Letter to the Editor: Consider the harsh effects of WA's vaccine mandate

Saturday, October 29, 2022

To the Editor:

At this election, I hope all voters will consider the harsh effects of WA’s now permanent vaccine mandate for most state agency workers. Previous mandates have contributed to the loss of approximately 3000 health care staff who have vacated their jobs over the course of the mandates. This loss became obvious to me during a recent ER visit.

With all the rooms full, my cart was rolled into a hallway niche. I soon began to feel the discomfort of glaring lights and transporter traffic. What bothered me most was that it was hard to get a nurse’s attention. With no call light and an IV in each arm, I tried hard knocking on the window next to me to people at computers on the other side. Worse yet was an old man in a room near me crying out “nurse…nurse” and then plaintively “person…person” as he coughed, snorted, swore, yelled and was ignored. Finally he was in the doorway yelling. Eventually staff came and with his oxygen back in place, he became grateful for care that could have been given earlier if there had been sufficient nurses.

This was not a hospital TV show. It reminded me of a letter-to-the-editor by an ER nurse working in a nearby hospital who emphasized having 10 patients per nurse!

If we ask why the national shortage of healthcare workers has been exacerbated in our state, it’s easy to attribute it to the excessive use of emergency powers by our governor. His powers have remained unlimited by the legislature, and for that reason incumbents of the dominant party deserve to be voted out of office. We need to recognize the damage done by choosing new legislators.

Shirley Oczkewicz
Edmonds, WA


Anonymous,  October 29, 2022 at 10:37 AM  

I agree completely

Anonymous,  October 29, 2022 at 12:12 PM  

I, for one, want my healthcare provider to be vaccinated. COVID was the third leading cause of death in the US in 2021. I think most healthcare workers were dying to get the vaccine. There may have been a few losses of workers due to the mandate, and good riddance, but I believe most were lost to overwork due to heavy and dangerous workload during the pandemic. The Governor’s mandate saved lives.
Barbara Twaddell, retired RN

Anonymous,  October 29, 2022 at 12:13 PM  
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Anonymous,  October 29, 2022 at 1:23 PM  

When I read the LTE I was silently screaming SOURCES PLEASE! I don't recall a great number of healthcare workers leaving due to a vaccine mandate. They left due to burnout from a huge surge of very ill patients with limited treatment options, and absences from the workers catching COVID or having family members who did and having to take off time from work to recover. This was a stressful time.

Anonymous,  October 29, 2022 at 1:45 PM  

Thank you Shirley for sharing your experience...l have heard several people share the same.

Anonymous,  October 29, 2022 at 11:54 PM  

Well that’s ONE train of thought. But it’s wrong. There is a shortage of healthcare workers because profit driven hospitals insist on overworking and underpaying hospital staff, and professional healthcare workers have had enough. They are no longer willing to sacrifice the quality of their family life so the management can have a new yacht; they are concerned about the health of their patients when they are being cared for with too few caregivers; and they are concerned about losing their professional credentials if something goes horribly wrong while they are trying to do their jobs under these conditions.

Yes, things are very bad. Our healthcare system is broken. But it’s not for the petty reasons you propose.

Anonymous,  October 31, 2022 at 9:33 AM  

As the spouse of a health care worker in the Seattle area, I can attest to the fact that healthcare personnel are leaving the profession due to burnout, not due to vaccine mandates. Many of the tales I have heard told from those that left had to do with their frustration as to the level of ignorance displayed by far too many people obviously sick with Covid. Patients that refused to believe that it was the illness threatening their lives, because they were committed to believing the nonsense they had heard from some talking head on television, over the facts being provided to them by their medical caregivers. If these patients couldn't be concerned for their own well being, why should the nurses, doctors, technicians, cleaning staff, etc. of the facilities trying to care for them place their own well being at risk? The stupidity and entitlement displayed by such patients would try the goodwill of even the most committed of caregivers.

Anonymous,  November 3, 2022 at 7:03 PM  

Why do you think the Edmonds ferry has only 1 ferry running these days. They fired 400 workers who didn’t want to be vaccinated. Ridiculous since the “vaccine” doesn’t prevent you from catching the virus or transmitting it. So, what’s the point of mandating it? Some states are now ordering the fired state workers to be reinstated with back pay. That is exactly what Inslee should do so we can get the ferries back on schedule. This is absurd.

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