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A Nurses' POV on COVID and Healthcare
"Lived experience" testimony and conclusions
Background on Corrine Lund, RN: Her political beliefs closely align with Libertarian Conservatism but are strongly influenced by her Natsarim based faith. In her role as an RN, it is her general practice to always leave her political beliefs at home. She is committed to treating every patient with the best healthcare she can provide no matter what their political beliefs, religious affiliations, social views, or current disposition might be. She believes that every healthcare provider should practice the same. In her professional capacity, she takes an apolitical stance regarding healthcare. She believes that an RN’s job is to provide healthcare to patients, not debate it with pundits. However, from an RN perspective the politics surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have proven to be extremely diametric.
A Perspective on the Current State of American Healthcare
(Healthless in Seattle)
Corrine Lund, RN/BSN/CEN
In an attempt to gleam actual facts regarding COVID and medical care, I am compelled to parse through the wide spectrum of conflicting politically biased “information” that is constantly pushed out. I find that much of the COVID-19 talking points are propaganda and should be disregarded as chicanery. The Healthcare Titans, those unelected policy makers who lounge in ivory towers and concoct those talking points, have become tyrannical and must be held accountable. So should the “go along to get along” doctors and nurses. But the unjustified blatant attacks on the integrity of those doctors and nurses who sincerely have the patient’s best interest in mind are impossible for me to ignore. As a gun-owning, free-thinking, out-spoken, off-grid living American Woman and RN, I have a unique perspective on the demise of the healthcare system in America and how we might recover. The infamous “Dancing Nurses” is a new and loathsome phenomenon I cannot explain; more chicanery methinks. When RNs are doing their job, they are neither Heroes nor Zeros. I want to set the record straight based on my own genuine experiences.
My daughter, Sidney, was born with Alfie’s syndrome. The medical term is Monosomy 9P Deletion. It’s a rare chromosomal disorder in which there is deletion of a portion of the 9th chromosome. Characteristic symptoms include intellectual disability, craniofacial malformations and sometimes, as in Sidney’s case, other serious complications such as heart defect and epilepsy.
At a very young age, Sidney had craniofacial reconstructive surgery and heart surgery to repair an Atrial Septal Defect. She required a lot of care; she needed a lifelong personal nurse. So I went to nursing school and graduated from University of California with a BSN. When it came to Sidney’s healthcare, that was the best decision I ever made.
Sidney was diagnosed with epilepsy after she experienced an Atonic Seizure at 12 years old. The seizure was mild but alarming. Evidently, it was triggered by a strobing flashlight we naively gave to her. Her doctor wanted to immediately put her on very strong anti-seizure meds. I have witnessed first-hand how those meds create a flat affect in a patient’s personality. After much discussion with my colleagues and my family, I decided against the meds. I wanted to wait and see how Sidney’s condition would develop. If the seizures became frequent then I would reconsider.
When Sidney started her period at the age of 14 she presented with vasovagal episodes just about every cycle < vasovagal syncope is a type of reflex syncope that occurs when the body's normal ability to control blood pressure does not work properly, causing fainting. It is the most common cause of fainting and is not a sign of a problem with the heart or brain>. Mostly she had pain and a few times she fainted. Her doctor wanted to immediately put her on birth control hormones. He also wanted to give her an HPV vaccine. I said no to both. The impact on her health from putting her on hormones with all the side-effects and potential complications was not justified by the slight relief she may or may not experience. My professional opinion regarding vaccinations is that it should be a personal choice. My personal choice based on scientific study is not to participate in any vaccinations including the annual IIV4. I was “allowed” a Religious Exemption to the COVID-19 vaccination. As a result of opting out of vaccinations, even before COVID-19, I am required as an RN to take extra precautions such as always wearing a mask when I am with any patient and paying close attention to any symptoms I might develop. Sidney is not able to make those kinds of decisions because she is intellectually disabled. I am her mother, I make the decisions for her.
