Masks belong in healthcare because Covid is not over, Covid is airborne, and patients deserve to be safe. Last week we called on medical professionals to remember why they joined the profession in the first place, the oath they took to “Do No Harm”, and that they CAN choose to be kind and protect their patients even if it’s not “required” by law.
I do not consent to forced infection, and I know I’m not alone in this.
@medsocionwheels When you ask #healthcare workers why they chose their procession, they often reply “to help people.” I’m calling on #doctorsoftiktok #nursesoftiktok and other HCWs to rise to the occasion as we close out the #MaskWeekOfAction, think about why you wanted to practice #medicine in the first place, remember your #oath to #DoNoHarm, and #MaskUp in clinic. #CovidIsNotOver, #CovidIsAirborne, and your patients do not deserve to contract a deadly and disabling pathogen when seeking care. Today I went to my weekly #PhysicalTherapy appt, where all staff and therapists except my own PT have refused to mask for the past month because its “not required anymore”. I’ve made the hard choice to risk the exposure so I can receive the treatment I need to move without injuring myself—their choice to not mask means I risk death and further disability just to avoid injury (makes sense…😒). Considering this isn’t really much of a choice, protecting patients and doing no harm means we must #KeepMasksInHealthcare and #BringBackMasks where they’ve been tossed. #MaskUpC19 #IMaskBecause #DavosSafe #DavosStandard #CleanAirCrew #LivingWithCovid ♬ Wasted Prayers – Matt Schuster
Dr. Heather Sue Rosen’s Comments on the Push to Keep Masks in Healthcare in the United States (Highlights)
Masking in Healthcare as Compassionate Care
A call to “med twitter” (healthcare workers on Twitter):
Would you appreciate dying, becoming disabled or chronically ill, or worsening symptoms of disability, injury, or chronic illness because you had the audacity to go to physical therapy? If the answer is “no,” it’s time to mask up at work.
It’s never too late to make the decision to do better. if you’ve ignored the previous calls to wear a mask in clinic because Covid-19 is airborne and the pandemic is not over, you can still pivot. It doesn’t make you uncool (since this seems VERY important to many of the anti-mask brigade). I actually think it’s pretty cool to apologize and change.
Calling on #MedTwitter to ask themselves if they would appreciate #dying or worsening symptoms of their #disability #injury or #ChronicIllness because they had the audacity to go to #PhysicalTherapy. If the answer is “no,” it’s time to #MaskUp in clinic. #KeepMasksInHealthcare pic.twitter.com/7XownonthN
— Dr. Heather Sue M. Rosen (she/they) (@MedSociOnWheels) May 19, 2023
I saw my mom and mom-in-law for the first time in almost 4 years for my commencement, which happened to fall on Mother’s Day weekend. They pointed out there were more family members masked in the crowd at commencement (not just my family members, several families) than there typically were when they went to their doctor’s appointments.
I should NOT be more concerned about my moms getting Covid-19 at their doctor’s appointments than I was about them catching Covid at commencement for the University of Georgia (1,600 grads and that was just in the graduate school). Right now I’m more concerned about their appointments. Bonus points because they both live in Florida.
Got to spend #MothersDay [weekend] with my mom and mom-in-law, a rare occurrence between #GradSchool chaos and the Covid #pandemic. Thankful for these masked mamas every day 💕 pic.twitter.com/J0YvvGfAcV
— Dr. Heather Sue M. Rosen (she/they) (@MedSociOnWheels) May 15, 2023
Masking in (and outside of) Healthcare as a Disability Rights/Civil Rights Issue
A Call to US Progressives, Abolitionists, Supporters of Black Lives Matter, Anti-TERF Feminists, ATL Forest Defenders, and other “Social Justice Warriors” (aka the “Woke Mob”)
If you acknowledge forced incarceration is a race (white supremacy, anti-blackness) issue and truly consider yourself an agent of change, you should be masking whenever you are around people who do not live in your household. This includes protests, even outdoors. Covid is airborne, it CAN still be transmitted outside even though it is less likely than indoors, and protests are the perfect outdoor environment for superspreading (hello densely packed crowds). Please remember that forced incarceration is a covid issue and a disability rights issue, and please remember that covid safety is a matter of racial justice that is both intertwined with and independent of disability justice. And especially to my fellow white people, mask up if you’re out defending or protesting today (and tomorrow…etc…), otherwise you’re acting as an agent of white supremacy.
And a quick reminder to #Atlantans and #ATLmetro #ForestDefenders, if you consider yourself an #abolitionist and fight to #DefendTheForest that forced #incarceration is also a #Covid issue and a #DisabilityRights issue. #MaskUp if you’re out defending today (and tomorrow…etc).
— Dr. Heather Sue M. Rosen (she/they) (@MedSociOnWheels) May 18, 2023
A Call to Scientists and Academics, Particularly those Studying Issues Of Health, Illness, Disability, Healthcare, Racism, and other “Social Justice” Issues
Commencement season is in full swing, so some reminders to those attending commencement. Covid is not over and doesn’t care whether you declare the emergency is over. To my fellow Critical Sociologists, making up at commencement even if you’re the only one doing so is what it looks like to live by the ideals you teach/research.
