How fitting is it that I’m going to talk about work on Labor day. Eh?
Buckle up, it’s a long one.
Good golly, Ms. Molly, where do I start?
I know I spoke a bit about the mandate in my August Reflections post but I thought it warranted more information. Not only for those of you that are going through something similar out there but I want to remember the mental anguish of this whole fiasco as well.
I guess, let’s start with the reasons why I’m so opposed to this “vaccine.”
The number one reason I’m hesitant is that it’s new technology. It has not been thoroughly vetted, it’s been out less than a year and the fact that the government is HELL BENT on MAKING people get it makes me suspicious. If you have to coerce, bribe, and threaten people to take this vaccine when the disease itself should be motivation enough to take the vaccine, something doesn’t add up.
For example, and this is just the latest example: Birmingham-Southern College is bragging because they have 78% of their students vaccinated. Want to know how they did it? By coercing them to comply. How, you ask? By making the unvaccinated get a weekly COVID test that costs $500 each time they get the test.
The small college doesn’t require the shots, but did charge all students a $500 fee for weekly COVID-testing. If students disclosed a COVID vaccination, they received a rebate.
The college goes on to say that they can’t “require” the students to get the vaccine but we thought if they are not getting the vaccine then the least they could do was absorb some of the cost when forced to take the test. And, you know, if it encourages students to get the shot, all the better!
And there’s Australia. That whole country has gone completely berserk in their response going so far as to put up quarantine facilities and making their citizens download an app that will track their movements. For you see, if you go outside five kilometers of your house, you could be in big trouble. So this app – they will call you at random times and if you don’t respond in 15 minutes and can prove you’re complying with their insane rules, they will arrest you. It’s absolutely insane. This reaction goes WAY beyond a disease that is basically a bad flu for most people. For a disease that has a 99.5% recovery rate for most people.
These are just two of MANY examples of crazy responses to this damn virus.
I’d even go so far as to hypothesize that the vaccinated are actually shedding the Delta variant -they’re certainly not immune to it as it’s been documented that many vaccinated have come down with the Delta variant. Even if that theory proves incorrect, it doesn’t take away from the fact that a large portion of people who have been vaccinated have been infected.
Again, WHY take an experimental injectable that doesn’t really protect you from variants?
And WHY haven’t we talked about natural immunity? Or alternative medications? Oh right, we can’t, because social media censors us every time we TRY and have a conversation about it.
My point is – there are A LOT of questions and very few answers. And even the answers that are given are sloppy and contradictory. All of this is enough for me to say, “Whoa cowboy. Let’s slow down and do some more research on this concoction you’re trying to inject into people.”
“But Karen, people are DYING.”
I get that. So inject the vulnerable and leave the healthy people alone. Do more research. Run the vaccine through it’s paces, like every other vaccine that’s ever been created and dispersed to the public. The FDA supposedly “approved” the Pfizer vaccine, but did they?
And if these issues weren’t enough, now you have frustrated doctors out there touting the unvaccinated shouldn’t receive medical treatment. Not only if they get COVID, but for any medical issue.
Again, these are just a SMALL number of examples that make me hesitant. There are many, many, MANY more out there if you bother to look for them and get off main stream media outlets. (Because they consistently lie about everything – here is just one example if you don’t believe me).
So. Until the “vaccine” has been fully vetted, until we have a conversation about natural immunity and it can be proven that natural immunity is not good enough to protect you against this disease and that you have no other choice but take the vaccine, or that alternative medications can be given in the early stages and heal people so that they don’t need a vaccine, I am fully, and 100% against it.
There are many more natural avenues we can explore before coming to the conclusion that it’s the vaccine or nothing else for me, personally.