Today, Sidney is a 29 year old happy and delightful young woman. She has experienced just 3 epileptic seizures in her life with the last one occurring over a decade ago. She grew out of the extreme side-effects of her menses cycle naturally. Sidney is healthy and completely free of pharmaceuticals (as is my husband and myself and all 3 of us are rarely ever sick). And as a side-bonus, I got a wonderfully fulfilling career!
I truly love being a nurse. I care deeply for all my patients, even the difficult ones. My bio includes Triage Specialist, ER Team Leader, and Patient Flow Coordinator at California’s busiest Level 1 Trauma Center; Care Coordinator for the Beacon Project in Hawaii; Assistant Manager of the ER at UW Medical Center in Seattle; ER Supervisor at Providence Medical Center in Everett, WA.; and more.
In January, 2020, COVID-19 Patient Zero in the US was discovered at a hospital I used to work at in Snohomish County, Washington. I was working at a different hospital 10 miles away. My role was Acute Care Nurse in the Float Pool, which meant I worked every floor of that hospital as needed, often times as Charge Nurse, and frequently I was rotated in as House Supervisor.
In the early stages of COVID-19, I was very apprehensive. I was on the front-line in the trenches. My husband and I prefer to live as self-sufficient as possible and as far from the cities as we can. We live off-grid in the Cascades and are prepared to shut the gates to our grounds at any moment. We can last indefinitely. When news from China of people dying in the streets came out we wondered, is this it? Has the proverbial shit hit the actual fan? Was I safe working in a hospital? Was anybody safe anywhere anymore? My husband, a retired Software Engineer, was glued to the reports and kept me up-to-date by the hour. I was prepared to continue working on the front-line as long as I could. But as soon as the desperate hoards of dying contagious people with the horrific symptoms of a terrible global pandemic began flooding our hospital and dropping dead in the halls, like we were being warned would happen any day now by the Titans, I was going to bolt my post and head home for good.
But that never happened. The infected dying hoards never showed up. Instead, something unexpected but just as terrible happened. The Healthcare industry very quickly and very easily was intentionally manipulated by the Titans, those powers that should not be, into a Deathcare system. I am still dumbfounded at how quick and easy it was.
The COVID-19 pandemic was very confusing and very frightening for nurses, especially in the beginning. Every day our established policies and protocols which were practically written in stone were suddenly changing. The first thing we would do at the beginning of every shift was sort through the many emails and memos of overnight protocol and policy changes. Many of the changes did not make sense and caused a high level of stress and confusion for us. For example, the pre-pandemic expectation was to always change PPE including face masks whenever we went from one patient room to another. We never wore PPE outside of the patient room and we never shared PPE. That policy changed such that we were instructed to no longer change PPE for the entire shift and to even hazardously share PPE. We did not have near enough PAPRs so those were passed from one RN to the next; they became filthy and covered with face make-up on the insides (I do not wear face make-up so I found this particularly gross and unhealthy). Department managers were reduced to actually hiding and hoarding PPE. The conditions we found ourselves in felt very unsafe. Many of the RNs, especially the new hires, were in a constant state of borderline panic. My family wanted me to retire for my own safety but I felt and always feel an obligation to my patients first.
Another problem that was created by all the pandemic confusion and stress was a higher level of medical errors being introduced. For example, we had an active TB patient who was erroneously put into a double room instead of a negative airflow room. The patient presented in the ER with a hard cough, was instantly given a PCR test for COVID-19, then put into a quarantine room with another patient to wait 5 days for the lab results. When the patient casually mentioned that he had “once or twice coughed up a little blood” the admitting provider immediately ordered a TB test which came back positive. Only by the Grace of God did we manage to avoid a TB outbreak.
We also had administrators initiating policy changes in real-time. For example, we were running out of quarantined beds for COVID-19 positive patients. The quick fix was to put COVID-19 patients on the orthopedics floor which did not have proper PPE or negative air flow and the staff panicked. As a result, staff and other patients on that floor became COVID-19 positive.