I mask because social justice includes disability justice, and during an airborne pandemic there is no justice in absence of Covid mitigations.
Shoutout to the MSW graduate who was the ONLY other graduate openly acknowledging Covid yesterday (clears throat LOOKING AT YOU MPH AND PHD PUBLIC HEALTH GRADS 😟) and shoutout to my committee member Dawn for being the sole faculty member to openly acknowledge Covid.
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It’s hard to do the right thing when few other are, when it makes you a target for harassment, when it makes you unpopular. That doesn’t mean we should give up.
Thank you to everyone actually living with Covid by acknowledging risk. Our numbers were small but mighty and I am SO proud to be in this fight with y’all every single day. It’s hard. It’s exhausting. It’s emotionally draining. And it’s the RIGHT thing.
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@medsocionwheels Me yesterday at #graduation reminding everyone that #CovidIsNotOver and that #CovidDoesntCare whether you declare the emergency is over. And reminding #CriticalSociology what it looks like to live by the ideals you teach/research. #IMaskBecause #SocialJustice includes #DisabilityJustice, and during an #airborne #pandemic there is no #justice in absence of #Covid mitigations. Shoutout to the #MSW graduate who was the ONLY other graduate openly acknowledging Covid yesterday (*clears throat* LOOKING AT YOU #MPH AND #PHD #PUBLICHEALTH GRADS 😟) and shoutout to my committee member Dawn for being the sole #faculty member to openly acknowledge Covid. It’s hard to do the right thing when few other are, when it makes you a target for harassment, when it makes you unpopular. That doesn’t mean we should give up. Some footage from my #CovidSafe graduation celebrations to give an example of what “not giving up” looks like. Thank you to everyone actually #LivingWithCovid by acknowledging risk. Our numbers were small but mighty and I am SO proud to be in this fight with y’all every single day. It’s hard. It’s exhausting. It’s emotionally draining. And it’s the RIGHT thing. #CovidIsAirborne #NEISvoid #Sociology #MedicalSociology #RingTheBell #UGA23 #NeverBarkAlone #HigherEd #HigherEducationTikTok #PhDone #GradSchool #GeorgiaAlum #DoubleDawg #MASociology #PhDSociology #GeorgiaStrong #MaskUp #GoDawgs but also #WarEagleForever #AuburnAlum #HouseDivided #SEC #Sociologist #BASociology #onedegreehotter🤟🏻🔥👩🏻🎓 #DisabledSociologist #DisabledInHigherEd #AbleismInAcademia #DisabilityTikTok #Cane #WalkAndRoll #DisabledAndCute #DisabledFashion #DisabledAndEducated #AccessIsLove ♬ How To Start A Revolution – Some Velvet Morning
Why You Should Care About Masking in Healthcare if You Care About Gun Safety
On May 3, 2023, there was a mass shooting at a doctor’s office in Midtown Atlanta. It was previously my own doctor’s office. The reason I wasn’t there is EXACTLY why we cannot talk about Amy St. Pierre’s death without ALSO talking about masks in healthcare and the role CDC guidance has played in widespread removal of masking in healthcare.
A majority of healthcare clinics and hospitals in the Atlanta metro area have been unsafe due to the removal of masking measures since about 2022—as of March 2023, I have found a total of zero hospitals and zero medical practices still protecting patients from contracting Covid-19 while seeking medical care.
That’s why I was utterly unsurprised to see all of the unmasked healthcare workers and patients on TV/interviews (and when I say all, I mean there were zero masked people visible in the five hours of footage I tuned in to). I had several questions for so-called “progressives” after the fact, but the core question underlying all of them was:
Why was it not okay for everyone in that clinic to be unsafe because of a patient with a gun but totally fine that all of those people were already at constant ongoing risk of extreme and PREVENTABLE disability and death from COVID-19 exposure?
#IMaskBecause I genuinely care about people being safe when they get healthcare and I’m not ignorant or selfish enough to convince myself that #GunViolence is the only kind of violence that matters. Spreading #Covid when you could prevent IS an act of violence. pic.twitter.com/sy5fd8CiN9
— Dr. Heather Sue M. Rosen (she/they) (@MedSociOnWheels) May 4, 2023
Full thread of questions on the day after the shooting:
Time to bring up the uncomfortable but EXTREMELY IMPORTANT issues with the rhetoric surrounding yesterday’s #MidtownATL #shooting. I was going to start with senator #Warnock’s bullshit, but seeing as we now know the person killed was an employee @CDCgov, starting there instead. https://t.co/ma9NYfpnBo
— Dr. Heather Sue M. Rosen (she/they) (@MedSociOnWheels) May 4, 2023
These questions are uncomfortable, but they are necessary.
That’s why I asked them twice, and you can bet I’ll ask again.
From earlier in the pandemic but using for day 2 of #MaskWeekOfAction because local news currently covering the #MidtownShooting again ignoring the ongoing threat in that building every day because they removed mask policies. Me-same building before unmasking forced a doc switch pic.twitter.com/rmdL2SjP22
— Dr. Heather Sue M. Rosen (she/they) (@MedSociOnWheels) May 16, 2023