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Tue Sep 28, 2021, 07:44 AM

THREAD: Harrowing account of effect of UNVACCINATED on hospital ICU capabilities





https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1442806675325476867.html
When I got Covid in 2020 and spent weeks in the hospital, it was harrowing. But it was nothing compared to what my family is dealing with now—also as a result of Covid.

This is a Covid horror story in which no one actually gets Covid, and it could still happen to anyone 🧵
In August my dad was living independently in rural New Mexico, as he has for years, in a beautiful place with a view of the mountains. He got vaxxed against Covid as soon as it was available, wore masks, and was waiting out the pandemic like the rest of us.

Then, he had a fall.


When I called and he admitted that he was in the hospital, he was more annoyed than anything else. He tripped, he hurt his leg, couldn't go home for a week or so. How irritating. How dumb. He blamed himself. He loved me, hoped I was well, he was fine, etc. That was the last call.
What happened was that while in the hospital, my dad caught viral pneumonia that went unnoticed. The whole state was in lockdown, and every hospital ICU was filling up with unvaccinated Covid patients. There weren't enough resources. The governor begged people to get vaxxed.
My dad was not in the ICU, but in a physical rehab unit of the hospital to help him with his leg. They now say they did not know he had pneumonia at that point. He collapsed on the floor in his room and was left there, unnoticed, for six hours.
When they found him he was blue and had an oxygen level of 50. He did not have Covid. He was taken to the ER and put on a ventilator, but they had to put him in *a storage room* because there physically not enough space due to all the unvaccinated Covid cases.
Twenty-four hours later, he was off the vent and his oxygen levels were restored. My siblings, who live closer, flew in. I spoke to him, and he was out of it but okay. Surely he would get treatment now. We thought that was the worst of it. It was not.
It was later explained to me that this hospital decided to *re-intubate my father* due to a lack of hospital resources. They couldn't manage. He could not see a cardiologist or a pulmonologist, they were all busy. They could not run the needed tests. So they kept him on the vent.
In normal circumstances, they simply would have transferred my dad to a larger hospital. There were several close by. It would have been routine. But due to Covid, it was impossible—so impossible, they thought, that they didn't even tell me he needed to be transferred.
A few days later, while I had thought my dad was improving—I kept being reassured by the nurses when I called—I finally called and got an exhausted, angry nurse who said bluntly: "we are tapped out and because of that your father is going to die. Maybe today. I'm sorry."
I demanded to speak to the doctor and he said more or less the same thing. The state was maxed out. My dad needed a cardiac ICU bed, or at least a cardiologist, and there was nothing for him. There was no hope, and no point even trying. Everywhere was full of the unvaccinated.


Now, there have been other stories like ours in the news over the past month or so. There was the father who was turned away from 43 ICUs and sadly passed away. People were being flown across state lines to try to save them, their families in terror, the health systems in chaos.
My dad's doctor said that New Mexico's ICU bed planning was centralized, so there was no point calling NM hospitals, but I could try ICUs in CO, AZ, TX, UT, CA—even though, he said, they had already tried all those. He would try again. I could call. I think he was humoring me.
The doctor said to "send him any leads" so when I called the hospitals, I said I was calling on his behalf. I never said I was his assistant or medical staff, but they talked to me. They were all maxed out. Nothing they could do.
After about five panicked hours of contacting every hospital, every person I could think of, and screaming my helplessness into the maw of the internet to see if anyone, anyone at all could help us, we finally reached a doctor in an ABQ hospital ICU who agreed to admit my dad.
So that was two weeks ago. If he'd gotten to that ICU even hours later, we would have lost him. They had to perform heroic acts to stabilize him. In a week his pneumonia had been brought under control, and he was starting to heal. They talked about a full recovery. However.
By that point my dad had been on a vent for more than ten days, simply because of a lack of access to care. If you're a med professional, you know why this matters. All signs looked good and so they decided to extubate him. At first he tolerated it, and then...he didn't.
Three days later, they had to intubate my dad for the third time. They said that doing this could result in a permanent disability. He could fully recover, but he also might not ever be independent again.
They gave me the option of "making him comfortable" instead, and you know what that means. But I'm my dad's PoA and he'd been clear that he wanted people to fight for him in a circumstance like this, so I said no. I told them to fight and do whatever they could to save him.
To save my dad, they had to perform a tracheostomy for long-term weaning from the ventilator. That means making a hole in his windpipe. "Like Stephen Hawking," someone said. It might be temporary, it might not. They didn't know if it would save him, but so far at least, it has.
I think of my dad before all this happened, still working, living in his own (rented) home, looking out at the mountains, calling his children in California and in France.

