This is the tenth in a series of stories of people being fired from their jobs because they have declined to take the required Covid-19 vaccination. The identities of these workers are being kept confidential because they fear reprisal. More stories will be included in future editions of this series as it continues. Previous interviews in this series are listed and linked at the bottom of this story. Send your story to [email protected].
Joe is a respiratory therapist at one of the three major hospitals in Anchorage. He can’t use his name, or he’d be called into the office for interrogation, and with what he sees going on with discrimination against the unvaccinated, he doesn’t need anymore pressure.
He is one of a group of health professionals who are outside what he calls the “faith covidians,” those who blindly accept the accepted theory of the Covid-19 vaccines.
As someone who works at ground zero with Covid patients on ventilators, he knows the terrible toll the virus takes on people, and he understands the science as well as anyone. He’s also had Covid. Joe studies the research and he’s not ready to take the vaccine.
He talked with Must Read Alaska because he wants people to know about the new culture of bullying and harassing in the hospital. It’s relentless, he says. Those who are unvaccinated are hounded several times a day to change their minds and get the shot.
“Nurses come up to me and they’re crying because they are bullied and harassed. We talk to each other quietly, but when we are walking around the units, we just keep our mouth shut when we are in groups” of others and witness the disparaging remarks about those who have remained unvaccinated. “I’ve even heard people lying when asked if they’ve been vaccinated,” he said. They justify the lie because they weren’t asked what they were vaccinated for.
The intensity of the pressure to vaccinate for Covid has amped up over the months. Earlier, it was not as bad, but now he says the vaccinated professionals will, in packs, pounce on unvaccinated ones, and he also hears them openly mocking patients who are unvaccinated.
“It’s absolutely sickening to hear, but patients who are not vaccinated are being treated differently. It never starts as action, it always starts as words. People say things like,’If they don’t have the vaccine they should be at the bottom of the list.’ Or they’ll say, ‘They made their choice, they shouldn’t be allowed to come to the hospital.’ I’ve heard this stuff from people with my own ears,” Joe said.
“A homeless drug addict comes in and we give him the best care we can give him, knowing he’ll probably be back in a month. But when it comes to Covid, it’s like a cult,” Joe said.
When nurses and techs leave their shifts, they make reports to the next professionals taking over. They’ll describe the patient and explain, for example, if he is asthmatic, diabetic, and what medications he takes. But now, a new item has been added to the report: Is the patient vaccinated?
“I say, what difference does it make if they are vaccinated or unvaccinated? It should not change anything we do to care for people. To hear that slipped into the report is disturbing.”
Joe says this new addition to reports presents an opening for bias against the patient.
One patient with a serious case of Covid repeatedly told a doctor that she had been vaccinated, and when the doctor left her room, he told a group of colleagues that he didn’t believe her, that if she had been vaccinated, she would not have Covid.
Joe says the conversations among professionals around other diseases and treatments have always been open and respectful, in the spirit of scientific inquiry. People use logic and and are open to new theories, and also have a healthy dose of doubt. But around Covid, there’s only one accepted point of view: Vaccines.
“If you say you’ve heard of a study about Vitamin D, the’ll say, ‘Oh that’s crap, it’s just a correlation.’ They won’t even consider it,” he said. He believes there is prejudice against studies being conducted in countries like India or Bangladesh, because they are not from the more highly developed world.
Doctors are cherry-picking the information they use to push vaccines, something Joe has never seen them do before. They don’t want to hear about Ivermectin, and dismiss it as a horse deworming medicine.
Ivermectin, which is used to treat malaria, river blindness, and other parasitic diseases, has not been accepted by mainstream medicine for use with Covid, although it is being used in other countries with apparent success. The scientists who developed the medication won the Nobel Prize for having done so, but Covid-19 wasn’t around when the medication was invented.
“The faith covidians will not listen to anything. All they say is the vaccine is safe, the vaccine works, take the vaccine. This is why I call it a cult,” They’re no longer thinking like scientists, Joe said.
And yet, these are highly intelligent people, very knowledgeable and experienced in medicine. He would trust them with his health in every other respect. But they have developed a blind spot for this virus. “They will not consider evidence that they don’t agree with,” he said. “They would not do that with any other disease.”
He is quick to point out that there are many, many vaccinated people he works with who are not part of that culture of bullying and coercion, and find it as offensive as he does. They remain supportive of those who are making a different decision, and some of them have expressed regret or skepticism for getting the vaccine, which appears to have limitations and sometimes has affected people adversely. But they did it to keep their jobs. These vaccinated allies have told Joe that when all the unvaccinated people are fired, the ones left behind are not going to do two jobs — they’ll just become traveling nurses. They blame hospital management and say they are not going to be picking up the pieces of the mess management is making.
As for the unvaccinated, while they are treated increasingly like “vermin” in the hospital, they have formed an informal support group that meets quietly. They’re not on social media, and joining the group is not easy. It’s extremely confidential.
“It’s an underground group, and we talk about how we are preparing to pay the consequences for our decisions to remain unvaccinated. We’re looking at bartering, we’re saving our money,” he said. It’s a culture of support and information-sharing for how they will survive the culling.
Joe is resigned to the fact he’ll be fired from his job; he just doesn’t know when. There are 30 patients on ventilators in Alaska right now, and the state needs medical technicians like him to run the ventilators and other equipment. He expects he’ll be put on an “unvaccinated list” in his hospital’s Human Resources department but he’ll be able to work a month past the deadline for vaccines, or until they find someone to fill his role.
It won’t be that easy for hospital management, however. Some workers who are vaccinated still are coming down with Covid and are having to take many days or even weeks off from work.
Joe talked to some of his “unvaccinated underground” colleagues before he confided in Must Read Alaska. They’ve seen the mainstream media reports and note that the same medical professionals are being interviewed over and over. Those with dissenting views are not interviewed.
They told him to explain that when they’re gone, the people left behind to work their shifts are going to be even more overworked. The nurses and techs being brought in from out of state are not enough to replace all the medical workers being fired, and they’ll only be filling in through the end of the year. The pressure on those left behind to care for patients is going to be enormous.
“Who is going to care for your family members when we’re gone?” Joe said they asked him to convey.