And curiously, the executive staff at our hospital became aloof and distant, probably because, as we learned later, they were being awarded big bonus checks to compromise healthcare over hidden agendas. Their decisions and announcements were infuriating. One example I recall well was when a Canadian woman was critically injured in an auto accident and ended up in our ICU. Her husband and 2 daughters drove overnight to get to her but when they arrived they were told they could not visit her. The policy at that time was to Zoom call visits but the woman was near death. I called our CNO who was out snowboarding (the nursing staff got more messages from our CNO about her snowboarding adventures and FitBit outings than anything hospital related) and asked if we could make an exception and allow the family to visit. She said no and the family had to sit out in the parking lot and stare at their loved one on a cell phone. That very same day a family of Muslims wanted to go in and visit their grandmother. I reluctantly called the CNO again already knowing what the answer would be and to my surprise she said they could all visit but for only 20 minutes. This fickle and subjective decision making on her part became routine.
Other new policies were put in place that to me were conspicuously counter-productive. For example, we had sophisticated rapid test result equipment in our hospital, yet we were required to send by courier the COVID-19 PCR tests to an obscure lab somewhere in Seattle and then wait 5 days or more for the results before we could discharge a COVID-19 negative patient. My brother-in-law is a Senior Chemist for a company that develops and markets PCR test systems. Even he could not explain why the tests had to be sent out for the results. That meant we had patients who were negative for COVID-19 taking up beds for a week during a very chaotic and trying time. Many of those patients were perfectly healthy because they came in for something minor but had a slight fever or cough so, as per the new policy, they had to be tested and held for 5 or more days. Even if the fever was related to an obvious wound infection. They could not leave their rooms and they could not have visitors. They became bored and agitated. They spent the time watching movies and playing video games. They routinely ordered take-out which meant a nurse would have to suit up in filthy PAPR to bring a pizza to their room. And if the patient came from a Nursing Facility, then those patients had to have 2 negative tests in a row before the Nursing Facility would accept them back. Some of those patients where in our hospital for months, unnecessarily.
During all that chaos and uncertainty I kept hearing on the news that hospitals were filling up. Part of my duties as a House Supervisor was to ensure Patient Flow. If one of the hospitals in the Seattle Area has run out of beds then all the hospitals and ambulance services know about it instantly and we stop sending patients to that particular hospital. Before the pandemic, hospitals all across the nation had to deal with patients who used the hospital ER as a their Primary Care Physician. As an ER Triage RN one of the first questions we ask is “What is the one reason that brought you in here TODAY?” otherwise we’d get their entire health history. Those patients stopped coming to the ER out of fear. Hospitals also have to deal with lots of homeless people who routinely walk into an ER because they need a break. We clean them up, tend to their wounds, give them food and a bed for the night, and then they go back out “refreshed.” Those people stopped coming to the ER out of fear. In addition, we halted all voluntary surgeries which is a hospital’s main source of revenue. So more than half of our usual patient population stopped coming in.
Hospitals are usually full even in normal times. During the pandemic, my hospital was never abnormally full, not even of dying COVID-19 patients. It was full for 2 main reasons: Nursing Homes were sending us their residents to be tested and those residents would be stuck in our hospital for a minimum of 2 weeks, sometimes for months waiting to get released; and anybody who came into our ER for any reason was tested and held for 5 days.
In my opinion, patients were dying at a higher rate than before COVID-19 but they were mostly elderly people with comorbidities who were subjected to the new treatment protocols that assisted and hastened their death; hence, Deathcare. The patients were mostly ignored and left alone almost as though they were encouraged to die. This fact has been discussed in detail on many podcasts and substacks so I won’t go into it here. However, in anticipation of a high death rate and because our hospital morgue only holds 4 bodies, our “infinitely wise” administrators had a portable morgue set up in the parking lot. The thing was very loud and creepy. When I tried to go in there to take some pictures I was turned away by the guard. But I learned that it held 12 bodies and there was never more than 3 inside. And then the morgue disappeared a couple of weeks after it appeared.
