Colorado Hospitals in ‘Critical Condition’ as State Weathers Another Surge

Yves here. This piece describes is what is coming to pretty much everywhere in the US soon. Hospitals and medical providers are effectively rationing care in Colorado, which is merely in the midst of s Delta wave. It is also sadly presenting vaccines as the only defense against Covid, and ignoring wearing protective masks (N95/KN95), limiting interactions, and ventilation.

By John Daley, Colorado Public Radio. Originally published at Kaiser Health News

Harold Burch’s home has a spectacular view in Paonia, a rural part of Colorado’s Western Slope at the foot of Mount Lamborn. But the landscape has been little consolation to the 60-year-old as he has battled a cascade of health problems during the pandemic.

“It’s been a real rodeo,” Burch said. “It’s been a lot of ups and downs and lately it’s been mostly just downers.”

Burch has battled chronic osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and has had two major intestinal surgeries. One specialist he was seeing left her practice last year. Another wouldn’t accept his insurance. Then, Nov. 1, he started experiencing major stomach pain.

“When we talk terrible problems, I can’t leave the house,” he said. He hasn’t eaten anything substantial in three weeks, he added.

Burch had to wait that long to be seen by a primary care doctor. He said the doctor told him, “‘If things were different, I would tell you to go to the hospital and be diagnosed, have some tests run and see what’s going on with you.’ But he says, ‘As of today, Delta County hospital is clear full. There are no beds available.’”

The covid variant delta has overwhelmed the Colorado county of the same name. Hospitals on the Western Slope have been slammed for weeks, and the statewide picture is similarly grim. As of Monday, the state’s coronavirus website reported 1,294 patients hospitalized with covid-19. Half of the state’s hospitals said they anticipated a staffing shortage in mid-December; more than a third of them anticipated bed shortages in their intensive care units at the same time.

And behind those numbers, patients are feeling the impact.

Burch’s doctor told him he might have to wait hours in the emergency room, perhaps with people who have flu or covid symptoms. So Burch stayed home.

He’s fully vaccinated. But just 57% of eligible people in Delta County have received at least one dose of a covid vaccine. And 84% of hospitalized covid patients in Colorado are not vaccinated.

“It’s really frustrating because I did the right thing and like so many other people have, and we’re being just kind of like told, ‘Unless you have a really serious problem, like a heart attack, a stroke, you’re going to have a baby or something like that, we really don’t have time to mess with you,’” Burch said. “I mean, it’s just wrong.”

Burch’s situation is not uncommon this fall, as the state faces its second-worst covid surge for hospitalizations and deaths. Hospitals are under tremendous strain and that means delays and changes from normal care, as strapped providers do more with less.

“Hospitals across Colorado are in critical condition. We have been at 90%-plus capacity in our ICU and acute care beds for weeks now. And unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be an end to that situation in the near future,” said Cara Welch, a spokesperson for the Colorado Hospital Association.

Diann Cullen, 72, a retiree in Broomfield, Colorado, was told by her doctor that her hernia surgery would have to be postponed for weeks. Her reaction: “Frustration, extreme frustration, actually anger, because I said a bad word. … He flat-out told me we can’t even do it because of too many covid patients.”

The combination of too many covid patients, the need to treat those who delayed care and staff shortages have pushed hospitals into crisis, said Robin Wittenstein, CEO of Denver Health, which runs one of the state’s biggest hospital and clinic systems.

“They’re coming into hospitals now sicker than ever before. And they’re coming in larger numbers than we’ve ever seen before,” Wittenstein said on the day when most metro-area counties announced they were enacting a new indoor, public mask mandate. “Our system is on the brink of collapse.”

At the academic medical center UCHealth, Dr. Abbey Lara said the crush of unvaccinated patients in the ICU means patients face longer waits or they don’t get much-needed diagnostic tests. In the worst-case scenario, “patients who could have survived something had their life cut short because they weren’t able to access care,” she said.

And when there are too many patients being treated by too few staffers, Lara said, that ratchets up the difficulty for providers.

“I just worry that there’s going to be not only a lot of turnover in the near future,” Lara said. “But I think that access to health care is just going to get even worse in the future.”

