shots. Legally, this could be trouble or it could avert the hospital being sued for allowing someone to be infected because the hospital didn’t know they hadn’t had the shots. But what if a popular doc were contagious — they are too money conscious to stop him. I’m too broke to sue anyone, but an unvaccinated doctor seems vulnerable. Think of the publicity.
2. A major problem is the speed and unexpectedness of the variations like Delta. Docs don’t have time to keep up. They need brief reminders and info. What about a daily one-page newsletter on the desks? What about a page kept up-to-date on the hospital or clinic website? What about a public bulletin board that people waiting could consult? What about a list of reliable sources of immediate info, like the one the state of Montana keeps online:
This state website changes daily to record cases, deaths, and totals. Below is the link to what Gallatin County (Bozeman) is doing.
“Here is the weekly update for vaccine distribution for Gallatin County. For more details, please visit the state’s dashboard: http://bit.ly/3pE2Ieh
“REMINDER: You can find daily case data on our website! The dashboard is updated each business day. https://healthygallatin.org/coronavirus-covid-19/"
3. Our fetish for secrets and privacy is in the way. So is the eagerness of carrion lawyers to find cases. As well as the idea that there is something shameful about illness.
4. Clearly people are not understanding vaccines and how ubiquitous and effective they are, as significant as antibiotics which are also a fetish demanded by people even when they don’t work, as against viruses. As much as I pay attention, I was stunned when I called up from the CDC website a list of vaccines in use in the US. There were FOUR PAGES of them. Not counting veterinary vaccines which are not the same as worm meds.
5. In my lifetime (82 years) I have seen the development of vaccines for smallpox, for all the childhood diseases I had suffered through and saw around me, like polio — but there is still no vaccine for malaria. Despite demands and extraordinary pleas, there is still no vaccine for HIV, that killer virus.
6. I suspect docs are not being included in institutional thinking. At the major regional Illinois hospital where I served a summer chaplaincy, there was a morning seminar where people shared cases and findings. Nothing like that here that I know of. The focus is money and presentation. Chaplains would be a natural force for clarity and honesty, but they are often shut down.
4. I can’t see that media is much help at all, either local or national. In both cases the 100-known people-circle applies, but — worse — editors and producers over-ride what the reporters find out. The reporters should meet with each other and talk about this. The premium source for info is https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
5. This is a WORLD WIDE pandemic. We need to break the self-reinforcing circles that operate to slow and defy scientific input. We should reach out to other nations, but not to other species.
If you are following the struggle, there are many confusing announcements.
This blog post is confused and primitive because my head-knot is still tied tight. But I took quick action to protect myself. I encourage others to do the same. Gia, at Logan, remarked that one person wearing a mask can be an anomaly. If two people wear masks, they may be joined by a third person and begin to make masks the norm. But one can’t see who is vaccinated. The unvaccinated can hide even as they kill their friends — or patients.