The doctors and nurses say that a full recovery and getting off the trache is possible, but will be hard.
They also say that none of this would have happened if it were not for the fact that so many people remain unvaccinated against Covid. Even in NM, with a decent vaccination rate, the system is overrun.

Please get vaccinated. Wear a mask. You never know how it will affect you.

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Reply THREAD: Harrowing account of effect of UNVACCINATED on hospital ICU capabilities (Original post)
Roland99 Sep 28 OP
mopinko Sep 28 #1
Roland99 Sep 28 #2
mopinko Sep 28 #3
Liberal In Texas Sep 28 #5
Claire Oh Nette Sep 28 #21
qzwv8j Sep 28 #37
Roland99 Sep 28 #23
lambchopp59 Sep 28 #32
mopinko Sep 28 #24
lambchopp59 Sep 28 #31
mopinko Sep 28 #33
qzwv8j Sep 28 #38
smb Sep 28 #26
womanofthehills Sep 28 #18
twodogsbarking Sep 28 #4
jaxexpat Sep 28 #6
mountain grammy Sep 28 #7
womanofthehills Sep 28 #19
scipan Sep 28 #30
lambchopp59 Sep 28 #34
flying_wahini Sep 28 #8
Solly Mack Sep 28 #9
NoMoreRepugs Sep 28 #10
Farmer-Rick Sep 28 #11
KT2000 Sep 28 #25
Hekate Sep 28 #36
Merlot Sep 28 #12
democrattotheend Sep 28 #13
Ms. Toad Sep 28 #14
smb Sep 28 #27
IronLionZion Sep 28 #15
Irish_Dem Sep 28 #16
Marthe48 Sep 28 #17
deek Sep 28 #20
BumRushDaShow Sep 28 #22
Delphinus Sep 28 #28
McKim Sep 28 #29
PaulnFortWorth Sep 28 #35
The Jungle 1 Sep 29 #39

Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 08:04 AM

1. where the hell are the field hospitals?

what ever happened to that?

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Response to mopinko (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 08:26 AM

2. Or the mercy ships.

Still need staffing tho

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #2)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 08:31 AM

3. yeah, park that baby in seattle and fix this.

this upsets me. a.lot.

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #2)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 08:51 AM

5. I've read that it's more a lack of personnel than physical space/equipment.

They could set up tents or whatever but they need people to staff them.

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Response to Liberal In Texas (Reply #5)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 11:03 AM

21. National Guard and former Military Doctors, Nurses, and Medics

The unvaccinated are so by choice. Deliberate, calculated, uninformed, misinformed, obstinate, willful ignorance and arrogance.

They CHOSE. The wagered and lost, and we're paying the vig.

Medical Tents staffed by military docs. Make them comfortable, and leave the hospitals and their staffs to the MAJORITY of folks who are vaccinated and have genuine health issues.

I fear what might happen when the next run of v-fib hits me out of no where, and my defibrillator goes off, or I have my next heart attack. Or my husband's transplanted kidney goes awry.

These people are pariahs. Treat them as such. Make being voluntarily unvaxxed, at this point, when it's entirely a political calculation, a high cost, high risk proposition for them. Bummer about losing their jobs.