Of course, you’re free to do whatever you want to do. If you feel like the vaccine is a good choice for you and your family, by all means, go for it. But people do NOT have the right to tell me what I can, or can not do, with my body. And if you feel otherwise, check yourself. Get off your high horse for a minute and stop being such an arrogant know-it-all. Doctors, government, my neighbors, hell, even my husband, does not have the right to tell me what to do when it comes to my health. Hence the reason so many people smoke, drink, do drugs, over eat – these people KNOW these things are bad for them but they choose to participate in these activities anyway. No one can tell them what to do. They can advise them, educate them on the negative effects of these activities, but ultimately, it’s their choice And they have no one to blame if their choices make them sick or unable to live a long, fulfilling life.
Is it sad? Of course. But people have free will and they are free to choose what kind of life they are going to live.
Just like me. I choose not to get the vaccine. So whatever consequences from that choice happens, it’s on me. No one else. And the same goes for the people who got the vaccine. Any consequences from that choice is no one’s fault but the person who chose that path.
Especially since the drug companies and the government force you to sign a consent exempting them from any responsibility if things go south.
Oh look, there’s yet another reason I’m vaccine hesitant. Go figure.
I could go on and on and on about my reasons for not getting the experimental injectable but I’m not going to – if you want more of my thoughts and reasons, just listen/watch to our Right From Us podcast.
I would prefer to turn my attention to how this topic is affecting me and my future.
July 7th, our competing hospital announced it was mandating the vaccine. That was the day everyone started getting nervous, speculating, gossiping, trying to figure out if our hospital was going to do the same. Rumors started flying and before long, our hospital was rumored to require the vaccine as soon as the FDA approved it. I was hoping that would be years because let’s face it, it typically takes that long to approve a vaccine. So, I was worried, but not overly much.
The CEO of our hospital was interviewed for quite a few shows, even Good Morning America and I knew from that point forward, when the FDA announced it was going to approved the vaccine, there was NO QUESTION my hospital would mandate it, how could they not? Our CEO went on national TV and pretty much committed to it. And he HAD to now or lose face. I knew that wasn’t going to happen.
In addition, he mentioned in an interview with one of our local TV stations that people who were vaccine hesitant were “less educated” than the people who just stuck out their arms and got the jab. This did not go well at the hospital and it pissed A LOT of people off. Myself included. In fact, I would argue that I was likely MORE educated than most of the sheeple that got the jab because I took the time to read anything and everything I could about the vaccine. In fact, I would argue that I read TOO much about it.
The CEO then had the nerve to tell people who DARED question “the science” to SHUT UP. Yeah, he tweeted that little gem. Needless to say, that also pissed a lot of people off. Myself included.
Now I’m thinking, why would I WANT to continue working for a hospital that thinks it’s people are stupid and who tells them to shut up if they DARE question anything to do with COVID injections. What an asshole. I was SO PISSED OFF at that man, I still man, truth be known, but someone finally gave him a bit of his own medicine and told him to shut up because I haven’t heard him say much since his verbal vomit.
And because I have a big mouth – what, I can own it and admit it – I pretty much advertised my VERY STRONG feelings about this experimental injectable and how there was no way in hell I was going to get it so that Dr. M. heard about it and staged an intervention for me. Thankfully, the nurse I work with gave me a head’s up and so I wasn’t totally surprised, but the timing of his intervention did take me by surprise. It happened the last clinic before he went on vacation and I assumed he had too many other things on his mind to think about little ole me.
Oh, how wrong I was.
I call it an intervention though it really wasn’t, but it sort of was.
I was eating lunch with our medical secretary when Dr. M., his mid-level (PA) and his nurse all walked into the room. And when he started off with, “Let’s chat,” I knew it wasn’t going to go very well. He had, (and has been), very cranky lately. He has a lot of personal things going on, along with an upcoming surgery he doesn’t want to have, along with starting a sporting organization for his children and other talented athletes and he’s just been super busy and super overwhelmed with everything right now.