Lara predicted the effects of the pandemic will be felt long after the emergency ends: “The sky isn’t falling, but the sky is going to turn a very different color.”

In Longmont, Colorado, about 50 miles north of Denver, nearly a third of Longmont United Hospital’s registered nurses have left since the start of July and many have not been replaced, said Kris Kloster, who has been a nurse for 32 years. She is backing an effort by nurses to unionize there.

The stress nurses and doctors feel is compounded when they feel powerless to take what they regard as an ethically correct action in treating a patient.

There’s a term for that, “moral distress,” said Dr. Barbara Statland, a hospitalist at Denver Health. The tension comes “because you can’t do what you feel is ethically proper. And I’d say that health care workers have been riddled with this.”

Despite the stress and distress, many front-line providers are hanging in there, continuing to care for patients every day. That made the difference for at least one covid patient who said he was appreciative he was able to get care — just in time.

“They saved my life. I do feel grateful for everything they did,” said 58-year-old Rob Blessin, of Fort Collins.

He caught the virus this fall and spent 30 days in an ICU ward with pneumonia at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley. He described the efforts of his doctors and nurses as heroic, some working nine or 10 days in a row, many taking overtime. And others, Blessin said, were filling in.

“So often you’d have people from different departments being trained on the fly,” Blessin said. “So there’s a lot of pressure on people. They’re just trying to get warm bodies in there.”

Respiratory therapists are in short supply in hospitals, and Blessin said as more coronavirus patients were admitted, the staff struggled to keep up.

Blessin said he landed in the hospital because he was swayed by internet misinformation and didn’t get vaccinated. It’s a decision he came to regret.

“I guess my recommendation would be to get vaxed, you know, even if you’re totally against it; don’t fall into the internet hype,” Blessin said.

After his experience being hospitalized for a month due to the coronavirus, and having talked with his physicians there, he now plans to get vaccinated.

This story is from a reporting partnership that includes Colorado Public Radio, NPR and KHN.

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    1. CloverBee

      They tell us vaccine mandate lay-offs were negligible, but that is across the state. With the resignations falling disproportionately in the rural areas.

      Unmentioned here (or anywhere, it seems) is that hospitals laid off nurses at the beginning of the pandemic, never brought many back, and are now complaining about shortages while taking zero responsibility for causing the shortages. The media buys this hook, line and sinker.

      1. Joe Well

        As a former school teacher, I sympathize with the nurses. They are seen by the PMC-dominated media (this includes independent media) as being lesser authorities in their own fields than administrators who often have no relevant expertise or experience.

        So you get lots of quotes of administrators and MDs but few of nurses.

  1. Melinda REACH

    People who have not been vaccinated should lose privileges and go to the back of the line for their Covid health care.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Oh, I’m sorry. You must be lost and looking for the Daily Kos site where such ideas are welcome. The people here are more into universal healthcare and equality for all. FYI, I am partly vaxxed myself but I can understand the reluctance of people to take what is still basically an experimental drug with unknown future consequences that was developed under a dodgy test regime. For people to take one of these drugs requires a trust in government but all that trust got burned down ever the past forty years. And when you consider the number of people that have had side effects, you are talking about a risky proposition, especially for people who cannot afford to lose a single day’s pay. It is about unvaccinated people now but before the pandemic started, I remember doctors refusing to operate on people because they were fat or they liked drinking or whatever. You idea only works if you have doctors willing to scrap their Hippocratic Oath but I promise you, you do not want to be treated by a doctor that has done so.

      1. LawnDart

        People who have not been vaccinated should lose privileges and go to the back of the line for their Covid health care.

        I’m open to listening to her reasoning behind this statement. Usually terrorists claim responsibility for bombings, but Melinda’s name means nothing to me– does she work for Pfizer?

      2. polar donkey

        Covid and the media’s response to it has made many people less empathetic to others. I’m glad I stopped watching TV, especially the news. Being a smoker, or drinker, or some that likes donuts doesn’t make you a bad person. Neither does not getting a covid vaccine. Neoliberalism turns society into a bucket of crabs.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Violent Trumpists have also made many people less empathetic to others, because those others often confuse the non-violent coronavax-sceptics for the violent spitting coughing-in-your-face Trumpers who assault and beat up restaurant hostesses and so forth, terrorise health department officials and drive them out of town, and etc.