These same hatriots applaud firing folks for being gay, or pregnant while single, neither of which are contagious. My only solace is that more GOQP voters are dying off.

ymmv

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Response to Claire Oh Nette (Reply #21)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 07:58 PM

37. I completely agree

I used to be a good, kind, generous person. Then I experienced a situation similar to the OPs…. However, my fully vaccinated and not infected person died. I am no longer good, kind, or generous. I have no grace. What I have is indignation and anger…. Capital “A” anger.

IF a non covid (or vaccinated breakthrough covid) patient needs a bed, a vent, an ecmo machine, or attention from the staff — the non vaccinated can friggin’ get the back of the line… pull them off the vent, toss them out of bed, and ignore them while attending to the vaccinated patient’s needs.

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Response to Liberal In Texas (Reply #5)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 01:13 PM

23. are there any diplomatic measures/international groups that could be brought into play?

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #23)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 04:31 PM

32. That aren't also overwhelmed now?

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Response to Liberal In Texas (Reply #5)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 01:14 PM

24. yeah, when i say field hospitals, i mean, staffed field hospitals.

how can those not be staffed now when they were last year?

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Response to mopinko (Reply #24)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 04:29 PM

31. I'm a ancillary medical traveler

Most of my assignments are in medical manpower shortage areas... until recently.
Many hospitals in the country have been understaffed for decades. Medical manpower shortage areas often are staffed mostly by travelers and contractors.
It has gotten worse, and I'm one of the personnel who caught the COVID early on, had to go into semi-retirement due to my own health limitations. I'm just one, I know of several in the same boat- long haulers with chronic health issues now. Many older caregivers like myself just threw up their hands and said fukkit, took retirement earlier than they previously planned. Hospitals have always been stressful hell holes to work in, the pandemic amplified all that tremendously.
I've gotten several job offers a day for months now, I had to change my number and my email address it became so impossible to sort it all out.

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Response to lambchopp59 (Reply #31)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 04:35 PM

33. yeah, the whole system of deciding how many beds to build, and how much staff you need

did not anticipate the likes of this.
but that's why we have military and guard units trained and equipped to step in.
where are they?

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Response to mopinko (Reply #24)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 08:00 PM

38. Burn Out

Many are exhausted and suffering from depression watching so many die such a horrible death…. Other’s caught the disease and are now dead themselves —or suffering from long term effects.

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Response to Liberal In Texas (Reply #5)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 02:40 PM

26. My Solution To The Personnel Problem

Let the idiots who insist on remaining unvaccinated because they "did their own research" be treated by the students of Doctor Google and Professor Facebook, and leave the actual medical professionals available to treat the sane people.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 10:45 AM

18. Pres Hospital ICU at 75% capacity

She says. “ The whole state was in lockdown, and every hospital ICU was filling up with unvaccinated Covid patients. There weren't enough resources. The governor begged people to get vaxxed.”

NM hospitals not at capacity and 20% of covid hospitalized were vaccinated

https://data.courier-journal.com/covid-19-hospital-capacity/facility/presbyterian-hospital/320021/

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 08:38 AM

4. Hospitals, and ER units in particular, like to treat people and

release them in a few days or less. COVID people stay longer.
Screws up the system.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 08:56 AM

6. I am so sorry for your burden.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 08:57 AM

7. I'm so sorry.. this is awful

and New Mexico has a low infection and high vaccination rate, but fewer ICU beds.

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Response to womanofthehills (Reply #19)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 03:25 PM

30. NM ICU occupancy average is 88%

Doesn’t include staff shortages
According to NYT

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/covid-hospitals-near-you.html

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Response to womanofthehills (Reply #19)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 04:35 PM

34. I can't speak for N.M., but even "bed capacity" can't make up for staff shortages, everywhere.

Some units are even being staffed by various ancillary medical students.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 09:03 AM

8. It's hard enough to lose your parents under normal circumstances...

This sounds like a nightmare. So glad you have been fighting for him. Don’t stop.