I have worked at many different hospitals in Washington, California, and Hawaii. Good hospitals have strong internal team cultures where all the staff support one another to ensure a high level of care. During the pandemic, I noticed early on as House Supervisor in direct communications with all departments that the personality of the culture in our hospital was becoming unstable. Two opposing sides were forming based on information, accurate or otherwise, that was being put out by the various social media and news outlets. One side was sure that the pandemic was an extinction level event and the other side was sure that it was part of some nefarious plan. My view was based on my practice of patient focus. To be an effective RN, the COVID-19 virus, real or not, had to be respected and treated like any other very serious infectious agent such as TB, Meningitis, HIV/AIDS, MRSA, SARS, MERS, etc. The cultural instability in the hospital was affecting some RNs more than others. For example, I witnessed an inexperienced travel nurse have a break-down because one of her patients was refusing the COVID-19 vaccination. Because the travel nurse was agitated, frustrated, and highly stressed, she loudly announced with much hostility that her patient should simply go home and die. I was greatly disturbed by this because it made me question the level of care the patient was receiving.
One day in the middle of all the chaos and confusion when I came to work, the cafeteria had been reconfigured overnight so that only one person at a time could sit at a dining table. The lobby was completely closed off. And, curiously, all the cushions were removed from the built-in couches that are tucked away in various areas for staff to sit down and collect their thoughts and commiserate each other. Even the essential break-rooms which were also used as meeting rooms and could comfortably accommodate 12 persons had been limited to just 2 at a time. We were told that the reason for this was to help us keep our distance from each other. When we are working on a patient, especially one that has just coded, we are elbow to elbow, shoulder to shoulder -- its part of the job. Their excuse for closing the break rooms and removing the couch cushions did not gel with me. In retrospect, I realize now they were purposely separating and isolating us from each other to prevent us from having meaningful discussions. They could not risk having experienced RNs such as myself questioning any of the new policies and protocols in front of the young RNs. When a person loses their support network they tend to question themselves more and they lose confidence. You do not want a nervous and under-confident RN attending to you.
The strong internal team culture we relied on was further disintegrated when older staff decided to retire early and younger staff decided to pursue safer avenues other than patient care. Plus, many RNs developed symptoms and were ordered to stay home for 14 days even if they tested negative for COVID-19. To replace the lost nursing staff, hospitals had to rely heavily on Nurse Travel Assignments. There has always been a shortage of RNs and travel nurses has always been the fix. Travel Nurses are temporary hires brought in on short assignments to fill in staffing gaps. During the pandemic, to be competitive the Travel Nurse Agencies had to offer outrageous hiring bonuses and compensation packages. Many regular staff nurses found the offer to triple their salary while traveling the country for free was too good to pass. Ironically, most hospitals replaced the regular staff nurses they lost to travel assignments by hiring travel nurses. The problem I personally have with travel nurses is that they have no stake in the community; they are there for the money, not the patients. They don’t like to chart and prefer drop down menus with check boxes that they fill out by muscle memory because they fill them out the same way for every patient.
I have always been and will continue to be a patient advocate. I have a strong reputation at all the hospitals I have worked at because I am known for my patience, my professional integrity, my calm demeanor, and my high level of nursing knowledge. I am a Daisy Award nominee and I routinely receive cards and letters at my hospitals from former patients thanking me for outstanding care. One important thing I have always recommended -- whether it be at a family function, a social event, or a public square such as a YouTube channel -- is that patients who need to be hospitalized should assign a family member or friend to be their own personal advocate and scribe during their hospital stay. Bringing an advocate to keep watch and take notes helps the patient and aids the staff. Patients are often confused, vulnerable, and not coherent enough to catch subtle misunderstandings when, for example, a night shift nurse gives bedside report to a day shift nurse and both the nurses are in a big rush because of staff shortages. The patient’s advocate can be on hand to correct any misunderstandings and to help calm the patient when nurses are too busy and extremely stressed.