          Vicious assaultive Trumpers share equal credit with the media’s response to covid, and they should get the equal credit which is theirs.

    2. ArtDog_CT

      Why, that’s mighty humanitarian of you, Ms. Melinda!

      Assuming you’ve paid the slightest attention to the information available here throughout the pandemic, there are many reasons a person may refuse vaccination. Refusing vaccination should not be grounds for penalizing any person in any way, period. If you want to take out your ire over the present circumstances, do please kindly redirect your bloodthirsty suggestion to the people genuinely responsible for the cluster[family blog], i.e., first and foremost, take it to the ruling class, and follow up with going after their PMC enablers. Why should the class war be one-sided? Let’s even up the pain some.

    3. Jules Dickson

      Perhaps you are new to Naked Capitalism. For the past year, we’ve covered reasons that people have legitimate reasons to not get the covid vaccinations, and that an over-focus on vaccine policies is counterproductive in battling COVID. Here’s a few:
      Please do your homework here and on other sites before pushing a spiteful and meritless policy

    4. T_Reg

      People who have not taken Ivermectin should lose privileges and go to the back of the line for their Covid health care.

      How’s that work for ya?

      I am appalled that so many people are eager to pronounce a sentence of death on anyone who doesn’t follow their demands.

    5. m

      If life scares you this much, maybe you should stay home. Hate to break to the news to you Melinda a majority of covid patients are vaxed & boosted up.
      Before the coof Colorado did not pay well and the housing costs are high. I almost went there to work and decided against it in the summer 2019.
      This article is from NPR, funded by Gates and the Wellcome trust, take it with a grain of salt.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Haha, one data trick regularly played it to take the % of unvaxxed Covid cases in hospital from early 2021, when the vaccines were just offered (and appear to have been somewhat more durable against wild type than Delta). IM Doc is in a very highly vaxxed county but I am pretty sure based on his narrative that the % vaxxed in hospital are much higher than in the past, and higher than 16%.

      1. Kris Alman

        Here’s CO’s breakthrough data.
        Vaccinated and unvaccinated incidence rates are age-adjusted using population data sourced from Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

        Click on the State Level button. There were 177.3 vaccinated and 651.9 unvaccinated cases per 100K as of week of 11/28/2001. Thus, 21% of cases that week were vaccinated. 42.8 vs 456.3 per 1 M in October vaccinated versus unvaccinated deaths in October. ~10% vaccinated deaths.

        Then click on vaccine specific data with unvaccinated line shown. Breakthrough cases rank highest for J&J, then Pfizer, then Moderna.

        Oregon does much better summaries of breakthrough cases every Thursday, with today’s result pending.

        We’ve been hovering at 30% breakthrough cases well over a month with same order of breakthrough: J&J, Pfizer, Moderna. In the month of October, there were 27.1% breakthrough deaths which dropped to 21.5% breakthrough deaths in November.

        The definition of “vaccinated” is subject to manipulation and inaccuracies (e.g. electronic health records not recording an individual’s vaccination at a drug store) that would lean toward more people being considered unvaccinated. It may well become triple jabbed in the near future.

        1. Terry Flynn

          Am not saying this is the explanation but I do know that in the UK when dealing with epidemiology data that is so disaggregated that a “clever outsider” could subvert safeguards on patient confidentiality (through linkage and cross referencing with public data that is perfectly anonymised itself but dangerous if combined), this kind of statement is used.

          It means they’ve deliberately added ones to certain groups and subtracted them from others so the aggregates are right but lower levels aren’t.

    2. Kyle

      ICUs are routinely occupied at 70+% outside of a pandemic. HCA is a for profit network and will not pay to maintain unused capacity. The other hospitals are operating on thin margins so neither will they.

  2. Ahimsa

    And smokers who get lung/heart diseases?
    And obese who overeat?
    And sports people who suffer injuries?
    And alcoholics with liver damage?
    And people with stress-related illnesses who don’t meditate?
    And motorists who were over the speed limit?
    And drug addicts who overdose?
    And anorexics/bulemics?
    And the aged with fractures who neglected resistance training?