Big hug to you.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 09:05 AM

9. K&R

I was so very lucky. It's scary how lucky.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 09:13 AM

10. Thank you Deplorable Americans for ruining my country.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 09:45 AM

11. It's not just COVID and idiots not getting vaccinated

Our medical system, set up to make money for owners of hospitals, clinics and practices, is not flexible and was not designed to respond to mass illness or a pandemic. It's how our just-in-time economy works or doesn't work.

Why should these profit centers plan for a once in a lifetime emergency? Hospital beds have been slowly decreasing both in ICUs and in general since we have allowed them to be profit centers, or wealth extraction systems, for owners and the rich. Why pay for people and equipment for stand by just in case we have a pandemic?

Why waste money for extra hospital facilities on the off chance a mass illness will hit? Our for profit system couldn't even develop a written back up plan. Recall procedures for labor, identifying facilities that could easily be converted, emergency equipment supply systems, all this could have been planned and tested.

But no, people are dying because our medical system has to make a profit.

And it is not just the US that has failed so miserably in planning for an emergency.

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Response to Farmer-Rick (Reply #11)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 01:31 PM

25. Also the tight control

of the number people trained to be doctors. It is difficult to get doctors to live and work in rural areas, even when the pay offered is equal to urban environments. Boomers are retiring now which means they will need more medical care as more doctors are retiring. As more medical personnel are working under corporate control, some are leaving for better options too.

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Response to Farmer-Rick (Reply #11)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 06:18 PM

36. This

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 09:47 AM

12. Hospitals have been running as for profit institutions for years

with no plan for a crisis. So now we have a crisis and we see how unprepared hospitals are. Yes, covid anti-vaxers take the majority of responsibility in this situation, but hospitals should also be held responsible for profit driven planning.

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Response to Merlot (Reply #12)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 09:50 AM

13. Agreed 100%

The same thing could happen with a mass shooting, or a natural disaster, or any number of things. Hospitals should not be so thinly staffed to begin with.

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Response to democrattotheend (Reply #13)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 10:10 AM

14. Yes, but -

Those other things don't generally last for 18 months, with no end in sight. And those things aren't preventable in the way that COVID is.

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Response to democrattotheend (Reply #13)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 02:43 PM

27. Normal Disasters Are Localized; Other Hospitals Can Take Up The Slack

The GQP sabotage of the public health system is nearly (outside the deep blue areas) ubiquitous, which severely aggravates the problem.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 10:38 AM

15. NM is a highly vaccinated blue state

I hate to see this anywhere but it's extra troubling in a liberal state where people are following public health guidance.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 10:39 AM

16. Bring in military field hospitals now.

The US taxpayer paid for many of the military physicians' medical school costs, and now pay their salary.

They are not distracted by an ongoing war right now.

Time to send them to help the American people.

And people who have been vaccinated should be triaged to the front of the line.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 10:41 AM

17. A friend of mine had heart trouble last year

during the Covid surge in the fall. She had to have surgery, which was bungled. She didn't get the care in the hospital she needed and she died. Age 62.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 10:55 AM

20. Medical services are difficult to obtain

My experience is not as intense as yours. My daughter is severely disabled and medically fragile. It has been very difficult getting specialist appointments for both her acute and chronic conditions. We have been to the ER numerous times this year because some specialists are still not seeing patients.

Durable medical equipment has been equally taxing to secure.We have been waiting almost 2 years for some pieces that we use daily.

In our normal life we regularly use masks, sanitizer, gloves, and laundry disinfectant. Thank goodness now our supply chain is no longer broken from COVID.

I am angry with the unvaccinated. I feel like they have stolen our essential medical care because of their selfishness and ignorance.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 01:09 PM

22. A Philly City Council member just lost his son who was awaiting a transplant, due to a lack of beds

Councilmember’s son dies; had to fight for hospital bed because of COVID-19 patients

By Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio
September 23, 20213:33 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The consequences of COVID-19 vaccine refusal became a very personal issue for Philadelphia City Councilmember Curtis Jones, who lost his son last week. He had a message for unvaccinated people at Thursday's session: Making that choice could have potentially fatal consequences beyond just spreading COVID-19 to those they love.