I don’t even remember most of that conversation, to be honest. Because I was so annoyed with everyone ganging up on me and cornering me that all I wanted to do was get it over with. I know the intervention wasn’t intended to make me angry or make me feel bad, I understand that their hearts were in the right place and they just wanted to make sure I had all of the information about the vaccine, not just the “incorrect” information, as they called opposing views, so I took it with a grain of salt. It didn’t make it easier to endure, but I understood where they were coming from.
I didn’t fight back. I didn’t counter his “evidence.” And it wasn’t that I couldn’t counteract what he was saying but that I didn’t really want to. What’s the point? It would just make him, and everyone else in the room angry and considering I had no idea when the hospital would mandate the vaccine and I could potentially be working with these people for YEARS, I didn’t want to make it weird and awkward. So, I stayed largely quiet. The whole thing was terribly uncomfortable for me and whenever I’m embarrassed or put on the spot like that my go-to emotion is to get angry.
AND. I. WAS. PISSED. OFF.
So much so that I went for a long walk after everyone left so that I had time to cool off and weigh my options.
You have to understand – I don’t really have a dog in this fight. Meaning, I haven’t gone to school to be a medical assistant, I fell into the position and learned on the job as I went along, and working in the medical field wasn’t, and still isn’t, something I wanted to make my career. I applied at the hospital because I was afraid ObamaCare would make it impossible to get health insurance and since Kevin was self-employed and getting insurance going that route would be astronautically expensive, I got a job in medical so that my family would have insurance and I wouldn’t have to worry about it going away any time soon. I did it to protect my family. So, I can walk away at any time and be okay with that decision.
I enjoy what I do, I’m good at what I do, I enjoy the people I work with and honestly, those are the only reasons I’ve stayed. And it’s gotten easy for me and leaving and learning another job would be so much harder.
Dr. M. emailed me later that same day to say that he hadn’t meant to corner me, but that he cared about me and didn’t want to lose me and he gave me a link to some more information. Again, I appreciated the fact that he cared enough to do that, but there was, and is, really nothing he can say that will change my mind.
And I think I annoyed him because he’s a neurosurgeon and let’s face it, he’s not used to being told no.
After the email, I went for another walk, to do more thinking, and when the clinic closed for the day, I marched into my manager’s office, sat down, took a moment to compose myself and then said, “I can’t believe I’m going to say this ….”
And promptly lost my shit. I blubbered and cried and absolutely broke down in front of her. I never, NEVER do this sort of thing so I was super embarrassed and humiliated but to my manager’s credit, she said, “I think I know what you’re going to say, but don’t say it now. Go home, think about it, calm down and then we can talk.”
And that’s exactly what I did.
I HATE masks, but I was never so glad to be wearing one in that moment because I knew it was “masking” my ugly cry. Because it was an ugly cry.
Luckily, this all happened the day before my vacation was to start so I had some time to cool off, think and weigh my options. And I decided, at that time, that I was just going to take it day-by-day. Again, we had no idea when the hospital would mandate the vaccine and I was biding my time.
In the meantime, the hospital, in an attempt to coax and bribe the employees to get the vaccine, started some sort of lottery program where your name was entered to win cash and other prizes if you were vaccinated. At that time, 69% of employees were vaccinated. (That percentage was the same for nurses, too).
And from that point on, even today, we get daily emails about employees vaccination times, “sobering” statistics, daily reminders of how many COVID patients we have in the hospital. Overhead announcements when a COVID patient codes, “Code Blue, Code Blue, Team19, room so-and-so.” Stickers are handed out to put on your badge if you’re vaccinated …
It continues to be overwhelming and too much. My clinic has gotten to the point we just don’t talk about it and when we do, there are raised voices, eye rolls and “well, you’ve never taken a biology class, have you?”
How freaking insulting is that?? I’m probably one of the most educated people in that clinic – I graduated from college … I’m one of the oldest, and likely wisest, people in that damn place. Tell me I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. *deep breath*
But still, I’m taking it one day at a time because I heard that some hospitals that mandated the vaccine reversed their decision because they were going to lose too many people and if you haven’t been paying attention, healthcare is pretty short handed now, let alone what it will look like if they lose a small percentage of people, so who knows if my hospital will change their mind.