    A brave new world where healthcare is means tested… Melinda REACH is making a list and checking it twice, whether you’ve been naughty or nice…

    1. sporble

      +1000 Ahimsa
      As for Melinda REACH – and others who might see themselves as the “responsible guardians” of our health care: I hope you never find out what it’s like to be denied the health care you’re “guarding”. Because if this were ever to happen to you or people you care about, you would surely kill yourself for having been so cruel.

  3. Larry

    In Rhode Island non-essential surgeries are being halted. The Governor has aligned with Connecticut to put a mask mandate back on, though it’s a fairly weak one that relies on businesses to be the enforcer. Venues over 250 must mask, under 250 must show proof of vaccination or mask if no proof. But holiday gatherings will proceed because people don’t see their loved ones and acquaintances as potential problems.

    1. LawnDart

      Indiana’s totally in deep shite too:

      Yeleti said at the beginning of the pandemic, the hard decision was deciding who received a ventilator. Now, it’s deciding who gets care. 

      Doctors said the best form of protection is still the vaccine and the booster. 

      Perhaps one should keep in mind the differences between “authoritative” and “authoritarian.” So much for “doctor knows best.”

  4. Samuel Conner

    I imagine the lizards in the financial system will find ways to profitably trade what is unfolding.

    Delivered the case of 3M Aura N95s to the clinic nurses yesterday, one gift among others brought by appreciative patients. They were gladly received; will not be used in the facility but distributed among staff to take home for off-premises protection. On-premises gestures in the direction of staff and patient protection will continue to be surgical procedure masks, which admittedly are better than deliberately coughing over the patients.

    I was hoping to reduce the risk of transmission within the facility, but at least it may reduce the risk of an outbreak that starts with staff off-premises and is then brought to the workplace. Perhaps it’s time to start looking into the anti-helminthic medication that must not be named.

    Perhaps the contribution will also have a catalysing effect — “our patients care about us more than our administrators do”. (and, realistically, why wouldn’t they? The patients are in urgent need of the services staff are providing; admin can always hire more, at least until it can’t)

    I wonder if the DSA should start handing out PPE at street-corner “stay alive in the pandemic clinics.”

    1. Samuel Conner

      One N95 a day would be equivalent to about a 10 cent per hour rise in pay + overheads. Is there anything as cheap as that that would do more to improve staff morale and well-being (and reduce enterprise costs associated with burnout and turnover)?

      Are the accounting types trying to make things worse?

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        The accounting types are probably just following orders. A better question might be . . . are the people who are giving those orders, especially the people who are originating those orders, trying to make things worse?

        That is a serious question , by the way, without any snarkasm at all.

  5. notbored

    or by people seeking care for other reasons? Lemmy Caution

    Including for side effects of the current “vaccines?”

  6. Mike

    So many confounding variables here. NPR has been running stories for several years now how about rural colorado hospitals and clinics have been closing their doors, pre covid. I can’t remember exactly but I think it was because they didn’t quite figure out how to successfully operate off of government reimbursement for those on federal insurance.

    We’ve all heard a lot of stories now about how nurses have left in droves so that seems consistent here.

    Another issue is we don’t treat people as they test positive for Covid. We have the data to properly stratify who is at risk for major symptoms. We could take that info to treat those who need it while it’s mild instead of blindly sending them home. Then we wait for them to get deathly ill and go to the hospital and wonder why ICUs are over run.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Wasn’t part of Obamacare the legislated termination of some kind of annual Medicare-based payments to rural hospitals themselves, to let them sink or swim on their own without that heretofore normal and traditional payment? Is that part of what is behind the Bonfire of the Rural Hospitals? Or is my memory wrong?

  7. Lost in OR

    Checking on the 91 DIVOC website, Colorado’s spike peaked 3 weeks ago at around 7,000 new cases/day (7 day average). They are now down to less than 2,000. So the surge should be tapering for now. For now.

