We’re publishing a piece today by Cornwall resident Natalie White on the appalling conditions suffered by care home residents in the county during the pandemic and the unmanageable pressures staff were forced to work under. Then along came the vaccine mandate.
The care homes faced increasing pressure to take more and more people to free up beds from the hospitals. Unable to cope, some care homes started giving the sedative Midazolam to residents.
“They’re dishing them out like smarties,” one friend told me as she sniffed back tears. “We just can’t cope. It’s the only way to get on top of everything.”
Patients with dementia, who can often become frustrated, angry and confused, and prone to wandering off, were often dosed with Midazolam, but it wasn’t long before some care staff were being bullied to give them to all residents. According to the Daily Mail, “out-of-hospital prescribing of the drug midazolam increased by more than 100%” in April 2020. It is thought by some that this was a deliberate attempt to euthanise the elderly, but that’s disputed by those I’ve spoken to in the sector.
“It was never the intention to harm or kill anybody,” I was told. “I don’t know of any cases where Midazolam caused death. But we were encouraged and sometimes bullied into giving them to residents when we were overwhelmed with residents needs, and understaffed, because it gave us more time to get to everyone.”
On June 22nd 2021, ITV News reported that Kenwyn care home, where 94% staff and 100% residents were vaccinated, experienced a significant outbreak of Covid infections.
Nevertheless, by October 2021, the Care Quality Commission declared that all care staff, from cleaner to care, had to be vaccinated by November 11th (Remembrance Day, no less) or they would be sacked. That they had risked their lives, and the lives of their families, for those most in need, and that most of them had almost certainly been exposed to Covid during this time and now had antibodies, seemed not to matter.
The combined years of experience, training and devotion of the people effected by this were irreplaceable. The people I know who chose not to get vaccinated and left the care sector weren’t ‘anti-vaxxers’; they were people who had had every other vaccine offered to them or their children. They weren’t ‘conspiracy theorists’ who spent hours down David Ike rabbit holes on social media – they worked too hard to find the time for that. They were just hard-working, caring people who were reluctant to take a vaccine they knew little about. Many I spoke to felt that forced vaccinations were against their basic principles of informed consent and bodily autonomy.
Still, the Government and the CQC continued with their plan to fire any staff who didn’t get vaccinated by November 11th. The already understaffed and overrun care industry looked set to lose around 60,000 care staff across England.
This is when things started to look like the plot of a disaster movie.
Worth reading in full.