Reminder: unvaccinated employees are people with families, obligations, and responsibilities.

The headline on Alexa Gagosz’s Boston Globe article conveys the news: “R.I.’s state-run Eleanor Slater Hospital replaces unvaccinated staff.”  The text feels somehow inappropriately clinical, though, given the content:

State-run Eleanor Slater Hospital has received just six vaccinated nurses to help replace the remaining unvaccinated staff.

The nurses, who arrived on Wednesday, are believed to have been hired from a staffing agency, according to Randal Edgar, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, which is the state agency that oversees the hospital. But on Tuesday, Edgar said there were still 12 unvaccinated health care workers still scheduled at the hospital, where four of which were partially vaccinated.

How long did it take hospital staff to clean the Styrofoam popcorn off those six unvaccinated nurses after they “received” and (presumably) unboxed them?  I don’t want to be harsh, but the second paragraph in the blockquote ends with a sensitive point for me.  People are an “of whom,” not an “of which.”

Even in the short article, we have confirmation that patients are “people,” some of whom are “dealing with debilitating injuries.”  But there’s not a hint that unvaccinated nurses might be, as well.  That’s a tell for what the local news media’s narrative is.

In other circumstances, these stories would be double the length, with portraits of the affected nurses — professionals like Michelle Galano, one of whose daughters is a childhood cancer survivor and who was put on administrative leave from Landmark hospital this week.

Unfortunately, in our circumstances, frightened people want reassurance that the government can force people to take medication, and politicians, bureaucrats, and the news media need to see their COVID narrative through to the end so their power-grabbing solutions and hysteria aren’t undermined in retrospect.


Featured image by Vladimir Fedotov on Unsplash.

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