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Doctors, nurses should call in sick

July 18, 2020
Lloyd Omdahl , Pierce County Tribune

This exploitation of doctors and nurses in this coronavirus pandemic has gone far enough. They should just call in sick tomorrow and be as irresponsible as most other folks who treat the pandemic as just another inconvenience.

In many states, if they do show up for work they can't be sure that there will be the masks, glove or gowns available for protection. They're still trying to figure out who's in charge local hospitals, state governments, or the White House.

Who's In Charge?

Local hospitals, state government and the White House are also trying to figure out who's in charge. And who's got how much stuff. The White House says the locals don't need any more personal protection equipment. The locals say the shortage is desperate. The truth is in there somewhere but nobody knows where.

Then somebody ought to mention the exorbitant profit-making that is resulting from overpriced personal protection equipment, ventilators and services as the federal government and states drive prices up by bidding against each other in the wildest supply system ever seen.

There is only one solution: call in sick.

Fraud Is Rampant

Widespread fraud has been sucking millions no, billions out of the recue programs while doctors and nurses are expected to sacrifice to keep the country afloat. Never has so much money been within the reach of so many people. It has been a test of honesty and the failure rate has been incredible in the unemployment system, the small business bailout and the payroll protection plan.

The Federal Trade Commission has received over 90,000 reports of fraud costing victims $59 million. And that's only the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds of fraudulent businesses, associations and churches have ripped off the recovery programs. Stealing has been made honest because it is so widespread.

For years, Congress and administrations have been cutting the appropriations for the Internal Revenue Service. Then suddenly the pandemic demands an IRS staff that has been decimated beyond handling ordinary traffic, let alone pandemics. Consequently, all of the emergency programs have been leaking like sieves.

No Guts To Discipline

Then there are the millions of people who won't wear masks, wash hands or socially distance because they know that the doctors and nurses will risk their lives to save them if they become virus victims. The White House, governors and local politicians must take the blame for the thousands of people who are dying unnecessarily because nobody has the guts to enforce a level of discipline equal to the virus.

Young types are clogging the saloons with state and local approval so they can take the virus back to their families or parents. Clergy folks thought the world would certainly go to Hell if they waited one more week to meet. (The first Christians didn't have New Testament Scripture for decades and they survived quite well.)

Permanent Virus Damage

Now health researchers are finding that there is more to the virus than a month of struggling to breathe.

Permanent damage to the brain and other organs is cropping up in recovering virus victims, leaving a legacy of chronic cases for future doctors and nurses.

What can doctors and nurses do to force responsibility?

There is only one solution: call in sick.

As was the case with the recent 'Black Lives Matter" demonstrations, society pays attention only when threatened by some major catastrophe, disorderly demonstrations, or other show of force.

If enough doctors and nurses called in sick, maybe society would take notice of its exploitation of dedicated professionals who are being asked to risk their lives and the lives of their families every day they go to work.

Lloyd Omdahl is a former lieutenant governor of North Dakota and former political science professor at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.

 
 

 

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