A previous post, “Does Anecdotal Mean Untrue?,” discusses whether “anecdotal” accounts, such as those found on social media, should be accepted at face value. One school of thought holds that “anecdotal” is a dirty word. Another suggests that, where personal experience is concerned, there is no other type of research beyond anecdotal. “Does this pill make your headache go away?” is as personal as a question can be. When the pill research team collects many answers to that question, now it’s a study, and they have a statistic. But it still originates in a bunch of anecdotes.
Would people make stuff up?
In a plague that people have very strong feelings about, would they fabricate stories in order to try and convince others to accept vaccination? Maybe. However, an increasing number of social media messages are not from pseudonymous heartbroken people, but from researchers, scholars, nurses, first responders, and their concerned family members. Yes, even doctors who are quite thoroughly identified and credentialed go online via various forums, to help the public understand what is happening.
Through them, anxious news consumers hear about tragic cases like a seven-months pregnant woman who checked into her local hospital for an emergency C-section. The baby survived, but the mother was, at last report, on life support. These medical folks will warn the public not to be complacent in their beliefs about the invulnerability of children, by posting for instance that a three-week-old niece is in the neonatal ICU with COVID-19.
Nurses and doctors speak of patients with holes in the lungs, wasted muscles, and organs failing one after another. A doctor reports that someone in his circle died because her pastor told her she didn’t need to be vaccinated, and her two children are now being raised by friends of the family.
Another doctor remarks that his own mother’s hospital bill, for two weeks on a ventilator, came to over half a million dollars. Someone else in the medical field writes disgustedly that in her mother’s assisted living facility, one nurse refused to wear a mask, and went to a Thanksgiving dinner from which she brought back COVID that killed several of the residents.
Expectant mothers hit hard
What the Delta variant does to unvaccinated pregnant women was described by a doctor as one of the most horrifying disease processes ever. Dying pregnant women are having desperate emergency C-sections in impossibly pre-term time frames. Medical personnel are particularly upset by these cases, because the baby never had a chance. An ICU nurse known as Jessica M, who has almost 78 thousand Twitter followers, wrote last month:
Yesterday my team were successful in saving an expectant mother who coded 3 times. Day shift also saved her a couple of times. Tonight we were unsuccessful in saving her. Our 3rd expecting mother we have lost since August 14th. Sadly, none were far enough along to save babies.
A Tweeter is married to a paramedic who has been working 12-hour shifts in another town for a week, who tells him that half the calls she goes out on are for virus cases, and the victims are a lot younger these days, and also more drastically sick. Infectious disease expert Jessica Malaty Rivera, M.S., writes sternly,
There is NO acceptable number of pediatric deaths from a vaccine preventable illness.
Here is a classic quote from PedsDocMom3000:
Look, Pediatricians are non-alarmist by nature. Half of what we do on a daily basis is reassure parents that their kids are going to be just fine. But we are ~FREAKING OUT~ as pediatric hospitals overflow at a time when kids are returning to school unmasked and unvaccinated.
Rebekah Diamond, M.D., writes, using a strong cuss word,
Getting screamed at that covid isn’t bad for kids after spending the day in the hospital seeing how bad covid in fact is for kids (in so, so many ways) is a real mind****.
Your responses and feedback are welcome!
Source: @Jessicam6946 on Twitter, 10/09/21
Source: @jessicamalaty on Twitter, 11/02/21
Source: @rebekah_diamond on Twitter, 10/19/21
Source: @PedsDocMom3000 on Twitter, 08/20/21
Image by Bonbon/CC BY 2.0