Several doctors and nurses across the country have been fired for daring to use their social media accounts to bemoan the lack of personal protective equipment in their ERs and ICUs, from ventilators to tests to gowns and other medical necessities. Every one of them was working on the front lines of this crisis and had become frustrated by, day after day, seeing the deficiencies of a system that remains unprepared to deal with the influx of coronavirus cases.
Check out this chilling story from ProPublica:
Olga Matievskaya and her fellow intensive care nurses at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in New Jersey were so desperate for gowns and masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus that they turned to the online fundraising site GoFundMe to raise money.
The donations flowed in — more than $12,000 — and Matievskaya used some of them to buy about 500 masks, 4,000 shoe covers and 150 jumpsuits. She and her colleagues at the hospital celebrated protecting themselves and their patients from the spread of the virus.
But rather than thanking the staff, hospital administrators on Saturday suspended Matievskaya for distributing “unauthorized” protective gear.
Perhaps they broke protocol for speaking their minds or reaching out for help beyond the normal supply chain, but when we have a shortage of not only equipment but personnel — because so many health professionals are getting sick, too — can any of these institutions really afford to fire anyone? After all, it’s not like the administrators who made the decisions are gonna go work in the ICU while being forced to wear the same mask and gown for an entire 12-hour shift!