    As usual, Public Radio did their superficial best. What, exactly, does “vaccinated” mean? Who owns the hospital and why are they so short staffed? What is it with the medical industry that staff is so hard to get? Why has the CDC et al not come up with a treatment protocol for the afflicted after the initial diagnosis and prior to admission? They all seem to see a crisis coming but can do little but wring their hands. Yes, the system is in crisis, it is time for Public Radio really take a look at that.

    And now some turn away those who do not meet their standards. The Dogs must be angry.

  8. Yves Smith Post author

    No, we have made very clear we don’t support making groups to go die for very questionable reasons. There is a class of practices/habits that elicit revulsion responses for very good reasons. This toxic line of thinking is being very aggressively cultivated by Team Dem.

  9. Stillfeelinthebern

    Here are some interesting stats from a newspaper article on Tuesday in a central Wisconsin city.

    “The majority of COVID-19 patients at St. Agnes are unvaccinated individuals, said Dr. Nathan Larsen, the hospital’s emergency medical director. Since mid-August, 35 of the 216 unvaccinated COVID-19 patients the hospital treated have died. This compares with four of the 83 vaccinated patients seen in that same time frame.

    During Monday’s update, Larsen pointed out chances are nine times higher an unvaccinated person contracting COVID-19 could end up in the hospital, and that danger increases for people older than 50. Hospital stays are on average also four times longer for unvaccinated patients.

  10. jackiebass63

    The point most defenders of not being vaccinated is their actions effect other people. I believe the only exception should be a verified medical reason. I really could care less if an unvaccinated person gets Covid and dies. I do care that an unvaccinated person can infect others and taking care of them when they get Covid is an expense that is passed on to others.

    1. Objective Ace

      >I do care that an unvaccinated person can infect others

      Sure, and that would have some merit except that vaccinated people can as well…for all we know vaccinated people may even be more likely to infect others due to risk compensating behavior. If you want to point to some studies that show vaccinations slow spread we will take your position seriously, until then its just a bunch of handwaving and making things up to support your opinion

    2. megrim

      Plus, omicron seems to have a taste for the vaccinated. Even if vaccinated people were at a lower risk of catching and spreading covid before, omicron has surely changed the calculus.

    3. m

      That comment is sick. I guess you didn’t hear that you can still get & transmit covid “fully vaccinated.”
      Are some of these commenters employees of the Gates Foundation, who thinks like this, sick

    4. NB

      Hi Jackie,

      it’s now well established that virus levels can be the same in the vax and unvax, which means anyone can infect anyone else. Not even Pfizer claim their product stops infection or transmission. I don’t blame you for thinking otherwise, due to the catastrophic failure of governments and media. I’ve just listened to an Australian Broadcasting Corp news story (during the cricket) of some small business group rep saying some businesses might refuse entry to nonvax because they don’t want an outbreak. While ignoring that omicron came to Oz via jabbed travellers and is being spread via jabbed citizens. Wishing you genuine best wishes and happiness

  11. Mike Mc

    Why are we not in the streets demanding Medicare For All or some other national health insurance plan? (Besides the obvious concerns about contagion, that is.)

    Spent the last ten years of my career working for the largest employer in Nebraska – the University of Nebraska system (several campuses, approx. 5 to 6 thousand employees) and thus had the best available health insurance any working stiff could get.

    Now since retiring in 2020 I get to navigate Medicare parts A & B (retirement benefits include – thank God – dental insurance) while watching Medicare Advantage ads peddled by washed up stars.

    So in that sense, I’ve got mine, but for the love of God (or dog) can we raise a big @ss ruckus about our broken health care system? Worked like crazy for Bernie in 2016, not so much in 2020 – once bitten twice shy – and thought we might get a Biden Bounce, but no!

    How on Earth do we get better?

    1. Susan the other

      Just taking the medical industry as an example of almost total dysfunction and desperately needed change, you’d think that the planners, let’s think of the planners as the social CEOs – mostly politicians guided by delusional lobbyists, you’d think that the planners would see a necessity for something as critical as medical care to be resilient to social upheaval. So starting with that assumption, how do they insure continued service in the face of the slow motion collapse of neoliberal capitalism (which the medical industry has embraced so wholeheartedly)? Can the hospitals continue to stay open when they go bankrupt? Imo the hospitals will go bankrupt and collapse as surely as the oil industry will, because their actual expenses far outpace their income. They are classic extractors and so they need to be subsidized. Just like big oil. It really looks like the only reason, and a stubborn one, that they do not allow M4A is because it is more important to maintain the illusion that medicine is a going concern and can function as a profitable private enterprise under the old archaic capitalist rules just so that private practitioners can justify taking away very large salaries. But, that said, I also believe the profession is under a growing strain, to the breaking point, with really nowhere to turn because they have boxed themselves into this mess, and still the doctors and nurses are doing a very good job – but, really, how long can this sick monopoly go on?