Jones said his son’s treatment for a heart and lung illness may have been delayed because of COVID-19 patients monopolizing hospital beds. He shared that he didn’t want to shame anybody, but he wanted to make the unvaccinated aware that the risk is not only to themselves, and not only about COVID-19. "Understand that it has an unintended consequence on those who have other ailments," said Jones.

Jones learned the lesson in a heartbreaking way, trying to find his son care. His son was waiting for an organ transplant, but Jones said that as his son got sicker, the family had trouble finding him an intensive care bed because they were filled with COVID-19 patients. "That hospital we were trying to get our boy in had a 105% occupancy," Jones explained. "One-hundred percent of the beds were already taken, with a five-person waiting list."

There are currently 216 people hospitalized with the virus in the city, including 30 on ventilators. The Pennsylvania Health Department estimates that 95% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. Philadelphia has one of the highest vaccine rates among big cities, but 16% of adults still have not received even a first dose.


https://www.audacy.com/kywnewsradio/news/local/councilmans-son-dies-treatment-delayed-from-covid-19-cases


We have crept down to a 3% positivity rate here in Philly so far, now averaging probably in the high 200s to low 300s per day over 7 days. The state is still running in the 5000 cases per day range. The city announced today that we are at 69% fully vaxxed and 84% with 1 dose -




TEXT

Philadelphia Public Health
@PHLPublicHealth
Sept. 28, 2021 COVID-19 vax update:

2,021,003 total vax doses administered
861,113 residents fully vaxxed
69% of adults are fully vaxxed
1,045,150 residents have at least 1 dose of vaccine
84% of adults have at least 1 dose of vaccine

For more: http://ow.ly/Kkqn50F9Zr0
Image
12:30 PM · Sep 28, 2021


One of the obvious issues here in Philly is that although we currently have a lower positivity rate for our population as compared to the rest of the state, as the biggest city in the state, we also have the big hospitals. So whatever hospitals here that are "filled" are not actually or necessarily filled with nothing but city residents, but probably with a mix of people from all over the area (including Jersey and Delaware).

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 02:59 PM

28. Oh my ...

that is indeed a harrowing tale.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 03:07 PM

29. Our daughter is hopping mad.

Our daughter is hopping mad about treating unvaccinated COVID patients in a crowded hospital in a red state. She says national guard are "helping" but what they really need are more nurses and more equipment. She has to watch some of them die for no good reason and this will be traumatizing for her. All this was unnecessary and so sad.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 05:27 PM

35. My Experience...

I am a cancer survivor since June. Putting weight back on, able to eat more without throwing up and doing a little exercise.

I have a feeding tube attached directly to my stomach. At one point I was at FIVE feedings a day of high nutrition, high carbohydrate BOOST (530 calories) and Jevity (355 calories). My blood pressure dropped to 71/50 at one point.

Now I need to get the feeding tube taken out. When? All non-emergency surgeries are canceled here in Fort Worth, TX due to unvaccinated idiots.

The feeding tube presents a long-term health risk from infection. It's not a big risk but with a compromised immune system from chemotherapy I need to be very careful. Pathogens have an easier access to my system because it can bypass the skin barrier. If I do get an infection I'll have to wait until it's life threatening before I can have a simple day surgery to get it removed. It's not a priority to hospitals because the anti-vaxers are soaking up critical medical care.

I'm fully vaccinated with Pfizer and got the Moderna as a booster shot. But this is Texas where republicans want to sacrifice the elderly, run politicians off the road and suppress voting rights.

I have zero empathy for people who don't get the vaccine. I worry about the children who get covid but have life long side effects. I live in a state where people are willing to sacrifice their children to make a political statement.

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Response to Roland99 (Original post)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 07:08 AM

39. Right wing richard craniums who do not care.

These asses have their morons followers convinced that the vaccine is bad. But they have taken the vaccine.
These people are stupid and put us all at risk. There is no way the unvaccinated should be allowed in an hospital! Kick um out!

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