A powerful message to COVID-19 protesters, from a frontline nurse….
A powerful message to COVID-19 protesters, from a frontline nurse.
A Victorian nurse has issued a powerful message to all the “brave covid deniers” who attended anti-lockdown protests over the weekend.
Demonstrations were held on Saturday across the Sydney and Melbourne CBDs, with thousands of people gathering together to demand an end to the ongoing lockdowns.
Images and videos showed unmasked protesters packed tightly together shouting “freedom” and holding anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination signs.
The demonstration quickly descended into chaos, with protesters reacting violently towards police officers and attacking police horses.
Now, as residents wait anxiously to see if the protest will result in a “superspreader event” and force the lockdown to be extended even further, one nurse has issued a message about the true impacts of Covid-19.
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Melbourne oncology nurse Merowyn Olaver took to social media in the wake of the protest to offer a reality check to the thousands of demonstrators to defied health orders.
“Whilst people were protesting their freedom from lockdown and anti-vaccination rhetoric today, I was at work – washing my hands, wearing a mask, using hand sanitiser, giving people antibiotics via IV drips, checking bloods, relieving pain with analgesics – all scientific, evidence-based interventions,” she said.
“If any of these people end up in hospital will you be wanting your nurses to wear masks, wash their hands, give you antibiotics, check bloods and relieve your pain? Will you seek scientific, evidence-based interventions to prevent you from further illness?”
Ms Olaver said even those who choose to “cherry pick” what they believe in now can trust they will be given the best care health workers can provide if they are unfortunate enough to get Covid-19.
“If you are to catch Covid and your body cannot fight any longer then we will make you as comfortable as possible,” she said.
The Melbourne nurse explained how hospital workers would wash the patient’s body with “warm flannels”, surround them with pillows, turn the lights low and talk gently to make the environment as relaxing as possible.
“When you’re very close to the end, your family will be called, salty tears splashing across their cheeks while they whisper ‘I love you’ into the receiver – a lifetime away. At the end, after your last breath we will be there to offer condolences, ‘Sorry we couldn’t do more, sorry your heart is broken,’” Ms Olaver said.
“We will care for you until the caretaker comes to zip you up in a thick rubber cadaver bag and roll you away. You brave Covid denier, look at the legacy you’ve left behind. You are now free.”
While Ms Olaver said the response to her post had been “overwhelmingly positive”, she also received multiple messages from anti-vaxxers and people against the lockdown who accused her of “dividing people”.
In response, she explained when Covid-19 first hit, she, like many others, lost her income which came in the form of her cake business. She was also forced to move to her law degree online.
Ms Olaver said when lockdown was first announced she “sobbed”, revealing her growing anxiety over the virus and having no income saw her spiral into depression.
She was able to find work again when the government put nurses whose registrations had lapsed back into rotation.
Ms Olaver told news.com.au that the majority of the negative responses died down after people understood she was in the same boat as many on them in terms of losing her business due to the pandemic.
“I think people perhaps don’t believe someone who has a job can empathise with lockdowns and the incredibly difficult position it puts business in,” she said.
“The anti-mask/vaccination rhetoric is another ballgame though, changing that school of thought is incredibly difficult and would take much more than an Instagram post.”
Many people compare Covid-19 to the seasonal flu, but Ms Olaver said the most important thing people need to understand is that Covid-19 has a “much higher mortality rate and leads to more respiratory complications (morbidities) than the seasonal flu”.
“The vaccination allows us to curb the high incidences of mortality and morbidity that would otherwise arise from infection,” she said.