During the pandemic my recommendation for a personal advocate became even more urgent. We were losing good staff for various reasons connected to the pandemic resulting in higher levels of stress and fear which led to more miscommunications.
My husband, who is a very good listener, would hear about all I was going through at my job during the pandemic when I came home to deflate after a long hard shift (sometimes 17 hours, 4 nights in a row). He suggested that I put a message on his YouTube channel recommending that people go to their PCP when possible and for the time-being avoid going to the hospital unless it was an emergency because of the new set of risks associated with the pandemic. And, more importantly, if one must go to the hospital then bring a personal advocate with you. We did a quick video of me standing in front of our cabin recommending as much.
Many of the subscribers on my husband’s YouTube channel suggested that he send a link to my message to some of the larger channels with more subscribers because they thought my message was that important.
I had never heard of Stew Peters but my husband was a subscriber to his podcast. Stew Peters put out a call for any nurses that had important messages regarding COVID-19 to come forward, so my husband sent Stew Peters the YouTube link to my message.
In September, 2021 I did my first interview on the Stew Peter’s show to report conditions I was experiencing at my hospital. The interview was short, less than 30 minutes, but it was to the point. My main message was avoid the hospital if you can but if you must go in then take a good advocate with you. By good advocate I did not mean your Aunt Karen who is going to spend most of the time on her cell phone looking at Tiktok vids. I meant your Uncle Alex who is a conspiracy nut that you can count on to question everything. I broke down and cried just a little bit when telling Stew about how many of my patients were terrified and most were left alone. Particularly the elderly patients from nursing homes who did not know why they were there in isolation. Some thought they were in jail and cried out for help. It was truly heartbreaking. Stew title the interview “Nurse Whistleblower Breaks Down, Cries in LIVE Tell-All Interview”. The interview got over 300,000 views overnight. Over the next few months, I did 2 more follow-up interviews with Stew. The second interview was to report how those elderly patients were being neglected and left in their own waste for 24 hours sometimes. The third interview was to report that we inexplicably had that mobile morgue in our parking lot even though, contrary to the mainstream reporting, our hospital was empty and we did not have an overflowing morgue.
One year after the first interview with Stew Peters, I was contacted via email by the Washington State Department of Health to inform me that I was under investigation for “Unprofessional Conduct” for being on Stew’s show. I did not retain legal representation as they suggested but instead submitted a simple response explaining that I was not in a professional capacity as an RN when I did the interviews so I can not be accused of unprofessional conduct. I did not hear back from them for months. Then in March, 2023, they contacted me again to inform me that they discovered 2 additional interviews and wanted to know about any others. I assumed when they contacted me the first time that they knew about all 3 interviews. I even referred to all three in my original response.
My husband reached out to a well-connected associate who put me in contact with Alliance Defending Freedom who connected me with an attorney who represented me pro bono. We immediately submitted a new response and by May, 2023, I was informed by the Department of Health that the investigation had been completed and no charges would be brought against me. They provided no explanation and no apology for adding even more tremendous stress on me for over a year.
Now that I have called their bluff and they blinked, I am ready to report in detail on how Healthcare has been deliberately transitioned into Deathcare and how hospitals are providing mostly hospice care. I am ready to warn the public that, in fact, if you aloofly take your son to the hospital for something as routine as asthma you risk his life. The Feds conducted a hostile take-over of Healthcare in America and they do not care about the health of Americans. I can not say why they’ve done this, but I can report how they orchestrated it.
In my opinion, we need to implement a new naturopathy based healthcare system modeled on the Large Animal Veterinary Industry. That may sound strange coming from a nurse but my husband’s family is in the cattle and horse raising business. They need their stock healthy, happy, and to live a full life. If their naturopathic Vet treated their stock the way a hospital treats humans today then the animals would be, at best, sickly and unproductive or, at worst, dead. They’d be out of business in no time. And if hospitals treated humans they way veterinaries treat stock animals -- a holistic approach that focuses on diet, exercise, and disposition -- then we’d have a healthier and happier population.
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