Facebook is a menace. COVID-19 is a menace. Conservatism is a cesspool. Together, those three ingredients have created a toxic stew of malevolent death and devastation. We can talk about all those things in the abstract, look at the numbers and statistics, and catch the occasional whiff of seditionist right-wing rhetoric. But I hadn’t really fully understood just how horrifying that combination of right-wing extremism, Facebook, and a killer virus was until I became a regular at the Herman Cain Awards subreddit. This series will document some of those stories, so we are aware of what the other side is doing to our country.
Today’s cautionary tale is Natalie, who believes in “faith over fear.”
These people’s faith leaves plenty of room open for fear. Fear of scary immigrants. Fear of liberals. Fear of being replaced by Black and brown people. Fear of “Chinese Communists.” Fear of critical race theory. Fear of masks. Fear of vaccines. The list is endless.
This isn’t a question of “faith over fear.” It’s some weird, perverted, bizarre interpretation where their faith is suddenly incompatible with taking a free, lifesaving vaccine.
Can someone try to explain the logic in this Facebook post?
1. Democrats want you to die.
2. Democrats will kill you by making you wear a mask.
3. Black people protest, something or other.
4. Liberals wear masks. Mass death somehow averted.
5. Let that sink in.
This is a thing that literally never happened, anywhere. But hey, once you start sharing random Facebook memes and surrender any effort to traffic in the truth, why not share yet another ridiculous lie?
Taking the vaccine was somehow rejecting “faith” for “fear.” And so here we are: a big chunk of the family going down with COVID-19.
These people consistently vote against a party that would provide universal health care, meaning an unforeseen hospitalization wouldn’t bankrupt their family. This is all so easily avoidable, and this situation is nonexistent in other countries. Yet here they are, collecting pennies on a GoFundMe fundraiser that will never even cover medical bills, much less replace whatever income she was providing to the family (“a huge role,” according to this very fundraiser).
And to be clear, she didn’t “overcome Covid.” Pneumonia, heart, lung, and even brain damage are very much part of a severe COVID-19 infection. That’s why those who survive such severe illness can end up incapacitated and in long-term care facilities. Even milder cases can leave lasting damage. That’s why we beg people to take this disease seriously and vaccinate.
But yeah, “faith over fear,” or something.
Can you imagine being an overworked doctor or nurse laboring in this most difficult, emotionally wrenching environment, and having to deal with people who think they know better because of some meme they saw on Facebook?
COVID-19 attacked her lungs and he heart. Hospitals have a protocol they follow in these cases, which is based on over a year of experience in seeing what improves the chances of survival the most. And these assholes are screaming at them about hydroxychloroquine because of Donald Trump, and ivermectin horse dewormer because Facebook said so.
COVID-19 creates dangerous systemic inflammation. Steroids help lower that inflammation. Are they ideal and free of side effects? No! No drug is when treating this disease. But you know what else has severe side effects? COVID-19!
“Whether to vaccinate is a deeply personal matter, but here, let me tell the world about my wife’s bodily fluids while on her death bed.”
I get that these people are in severe, panicked distress. Their reactions aren’t going to be rational, and let’s be honest, there wasn’t much rationality from this guy even before this tragedy. But hospitals are messy, gross places in the best of times. Now emergency rooms are overflowing with avoidable COVID-19 cases, and hospitals have to deal with staffing shortages from burnout, illness, and even staff quitting over vaccine mandates. So yeah, maybe patients are shitting their beds and things don’t get cleaned up until staff has time to get to it. It’s not ideal. It’s likely horrible.
But that’s why, you know, we smart ones try to avoid the place by, you know, vaccinating.
COVID-19 will do this cruel twist of the knife: The patient will seemingly improve, and then a day or two later, she or he dies. I hate it—the false hope it brings. It makes the end even more painful. And it happens all the freakin’ time.
Such a waste. So avoidable.
So many of these COVID-19 dead leave behind children. They’re so wrapped up in their “my body, my choice” delusion that they’re willfully blind to the devastation their potential death (or incapacitation) can have on their families. No GoFundMe site will make those families whole. Not financially, and certainly not emotionally.
It’s simple math: Even if the disease only kills 0.1% of all Americans, that’s still 3.3 million Americans. What makes them so sure they won’t be one of those? Yet they've convinced themselves—thanks to Facebook, the conservative movement, and their right-wing churches—that the vaccines don’t work, or that they have mind control chips in them, or that they’re “experimental.” Meanwhile they themselves are somehow protected from this deadly pandemic. Because of faith.
And time and time again, they’re proven wrong.
Yet they persist.