Tears in Rain, Vol II: Our Forgotten Heroes on the Front Line
America must honor our doctors & nurses - & realize that they were thrown to the wolves
In Volume I of this miniseries, I sought to illuminate what the COVID-19 outbreak & lockdown was like, through the eyes of the residents of the city. The stunning scale of the Xi Xinping-directed central government suppression of virtually all information and contact out of that city of 11 million people was just as brutal as the lockdown measures themselves.
Here, my purpose is once again to shed light upon the superhuman courage and resilience of those whose voices were lost - the difference, however, is that in America the voices weren’t silenced through government suppression.
They were lost in the horrific scale of the pandemic itself.
To all the people I didn’t save - one nurse’s message
Col. Dave Grossman popularized the ‘Categories of People’ metaphor about Sheep, Sheepdogs & Wolves in his book On Combat, although it reached broader audiences from its appearance in American Sniper.
Unlike animals, our personalities aren’t set in stone; however, most of the time our societies are filled with sheep and a tiny fraction of wolves, and equilibrium is maintained with an even smaller share of sheepdogs.
Doctors & nurses aren’t trained for combat, of course, but the COVID-19 pandemic was a seminal moment for millions of sheep; even though most health care workers [just like with troops] weren’t sheepdogs, all of them were destined to face wolves.
Facing wolves means facing death, and it is the willingness to do so for the sake of the sheep that separates the sheepdogs from the rest of the flock. Being willing to kill is hard, but seeing death in any form impacts us - it represents the antithesis of our existence. Col. Grossman’s sequel, On Killing, is about the impact death & killing have on those who come face to face with it; as the video above demonstrated, the scars run deep.
(α) The Valley of the Shadow of Death
COVID-19 emerged in late 2019, but even as it quickly spread beyond the city of Wuhan, there was a sense of surreal trust that it follow the course of other epidemics and come under control before large-scale troubles could appear. After all, the boy had cried wolf before, when a novel H1N1 flu strain emerged in early 2009, and despite infecting 1 billion people the virus itself was weaker than most annually recurring strains.
COVID-19’s lethality wasn’t immediately clear, because even though it was causing severe illness in a lot of cases, the first ‘official’ death didn’t happen until mid-January. In the following week, however, doctors in Wuhan discovered several horrifying aspects of the disease:
1) It was spreading human-to-human [finally confirmed] 2) The long course of the disease led to large numbers of people sitting on ventilators for weeks before they succumbed 3) The virus was impacting several different types of tissue all across the body 4) It was spreading like wildfire even at Jinyintan Hospital, which was the expert center for highly infectious diseases.
No one knew that the worst aspects of the disease hadn’t even been discovered yet; so, when COVID-19 hit New York City in full force in mid-March, even the most experienced doctors and nurses were caught off guard by the pandemic’s intensity. For everyone else, pictures say a thousand words:
The 1st signs of overload in NYC produced the earliest accounts of heroic doctors and nurses, while also detailing some of the human cost tied to mixed messaging and scarce protective supplies:
Shortages of doctors and nurses existed before COVID-19 hit, so it’s not hard to imagine where we sit today, 18 months later:
(β) I Will Fear No Evil
The ‘worst aspects’ I hinted at above were decisive in allowing the SARS-CoV-2 virus to fuel a global pandemic that is entering its 4th full wave here in the United States. Before I turn back to the sheepdogs, however, I must provide context for the wolves that they faced.
I was inspired to write this article because of the similarities between the circumstances of this unexpected tragedy and events from my own personal experience [discussed further down]; however [by horrible coincidence], this topic intersects with one of the two major areas of research I’ve focused on as a member of the investigative group DRASTIC. Our work centers on the still-unknown origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, and my two particular issues have been the cover-up of the early outbreak in Wuhan & the deliberate scientific censorship meant to prevent such research. Dr. Fauci helped lead that push for censorship, and the results [intended or not] included the delayed propagation of key information, especially early in the pandemic.
The first realization was that COVID-19 was spreading asymptomatically [1st discussed c. 1/23, but confirmed a month later:
Despite this confirmation, I flew to and from Europe [via London, Prague & Madrid] while only filling out 1 info form and 1 temperature check [after landing back in Dallas]. I left Spain the day before Italy closed its borders. It also meant that drs & nurses across the US were barely protected from the virus they’d been preparing for. Most of the precautions announced and implemented by the European Union while I was in Prague weren’t being implemented yet - in short, everybody was looking for a virus without actually preventing much spread.
There’s more - Why did the world’s leading virologists/microbiologists and top American/UK officials refrain from releasing their knowledge of the existence of the FCS when they first learned of it?
