Rebels without a clue

Medical workers protesting…medical precautions.

They were hard to miss on the corner of a busy four-way intersection at the entrance to Winchester Medical Center: a group of about 20 people — many of them nurses, some in scrubs — protesting the hospital’s recent coronavirus vaccination mandate.

Yes, gee, why would a hospital want the staff not to spread a lethal virus?

The nurses’ employer, Valley Health, the parent company of Winchester Medical Center, had given them an ultimatum: Get the shot or face termination. And those standing on the street corner Tuesday had already made up their minds.

Valley Health announced a vaccine mandate for its 6,300 employees at its six locations on July 19, while offering religious and medical exemptions for eligible applicants.

Religious exemptions should be out of the question. That’s a grotesque, insulting reason to allow people to spread a killer virus.

Margaret Foster Riley, a public health sciences and law professor at the University of Virginia, said the unvaccinated health-care workers probably do not have a case that their rights are being violated. The nation has a long history of legal vaccination requirements, especially for health-care workers, she said. What’s different is that entities are requiring shots that are under emergency use authorization and not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

On account of how the virus isn’t going to stand by politely and wait until the FDA approves the shots. It’s just going to go ahead and do what a virus does.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labeled the vast majority of Virginia counties, including Warren and Frederick, as having “high” virus transmission. For the first time since April, more than 1,000 Virginians are hospitalized with covid-19, and daily new cases are back to February levels.

Inside Winchester Medical Center, other staffers have watched their colleagues’ protestations with unease.

“Being in the health-care profession, it’s bigger than just yourself,” said Sherri Thornton, a nurse in the emergency room. “You’ve dedicated your life and your profession to taking care of people and doing no harm to anyone, and I think you have to protect not only yourself but your patients.”

You’d think.

H/t What a Maroon

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