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Give me liberty or give me my nice little government sinecure; your choice really

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Remember all those Massachusetts state troopers who had “submitted paperwork” to quit their jobs because they were going to Stand Up to Government Tyranny?

Yeah, about that:

This horrifying little tale illustrates why all these people just should have been fired for merely threatening to resign over their “right” not to get vaccinated (Twitter thread unrolled below).

The notion that someone who is paid by the public to protect the public’s safety should somehow have the “freedom” to endanger incalculable numbers of vulnerable people , just because they’ve gargled the right wing propaganda that is destroying this country, is certifiably insane. Anti-vaxxers should be be treated like drunk drivers, assuming drunk drivers could manage to stay drunk and behind the wheel every hour of every day.

And the propaganda network and its political party that is producing this insane concept of “freedom” need to be destroyed. I have no idea how to do that, but that doesn’t mean doing so is any less essential to the nation’s long-term survival.

ETA: Summer Brennan thread unrolled (thanks to NSAlito):

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. If you’d like to help my dad—who is still in the ICU—and help us give him the best chance for a full recovery, you can do so here. Thank you.

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