As the latest strain of COVID works its way across the country and around the world, California, like much of the nation, is experiencing a severe shortage of health care workers.
How bad is it? Well, according to recent stories in major media outlets, the situation is so bad that California is now ordering COVID-positive (but asymptomatic) health care workers back to work.
That’s right, a state that is leading the way in firing healthcare workers for not being vaccinated is now forcing COVID-positive people back to work. You can’t make stuff like this up.
There are many reasons for the shortage, of course. For one thing, there is an undeniable surge in cases due to the Omicron variant. Secondly, there is a labor shortage in general across the country, driven in part by unpopular COVID vaccinations and extraordinarily generous unemployment benefits, as well as workers simply seeking better jobs.
The impact of the vaccine mandate can’t be overlooked in a discussion about the health care crisis. In New York, for example, 37,000 health care workers lost their jobs over the vaccine mandate, according to The New York Times. Since California has a population significantly larger than New York, then it stands to reason that California has needlessly fired even more health care workers than New York. Given their relative sizes, California may have lost more than 50,000 health care workers due to the vaccine mandate alone.
It’s possible that even with 50,000 additional health care workers in the system that California may have had to emplace emergency measures to combat this latest round of COVID. But without a draconian vaccine mandate driving tens of thousands to the unemployment line, California probably would not have had to resort to forcing COVID-positive health care workers–who, by definition, can still spread the disease even if they are asymptomatic. I mean, wouldn’t we rather have an ample supply of non-sick, unvaccinated asymptomatic health care workers instead of having to order people back to work who are literally sick with the highly contagious disease we are trying to fight?
I’m not a “vaccine denier.” In fact, because of my job I was part of the first wave of people in New York to get the jabs. But facts are facts. Clearly, the vaccine isn’t working. Or at least it is not working the way we were originally told it would. The only individuals in my family who have contracted COVID since the vaccinations came out are individuals who were fully vaccinated. But even understanding that anecdotes are not data, there seems to be a pretty obvious solution: stop firing healthy, non-COVID-positive health care workers who refused to take the COVID vaccine.
…but that would involve someone in power admitting they were wrong about something important. And that almost never happens.
Scott Faith is a veteran of a half-dozen combat deployments and has served in several different Special Operations units over the course of his Army career. Scott’s writing focuses largely on veterans’ issues, but he is also a big proponent of Constitutional rights and has a deep interest in politics. He often allows other veterans who request anonymity to publish their work under his byline. Scott welcomes story ideas and feedback on his articles and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.