Thanks to the anti-vaxxers, COVID-deniers, Trump-supporters, QAnon-crazies, and those just plain outraged over nothing, health care workers at a Missouri hospital are getting panic buttons to protect themselves from attacks.
Cox Medical Center Branson, in Branson, Missouri, is reportedly using grant money to provide 400 employees with buttons they can use to call for hospital security, launching a tracking system to send help to the worker at risk.
“Personal Panic Buttons are one more tool in the battle to keep our staff safe and further demonstrate this organization’s commitment to maintaining a safe work and care environment,” Cox Health’s director of safety and security, Alan Butler said in a statement.
Violence against hospital workers is nothing new, but according to a Cox Medical Banson nurse, there’s been “an escalation of that in intensity and in the number of incidents.”
Let’s be clear, this is a global issue.
According to the Associated Press, in a report from Insecurity Insight, and the University of California, Berkeley’s Human Rights Center, there were more than 1,100 threats or acts of violence against health care workers and facilities last year worldwide, with a quarter stemming from COVID-19.
The Guardian reports that nurses in Idaho say they’re afraid to go out with their uniforms on, to avoid being targeted and accosted by out-of-control conspiracy theorists.
“Our healthcare workers are almost feeling like Vietnam veterans, scared to go into the community after a shift,” Coeur d’Alene, Idaho hospital spokesperson Caiti Bobbitt said.
Of course, it’s not just hospitals where people are losing it over the reality that we are in fact in a global pandemic. Retail workers, flight attendants, and restaurant staff are also being confronted and assaulted by red-faced covid-deniers. At least airlines offer no-fly lists for nutjobs when they attack staff.
AP reports that in August, staff members at Methodist Healthcare System in San Antonio, “have been cursed at, screamed at, threatened with bodily harm and even had knives pulled on them.”
So, not only are people not getting vaccines and gumming up the works at hospitals around the country to the point that medicine is having to be rationed, but they’re additionally a violent menace to the people trying to help us when we’re sick?