The FCS is an additional method that the SARS-CoV-2 viral genome contained, in addition to its known affinity for human ACE2 cell receptors. The FCS is so good at increasing pathogenicity that it’s the specific insertion typically added by labs worldwide for Gain-of-Function experiments.
What possible justification could there have been to ignore the FCS, other than limit discussion during the early phase of their censorship? And what effect might that have had on our doctors’ ability to characterize the virus?
One of the worst developments of the pandemic is the evaporation of public trust in scientists [see Edifice Wrecks]. My research has shown me nothing that would help heal that divide.
To summarize: Dr. Fauci, Pres. Science Advisor K. Droegemeier and the world’s leading coronavirus researchers remained silent for weeks [late Jan-mid-Feb] after confirming the historically powerful binding ability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus; concurrently, they published a dozen letters and articles rejecting an artificial origin during the crucial period when COVID-19 became a global pandemic. 6 weeks later, some NYC doctors/nurses were still taping garbage bags on themselves to reduce contamination, and cleaning/reusing worn surgical masks. That’s how our frontline workers were protected when the wolves knocked on the door.
When the Frontline is the Homefront
Last September I decided to make a projection of what I thought was likely to happen in the winter wave; on May 1st, my predicted total death count for the US was ~4 tenths of a percent off [about 2000], 207 days later. Near the end of the article, I wrote that I hoped my projection would be wrong, because if it turned out to be right then it would just further prove that our NPI strategies were wrong.
Remember: the main difference between the sheep and the sheepdog is that the sheep will run to the sheepdog, while the sheepdog will run to the wolf. Last year, hundreds of thousands of people chose to be sheepdogs, and what they faced will soon become the worst loss of American life, ever - more than both sides of the US Civil War combined.
They witnessed death on a scale beyond what I can fathom - there were multiple 48-hour stretches this winter that approached the total of all American troops killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom during 7 years of war. In a majority of deaths, doctors were restricted to a narrow of treatment options even though precisely the opposite stance was called for. They watched critical patient after critical patient weaken until even the ventilators couldn’t save them. They endured the brief encounters with their families, sometimes even sleeping in tents outside their homes to keep their families safe. In the beginning they had no masks or gloves, and later watched many of their friends and fellow sheepdogs become sick and die themselves. Today, there are even fewer of them, and in the last two weeks they’ve been flooded by a sudden wave that’s still growing exponentially.
They’ve suffered the impact of the vaccination battle, and this week are beginning to understand that the vaccine that helped them return to a semblance of normal is being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of virus produced by the δ variant - right as the storms clouds roll in.
(γ) For You are with Me - οτι συ μετ εμου
ἐὰν γὰρ καὶ πορευθῶ ἐν μέσῳ σκιᾶς θανάτου οὐ φοβηθήσομαι κακά ὅτι σὺμετ᾽ ἐμοῦ*
*Psalm 23:4 [tattooed on my left forearm in Κοινη (ancient) Greek]
“Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil - for you are with me”
In 2005, I encountered wolves for the first time, and that changed me even though I didn’t realize it at the time. I didn’t even realize I had scars for almost a decade, but eventually the nightmares became memories again. Only in 2018 did I learn that the last portion of that verse is the most important. No one should have to walk through this pandemic isolated, but that is exactly what our Heroes have endured.
My hope is that the doctors and nurses who fought against COVID-19 won’t have to wait 13 years to learn that the scars rarely come from the battles they’ve fought; it’s the sheep they couldn’t save that hurt the worst.
Americans must take a step back and pause for a moment, and consider that our medical workers endured the deaths of more than 617,000, people - while saving millions of us. They rarely saw their own families while fighting daily to keep other families intact, and now, they’re facing the most dangerous variant with fewer fellow drs. & nurses. In the 1st half of 2020, it was easy to find home-made ‘Thank You’ signs and supportive FaceBook posts, but today there is mostly silence. We cannot wait until we pass by a nurse out in town to thank them, because once again they barely have enough time to see their family. We must radically change how we pay, comfort and supply them.
Why? Because no matter how badly the wolves wounded them before, the sheepdogs will always go back into the fray when another wolf approaches. I refuse to sit silently while our leadership is actively throwing them to the wolves.
I can attest that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Most sheepdogs would agree , but that wisdom is misleading. I’m stronger than I used to be, but I wouldn’t wish that lesson on anyone else - because the wounds are always deep, and the scars never truly heal. You must not forget those who are sacrificing on your behalf as you read this today, because they won’t forget.