You guys deserve to know.
One side is speaking loudly, and so will I.
My quality of life and livelihood has been threatened.
I encourage everyone to speak their truths and not be ashamed for what they believe.
The more I speak about it, the more support I find.
It’s time to stop being fearful and make a stand.
I graduated from Centralia Community College (one of Washington’s, if not the, top ranking ADN nursing programs in the state) in 2015 before achieving my bachelors in science of nursing from Saint Martins University (a prestigious private catholic University in Lacey, Wa) in 2016.
Before earning my BSN degree, I worked as a certified nursing assistant for almost a decade. Nursing has been my entire life, a career lasting over 15 years. I often tell people, I did not chose nursing, rather it chose me. I do not work as a nurse, I AM a nurse. I love my career and couldn’t ever imagine doing anything else.
In addition to my science degree, I hold many certificates including:
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support
- Critical Care Registered Nurse Certification
- American Counsel of Exercise Fitness Nutrition Specialist (prior degree required)
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support
I also own a nurse health and wellness coaching business, a LLC, where I privately coach clients using a holistic approach towards health.
I have been working in an acute care hospital in Olympia WA (the capital of Washington State) for five years. It is one of two hospitals in Olympia/Lacey/Tumwater area. A population of about 100,000 residents. (Guesstimate)
I work as a charge nurse in the intensive care unit (ICU), progressive care unit (PCU) and Covid Unit. This position works with administrative staff in assisting with the overall flow of the hospital, preparing for admissions, discharges, being a resource for floor nurses, providing leadership, response to codes throughout the hospital, providing education and training, overseeing patient care, collaboration with hospital physicians for patient care, and much, much more.
I was highly involved in the integration and development of the covid unit. At this time, I was both terrified, and excited. I was fully prepared to utilize my skills in efforts to combat the pandemic. I wanted to be a part of this. I was honored to be able to serve in such a monumental time. We were prepared. We shut down the halls, designated covid areas, developed protocols, brought in PPE, and then….we waited.
We waited for a long time for something that never came. The halls stayed empty. We were wasting resources staffing a Covid unit that never filled. We took the covid unit down. Things were starting to appear to be going back to normal. We were happy we did not become overwhelmed, as anticipated.
It is an odd virus. It effects everyone so differently. There are certainly some scary cases where patients are intubated with a ventilator and have multiple medications running- as fear portrays on the news- but this is rarely the case. For the most part, patients are on room air, nasal cannula or high flow oxygen. The deaths, unfortunately, are those suffering with co morbidities-mainly diabetes, obesity and/or our elderly population with sensitive immune systems.
Sadly, this population suffers more severely with any disease, not just Covid.
I have held the hand of patients as they pass from Covid because they are alone and their families cannot be there. It has been an impactful couple of years, but this is something us nurses do on a normal basis, pandemic or not. The amount of deaths has not been anything more than normal.
There is no ice truck out back where we are throwing dead bodies. The morgue is empty. This week I had a 90 year old pass from Covid complications (American average life expectancy is 78 years old) and met the mortician assistant who was transporting the body. I asked her, “have you guys seen a rapid increase in numbers at the morgue?”
Her reply “No, not at all. In fact, my boyfriend also works for a local funeral service and he has seen more suicides than covids as of late.”
You see, in the beginning, we treated Covid inappropriately. As with most severe acute respiratory failure, we intubated them (the breathing machine). We now know, ventilation is associated with an 82% mortality rate because the pressure damages the lungs. Instead, we provide an alternative source of oxygen (high flow), encourage proning for 12 hours a day(laying on your belly) and have medications that successfully treat Covid, as well as some supplementation such as vitamin D and zinc.
We know have a much better understanding how to treat Covid. We don’t have patients dying everyday on ventilators.
Today, there was a record breaking amount of Covid patients on the unit. Eight. It was 50% of our population, because we only had 16 patients on the floor. Which is also a phenomenon that occurred at the onset of the pandemic-people do not come to the ER when they are scared of the hospital, because they believe they will get Covid.
For this reason, most of us nurses were actually on unemployment for the majority of the first wave. There were no patients to care for. I was one of those nurses who received minimal hours. Working only one shift a week on average. The OR (operating room) was also shut down, so those nurses needed unemployment and/or hours as well.
So here we are. 8 covid positive patients. None of which are ventilated. 4 on high flow, 1 on room air, 3 on oxygen either nasal cannula or face mask. The 90 year old did, sadly pass.
We took one off precautions because it had been 14 days post exposure. Sent a couple home to finish out their recovery and ended the day with 5.
There was a request from a near by facility (federal way) to take 2 of their covids because we had beds available. There are many coming to ER and being sent home. They mostly come because they are scared to death after testing positive.
I was diagnosed with covid July 24th 2021. My symptoms were very mild and had I not lost my taste, I would not have even thought to get tested. I watched my five year old contract Covid and her symptoms were also extremely mild. We now carry natural immunity (which is my preference) including natural T cell immunity against Covid 19 (which is long lasting). I will not get vaccinated.
From my experience, 10-20% of covid admissions are vaccinated. 0% have previously had Covid, and 99% live.
The delta variant: There are FEW facilities that even carry the capacity to test for variations. I don’t think Washington even has one but I could be wrong. When we receive the laboratory reading for Covid it simply says “detected” or “not detected”. Period.