And then, August 26th happens.
The FDA “approves” the Pfizer vaccine. It was announced as I’m driving to work. And within HOURS, the hospital sends out a notice that it’s mandating the vaccine and we have until October 15th to get it.
As you can imagine, the place goes nuts. Lots of side conversations, worry, anxiety and anger. It finally happened. Here we are.
I nearly quit that day but no, I needed to stick around and see how this played out. I initially told my manager I was planning on sticking it out until the bitter end, but there has been so much animosity that I’m not sure I really want to do that. I started researching jobs on Indeed.com as soon as I got home. (Not sponsored). I was amazed at how many job openings there were (are). I shouldn’t have been surprised, I knew that places were practically begging people to come work for them, but actually seeing the list … it gave me comfort to know I had options.
Too many options, to be honest. I don’t even really know where to start. Now I just need to figure out where I would like to work.
I did end up applying at one bank. They acknowledged my application but I haven’t heard anything else from them. If they call me for an interview, I will absolutely go.
A week passes and Kevin and I are on our way to do our Friday grocery shopping when my phone starts ringing. It’s my manager calling. I could have answered it through my Bluetooth but considering how fired up Kevin has been about this whole topic as well, I didn’t feel comfortable talking about this whole mess in front of him and let it go to voicemail.
I didn’t call her back.
On Monday, I found out that she was calling everyone. The hospital, in yet another attempt to bribe people to get the jab and stay just raised their minimum rate to $15.50 an hour. I guess we’re playing dirty now. This, of course, will work for some people because let’s face it, some people can be bought. I say that without malice and I’m not judging, but it’s a fact.
I’m not one of those people.
But she also called to encourage me to file either a medical or religious exemption. The fact that my manager is encouraging me, and others, to do this tells me that the hospital is trying to play both sides of this issue. One, they don’t want to lose face and not do what they’ve been preaching they would do from the beginning, but they’re also trying to appease the hard-core “vaccine” people in the public but Two, they are trying not to lose very many employees and are offering this get-out-of-jail free card, if you will, to keep them.
Again, not judging, just calling it for what it is.
Along with the announcement the hospital was going to mandate the jab, they also published a FAQ section and the policy. In the FAQ it stated that if an exemption was approved, you would be have to agree to take a weekly COVID test. And if that test comes back positive and you’re asymptomatic, you have to be off work for 10 days, 14 if you are symptomatic either without pay or use your vacation time.
Well, I was fired up again. I went to my manager and I asked her more about this policy, even though the mandatory testing wasn’t in the policy, yet, it would be. I’m not stupid.
“So, walk me through this,” I said to her. “Let’s say I file a religious exemption. We know it won’t be a medical exemption because I’m very healthy and that would never fly. I file the exemption, the hospital approves it, then I have to subject myself to weekly COVID testing using a test, by the way, that is faulty. Because you know the CDC has recalled the PCR tests at the end of the year because they can’t differentiate between an influenza or COVID result. So now I’m being tested with a faulty test that may or may not show positive. And let’s say it’s positive, then what? I’m out for 10 days, come back, get tested with a faulty test again and I’m positive again. Now I’m out nearly a whole month with no pay and how is that fair to my co-workers? So no, I will not be filing an exemption.”
My manager said she understood and that it was my decision. Really, what else can she say? Her hands are tied.
And by the way, I don’t blame anyone in my clinic for any of this. I’m not mad at anyone in my clinic, (though I’m pretty steamed with our CEO, not gonna lie). They are simply doing what the hospital is telling them to do. They don’t really have any power, or say, about how this pans out. I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it.
Then I have a conversation with my nurse. Actually, she asks me, point blank, if I’m going to file an exemption. Because she has said, “I don’t care what you have to do, I just don’t want to do this job without you.” Which, on one hand, aw, thanks, but on the other, I get her frustration, too. So, I updated her on my thought process and my intentions. We try not to talk about this topic very much because her and I are on opposite sides of the spectrum on this issue and there’s really not a lot of middle ground for us.
