They just shrug their shoulders

Via Charles Pierce in Esquire, a doctor in Arkansas says what it’s like there:

The last day I worked wasn’t too bad. Had several people come in with symptoms or just to be tested. Mostly younger than 40. Of course zero vaccinations, and when I asked why, I don’t get the “cause the internet, cause screw the libs, I think it’s dangerous” excuses. I don’t get any excuses at all. They just shrug their shoulders and say they didn’t need it. It’s just part of their psyche now. Sun rises in the east, Jesus will return to judge the quick and the dead, you just don’t get vaccinated.

They didn’t need it, but now they have symptoms. shrug.

The ones that were negative, when I ask them if they are going to get vaccinated they look at me like I have three heads.

The positive ones sometimes have some regrets, one in particular started crying after we talked about intubation, CPR, and ECMO. The ones I send home often get mad when I tell them there’s not anything I can do for them.

I’ve resisted the temptation to put on their discharge instructions: “You didn’t listen to me about how not to get this, why would you listen now. Ask the internet when to return to the ED.”

When I was in college I did telemarketing for a while. In those jobs they give you a sheet of things to say to overcome objections when people don’t want to buy from you. But how do you overcome an objection when they don’t give you one? They just look at you [and] shrug [their] shoulders. I tried giving them the science. I tried mild anger and looking at everybody over my glasses like their disappointed father. They are just not gonna do it and nothing I say is going to change that so it makes me wonder whether I even need to keep trying.

I’ve gotten updates from lots of people in Missouri and Arkansas. Things are absolutely at their capacity. They’re talking about field hospitals again in Springfield and we are very close to running out of capacity for ECMO in Arkansas and Missouri. Last week a paramedic posted a whiteboard showing that every ICU in Arkansas was on divert. That means they are not accepting any transfers and critically ill patients will stay in the emergency department for the foreseeable future. None of which is safe for anybody.

None of this was inevitable. People who mock the very idea of vaccinations made it happen.

Updating to add Charles Pierce’s conclusion after the doctor’s account:

Goddammit, none of this had to happen. And it certainly doesn’t have to continue to happen. If you’re making a buck out there off telling people tales about the perils of the vaccines, or if you’re an idiot meat puppet from Fox News bothering the White House with stupid questions, just shut up and sit all your asses down. Get used to the fact that you’re going to hell, every damn one of you.

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