Nurses fight Trump conspiracy theories along with coronavirus
Los Angeles emergency room nurse Sandra Younan spent the last year juggling long hours as she watched many patients struggle with the coronavirus and some die.
Then there were the patients who claimed the virus was fake or coughed in her face, ignoring mask rules. One man stormed out of the hospital after a positive COVID-19 test, refusing to believe it was accurate.
“You have patients that are literally dying, and then you have patients that are denying the disease,” she said. “You try to educate and you try to educate, but then you just hit a wall.”
Bogus claims about the virus, masks and vaccines have exploded since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic a year ago. Journalists, public health officials and tech companies have tried to push back against the falsehoods, but much of the job of correcting misinformation has fallen to the world’s front-line medical workers.
In Germany, a video clip showing a nurse using an empty syringe while practicing vaccinations traveled widely online as purported evidence that COVID-19 is fake. Doctors in Afghanistan reported patients telling them COVID-19 was created by the U.S. and China to reduce the world population. In Bolivia, medical workers had to care for five people who ingested a toxic bleaching agent falsely touted as a COVID-19 cure.
Younan, 27, says her friends used to describe her as the “chillest person ever,” but now she deals with crushing anxiety.
“My life is being a nurse, so I don’t care if you’re really sick, you throw up on me, whatever,” Younan said. “But when you know what you’re doing is wrong, and I’m asking you repeatedly to please wear your mask to protect me, and you’re still not doing it, it’s like you have no regard for anybody but yourself. And that’s why this virus is spreading. It just makes you lose hope.” read more…
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