We know now and understand vaccinated individuals are carrying the disease. Either minimally symptomatic or asymptomatic. Therefore the disease is being spread by BOTH vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
The following is strictly my observation and educated opinion- but I think the kids have been carrying this the entire time. I believe they actually have been the asymptomatic spreaders. Their immune systems are so effective the symptoms are little to none, so no one has thought to test them. Well now we do, because Mom was scared, got her runny nose kid tested. Came back positive, so she then notified the day care, so now all the parents are testing their children and they are all coming back positive. The overall numbers rise, you see it on the media and here we are.
My daughter day care currently has 10 Covid positive kids and they are cold-like symptoms or none at all. Sadly, day care is now closed.
I also wanted to touch on “overwhelmed hospital systems.” There are a lot of components that go into that phrase. For example, as a charge nurse, I acknowledge the time it takes to go in and out of Covid patients rooms because of PPE requirements. So, that nurse gets less patients than she typically would-formulating staffing issues.
Additionally, we are having difficulty placing patients in rehabilitation centers because they continue to test positive for Covid, even if they have been successfully treated, even months ago.
Also, patients are coming into hospital for unrelated illness or surgery, being rule out tested for admission, then randomly coming up positive with no symptoms. They now have to go into isolation and have prolonged hospital stays.
There is also a shortage of nursing staff.
These are some of the contributions to overwhelmed hospitals, it’s not so much the hospitals are swamped with Covid patients.
Now, I want to address certain populated areas. Florida, NYC, Texas etc.
I have spoken with many travel nurses who have worked in Covid units that state it was hell on earth and I believe them.
However, I have not personally witnessed this at any capacity throughout the pandemic.
Being one of two hospitals in a densely populated area here in the capital of Washington, we “round robin” with each other. Meaning, when one is full, we each take turns taking admissions from the community when we are both on divert. Our community hospital is smaller than the other but regardless, when the larger hospital is full, they go on divert then we take the remainder and so on and so forth so each hospital system effects the other if you get the idea.
There are approximately 30-40 covid admissions between our two hospitals.
Not all Covid patients are ICU status. Some are medical/surgical, or progressive care status. However, in efforts to reduce the risk of infection, we designated the higher level of care units (ICU/PCU) units and staff to care for these patients.
That also plays a part in this and contributes to overwhelmed hospital systems.
Ok, next. This is going to be sensitive. I think a lot of medical staff have felt a certain sense of empowerment/belonging, or automatic associations with a particular side, or feel compelled to belong to a particular side, and has used this pandemic as a sense of purpose. I feel it’s an over-exaggeration.
Maybe, because I’m a tough as nails strong female who was raised by an ex military single father, who has been nursing for over 15 years.
I think there is a lot of psychology happening here. And obviously, politics.
The benefits of what we have done do not outweigh the risks. Our rights, our children, school, businesses, mental health, economy, livelihood, suicide, depression, weakened immunity from social distancing, riots…all and more. The life of this country has been stripped from us. The joy is GONE.
Governors, if it were me-
I would mass produce vents, high flow, CPAP, BIPAP and send them out immediately.
I would create jobs and train personal to help where they can.
I would create outdoor Covid units for all hospitals and staff them with said employees, medical personal and military if needed.
I would create a highly effective communication system between the state and inner counties to evenly disperse Covid patients. A super transfer center.
I would study this intensively. Find what medications and methods are most effective.
I would designate a board of scientist, nurses and physicians of all political agendas to counsel on this issue at hand, and as changes occur.
I would educate people on basic hygiene, super foods, diet and exercise against fighting disease.
I would spread a lot more love.
I would educate people on the epidemiological process of viral disease, offer their options and let them make their own decisions.
But I would let them chose. And I would let the people be free to live.
This has gotten way out of control. My heart is heavy with grief over the loss. Not from covid patients, but from the loss of joy. The loss of joy over mandating futile measures against a disease that do not work.
My employment is jeopardized, my daughter will forced to wear a mask in kindergarten and I believe we are well on our way to another lock down. We all should know by now the negative harms of a lock down.
What we have done will take generations to recover from.
Mother Nature will take her course, whether we like it or not. Herd immunity will be acquired but we will not eradicate this virus. It is respiratory and mutates much like many other viruses do. This is a normal and expected epidemiological process. We cannot hide from it.
I acknowledge there has been great loss from this disease. I am not disregarding the deaths or long term affects Covid has had, in small percentages, on this country. But.
Stop pointing fingers at the un masked or the unvaccinated. Stop segregating us. Stop the hate. Stop the abuse. Stop the theatrics.
This is no ones fault.
This is extremely out of control.
And blown way out of proportion.
This is MY medical and clinical voice as a frontline worker, who has been living and breathing the reality. I am entitled to it.
YOU are free to your own beliefs and interpretations of the events in which you have encountered.
The vaccine is available. Take it, if you want it. Don’t, if you do not. But dear God, let us live.
This is awesome, Sister Bear. I wish my nurse daughter in another state had a group such as this!
Thank you, Sister Bear, and Casey, and all those taking a stand for freedom.
Well, well ~ I just now discovered this here, transported from the older forum. I’m finally exploring “The Conversation.”
The FB group mentioned above, and another one, are still going strong.
People are giving one another courage, comfort, and inspiration ~ although TPTB don’t yet seem to be budging. We have officially entered Bizarro World; or rather, Normal World and Bizarro World seem to be operating simultaneously and visibly.
God bless and keep you, friends ~