    2. Joe Well

      At the start of the pandemic all that energy and anger were cleverly channeled by the MSM and DNC into protests about the roughly 200 Black Americans per year killed by police. The most heavily covered protests I have seen in my life.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Hmm. . . . now that I think about it, they never did get the Obama vs. Occupy treatment, now did they?

        No, they did not.

    3. Ashburn

      “Why are we not in the streets demanding Medicare For All or some other national health insurance plan?” Yes! +1000.

      I can’t understand why so-called “Progressives” in Congress aren’t demanding that the Biden administration endorse M4A. Although it won’t work with “status quo Joe’ Biden, at least it plants the idea in the public mind, and there will likely never be a better opportunity to advance this policy.

      And BTW, I got mine too: As a federal retiree I carried my subsidized federal healthcare into retirement, I qualify for and have Medicare, and am a veteran, so if ever needed I can utilize Veteran’s healthcare.

  12. duffolonious

    Here in Minneapolis someone we know was sent home with pancreatitis because they are so overwhelmed. This eas after hours in the ER.

    Don’t get sick or injured in any way if you can help it.

  13. HH

    Americans want it both ways. They want to be ornery and independent, and they want to be kept safe from COVID. That is not possible. When people who ignore COVID precautions and vaccination protection get hospitalized, they place a burden on the system that endangers others. Representing the ability to do this as a precious individual right is nonsense.

    Although the vaccines are not the only answer to COVID, the evidence that they have driven down the mortality rate, saving thousands of lives, is overwhelming. Accordingly, making people fearful of vaccination is a bad idea likely to cause to needless deaths.

    The fact that the USA leads the world in COVID deaths is largely the consequence of a national culture that is fractious and uncooperative. The hostility toward government, industry, and media reflected in the NC COVID threads is representative of this culture.

    I believe that if all of the policy corrections desired by the NC COVID brain trust were magically implemented, the impact on the COVID epidemic in the US would be negligible, because large numbers of Americans would remain non-compliant and uncooperative.

    1. chris

      It is fascinating to see the cultural critiques circulating in the media propagate to things that are less and less the responsibility of the people who suffer from them. For example, when we pretended to care about the ozone layer, no one was shouting at rednecks and accusing them of huffing paint en masse as we eroded our atmospheric protection. We blamed suppliers. We engaged manufacturers who were using CFCs and largely got them eliminated from the west over a period of a decade or so.

      But in cultural circles, we do the opposite.

      For example, we blame the people who watch Mel Gibson movies as if they are responsible for the enduring popularity of someone who many now find unpleasant. We don’t blame Hollywood or the various streaming services for continuing to produce movies with this person. Much like we’ve forced the concepts of green house gas emissions and recycling down to consumers instead of the large OEMs responsible for most of the alleged damages.

      And now comes the statement above, where a citizenry who has been repeatedly lied to and abused by elites who have financial and ethical conflicts regarding the subject matter they regularly advocate for, is blamed for not being more agreeable. As the saying goes, if you trust the media, you’re not paying attention.

      Most of what the NC brain trust has advocated are actions that support self sufficiency and help the community. Improve your health. Optimize the ventilation where you live and work. Wear a mask. Ask your doctor about options for care. Work with your neighbors. Stock up on things you will need so as not to burden your community or rely on hospitals unless absolutely necessary. I have to ask what version of NC you’ve been reading if your impression of the last 2 years is drastically different than that.