But she said something that resonated with me, “You say you care about us but you’re not trying very hard to keep this job. You’re just giving up.”
And you know what? She’s right. I DO care about these people, they are my work family, and she’s right, I’m not really fighting to stay. I wouldn’t say I’m giving up, exactly, I’m just resigned. After all, what can I do? I’m a worker ant on a huge anthill. However, I do feel like I should try and file an exemption to at least say that I tried. Who knows, maybe they will say yes. And if that’s the case, I will see how this COVID “testing” thing goes. Maybe it won’t happen, maybe it will. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it but I am curious to know if they will accept it.
Which leads us to today.
Kevin and I talked. He really wants me to quit and move on because he sees how miserable I’ve been. He said it broke his heart last week when I was leaving for work and I just had a big frown on my face and I looked so sad. That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling on the inside, sad, angry, frustrated, I didn’t realize anyone could see it on the outside. I like to pride myself on staying cool and keeping my emotions in check, and I think I’ve done a pretty good job. I’ve been upbeat and super friendly and helpful to my co-workers and patients at work because it’s not their fault I’m struggling with this crap. But I should have known I couldn’t fool the ones close to me.
And because Kevin loves me and is my husband, he feels a little papa-bearish over this whole situation and he’s pretty pissed at the hospital for creating this hostile environment and basically treating unvaccinated people as 2nd class citizens. He wants me OUT. I don’t disagree with him, but I would like to try this exemption option just to see what happens and that way I can say I tried. It would also be a lot easier for me to stay instead of getting out there, going through the awkward interviewing process, learning a new job, acclimating to a new environment, getting to know new people, etc.
Kevin spent a considerable amount of time putting some Bible verses together for me to use with my exemption request. I really appreciate him going to that trouble although I told him not to spend too much time on this because again, if they take it great, if they don’t, I move on. I like my job but I’m not sure how much energy I want to put into it keeping it.
I’m sort of over this whole thing, to be honest.
The timing of this couldn’t be any worse, either. Dr. M and my nurse will be having surgery at the end of the month and will be out two/three weeks, which exactly falls into the October 15th deadline. This means, I could potentially be gone by the time they come back from their surgeries. In addition, I had a vacation planned for the end of September but now I find out if I don’t work for at least two weeks afterward I won’t get paid for the vacation so I’ve had to modify my vacation time a bit. I will also have to submit my resignation by September 30th in order to work two weeks before the October 15th deadline as well.
So. The hospital will have to make a decision on my exemption pretty quick. And I heard from my manager that 2,000 people have already submitted exemptions. Which is another reason I believe the hospital will more likely approve these exemptions coming in as opposed to denying them because that’s a lot of people they could potentially lose.
I plan on submitting my exemption tomorrow.
And that’s my life right now. I feel like I’m on an emotional roller coaster. Some days I have hope, other days I’m in the pit of despair. Some days I’m SUPER ANGRY, and other days, I’m just really sad. In order to protect my mental health, I’ve now gotten to the point where I don’t care. I’m apathetic. which is not necessarily a good place to be, either.
Want to hear something ironic? I received my ten-year anniversary pin the other day. I will have been at this hospital for ten years on September 19th. Which is a record for me. I’ve only ever worked seven years at all my other jobs. Which is again weird because I never planned on making medical my career and yet, I’ve worked the longest in medical.
Anyway. I’m sick of thinking about it. I’m sick of talking about it. I just want a definitive answer so I can move on, however that looks.
Are any of you guys dealing with mandate/work issues? If so, feel free to share them in the comments. It often helps just to get it off your chest.
Just know, you’re not alone if you’re fighting this battle. I pray that things get better, eventually. We’re not there yet, but hopefully we’ll get there soon.