THE HOSPITAL – “Emergency!” I cry to the admissions clerk. “I’ve been shot!”
She looks at me from behind her haz-mat suit. “So have 212 million other Americans. Big deal.”
I stagger closer. “Not shot with a needle. With a rifle. My next-door neighbor found that a new Texas law allows him to buy any gun he wanted. So he tried out his new AK-47 by trying to dot the ‘i’ in our neighborhood’s ‘Children At Play’ sign.”
She nods. “That explains all those wounded children that just arrived. Take a seat. We’ll be with you – is this Thursday? I can’t remember. I’ve been here three months straight.”
I look down the hall, which is lined with people in beds, dollies, a forklift and a John Deere trailer.
My hospital, Houston Medical Stuff & Veterinarian Apprentice Training Center, like hospitals across America, is overflowing with patients. On one pallet is a scribbled sign, “Needs emergency appendectomy.” Another reads, “Going into labor – call the nearest midwife.” “May still be breathing” reads another.
“Why aren’t those people in an ICU?” I demand. She sighs. “All our ICU beds are full of people dying of Covid-19. Most won’t get vaccinated. Some will only take a needle if the syringe contains heroin.”
Thus it is that terribly ill patients can’t get medical treatment because our hospitals are jammed with knuckle-draggers who won’t get with the program, and a new poll shows one in four Texans say they won’t be vaccinated for Covid-19.
I spot a doctor crawling down the hall. He’s bleary-eyed and unshaven. I stagger up to him. “Doc, I’ve been shot. You’ve got to treat me.”
He looks up. “Doc? Yes, you need a doctor. Oh, I am a doctor, I think. Take a number and we’ll call you, maybe. You’ll be number one hundred forty-five. Right now I’m working on number one-two-three.”
About 98 percent of ICU beds in Texas are full, and of those, 43 percent are used for Covid-19 patients and 86 percent are unvaccinated. Thus more than 62,000 Texans have died of the pandemic, and it’s early in the day. Their reasoning ranges from not trusting medical science to they can’t afford it (the shots are free) to “I’ve never had Covid before, so why start now?”
We must wonder if these holdouts ever went to school (maybe not) because all 50 states – even Texas -- require shots for students by the first date of attendance. In Texas these include shots for diphtheria, polio, pertussis (whatever that is) plus chickenpox, measles, mumps, hepatitis and rubella.
So why are some among us now so resistant to yet another shot? It’s getting sticky. President Joe Biden has issued an executive order requiring all federal employees and federal contractors to be vaccinated. The same for workers in hospitals, home health care facilities and other medical facilities.
Gov. Greg Abbott was alarmed: “Texas is already working to halt this power grab,” describing it as “an assault on private businesses.”
Said Sen. Ted (“Cancun”) Cruz: "President Biden's latest and most far-reaching Covid mandate completely ignores science. Forcibly vaccinating people who already have immunity ignores medical data and is a brazen violation of Americans' privacy rights.”
Nevertheless, some private companies are getting on board using either the carrot or the stick. Southwest Airlines employees will get extra pay if they can show proof that they have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine before mid-November.
Apple is requiring frequent Covid-19 testing for U.S. employees who aren’t vaccinated, but even inoculated workers will get checked often. Goldman Sachs is requiring everyone who enters its offices, including clients and visitors, to be fully vaccinated.
Google, Facebook and Lyft are requiring employees returning to offices to be vaccinated against Covid-19. The New York Times and the Washington Post are mandating vaccinations for their employees.
But some workers are resisting. In a new Washington Post/ABC Poll, 72 percent of unvaccinated respondents said they would quit their job rather than be vaccinated if their employer required it and they couldn’t get a religious or medical exemption.
That’s fine with me. I wouldn’t want to work on my pig fat rendering line if the guy next me, wearing his MAGA cap, is coughing and sneezing while telling me about the little microchip they insert in your arm that Bill Gates and George Soros are making a fortune producing.
Back here at my hospital (“Ask about our survival rate”) a guy walks in and says something to the admissions clerk.
She nods and says, “Room 34-C. Down the hall to the right.”
He leaves and I bound from my chair. “Hey! How did that guy just walk in and get a room for treatment?”
The clerk smiles. “He’s special. An Afghan refugee. They go to the front of the line. Same with asylum seekers from Honduras. It’s the new Biden policy. You might go to your nearest convenience store and juice up on ivermectin.”
Ah, yes, ivermectin, the drug of choice for horses and people with an IQ somewhat lower. Have you heard about this? A rumor got floated that ivermectin was a cure for Covid-19, so people began taking it.
Actually, they would get mad at doctors who refused to prescribe the drug. Ivermectin is approved to treat or prevent parasites such as heartworm and lice in animals, mostly horses and cows.
The FDA has not approved ivermectin for use in treating or preventing Covid-19 in humans. WHO recommend not to use ivermectin in patients with Covid-19 except in clinical trials. But it is so popular that what used to cost $5 to $7 for a pack of three tubes is selling as high as $45 on Amazon.
The users are following the advice of Dr. Laura Ingraham and Dr. Tucker Carlson on Fox News who have been pushing the “cure.”
Here at the hospital I am still waiting. There are several cows in front of me. Maybe the un-vaccinated should go last.
Ashby is dying at email@example.com