  14. Larry M

    Hard to start replying to you recitation of incorrect and unproven facts. A simple check is your statement ”the fact that the USA leads the world in COVID deaths”….is as erroneous as your other facts. Look no farther than the UK. Rate of death is the measure to determine performance. UK as of today has substantially more deaths per capita. In my long life I’ve seen our population feed US Government and Media propaganda throughout the last 50 years….not having recognized it for what it was, until about 10 years ago. So when you quote your facts, who’s facts are they? We know CDC data is filtered, manipulated, delayed and faulty. Biden sold and still sells vaccines as the one and only way to stop ‘COVID’. We all know that is patently untrue given the deviants we’re currently witnessing. The hostility toward the corporate media, the medical profession and the US government narrative is well deserved. I believe that the disservice to the American people by false narrative of entities we should be able to trust are by far the most dangerous factors and far outweighs peoples’ non-compliance and lack of cooperation as a factor for US deaths. When the real end game starts, whenever or whatever that is, American’s will pay a tremendous price because no one can believe anything after all the lies and false narratives we’ve been feed.We are setting ducks!

  15. Tom Bradford

    In my neck of the woods – New Zealand – 94.3% of the population >12y.o. has had one dose of the the vaccine and 90% have had two. Infections from the one case of Delta that escaped quarantine have been bumping along at around 100/day for several weeks with no hint of any increase that suggests it has ‘taken off’.

    Is this down to the vaccination rate? I don’t know. But there’s no indication that with 9 out of 10 people having had the jab there have been very many adverse reactions to it. In fact having initially cut back on ‘non-essential’ work in order to clear the decks to prepare for a surge of cases our hospitals found themselves with nothing to do and have to a large extent resumed ‘normal’ operation.

    I wasn’t happy about having the jab. Who would be, for heaven’s sake? I was aware of its ‘new, improved’ experimental nature and I’m old enough to remember Thalidomide. I could have stood back and let others take the risk of the vaccination, hoping their risk-taking would protect me from infection but like 94.3% of my fellow New Zealanders believed the public good required I take that risk.

    I’m not saying anti-vaxers should be denied medical treatment, but the quid pro quo of asking others to take the risks on their behalf, whether it be the risks of the vaccine itself or the risks of a hospital service overburdened by avoidable disease, is that they allow priority for such care as is available to be given to those who chose to take the risk for their and the wider good.

    My 2c worth.

  16. Ana

    How things really work on the ground medically.

    Last year, before we had vaccines, a young man I had known from birth was pushed out of the local high end Medical Center. He was on a vent because he had been attacked and robbed and had swelling of the brain. He was sent off to a local nursing home where he died immediately.

    Right now I have an old friend who is being pushed out after having had two pacemakers installed in one week (first one failed) and gotten a hospital infection. He is on O2 and is paralyzed for some reason they can’t diagnose. He is gradually failing but is over 65 and can’t get testing and spinal/abdominal MRI’s approved for reasons not explained.

    Neither had Covid but the decision was made to push them out so there is “room for Covid patients”. We are vertical here in terms of infections by way of the University of Stanford wastewater capture project. Believe me, you don’t want to get sick and need anything the next few months.

    I am using N95 masks with surgical tape to seal it to my skin around the edges with goggles or a full face N99 respirator if I absolutely have to go out. I managed not to get the original or Delta however I do expect I will end up with Omicron. It really is that contagious. I only hope to postpone getting it until after the worst of the spike has passed. If I need hospital help, I will be triaged to a gurney in the corner of a tent in the parking lot because of age and having paraplegia or more likely shuffled to a nursing home so they get the blame, and we have great survival stats for the hospital.

    My thanks to all of you and to the brain trust for all the information. It has kept me safe all this time, and I am grateful.

    Ana in Sacramento

  17. Paula

    I am reading a book by Clifford D. Connor; The Tragedy of American Science and if what he writes is true, we can no longer trust the medical sciences or the agencies created to regulate them and Pharma and others since Pharma funds and can and does tamper with outcomes on research while regulatory agencies like the CDC and FDA are dependent upon corporate funding, as government cuts R&D except in the war and military sector, where R&D is well funded for war and killing masses of people, rather than saving them. Instead, our government has left that to the profiteers of the poor and middle class eating one percent. I’m wondering at what point will they begin to breed us for our organs as Yuval Harari wrote about in Homo Deus.

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