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Op-Ed: A Desperate Clarinet Call From A Frustrated Healthcare Worker To The Unvaccinated

A mask policy sign at the entrance to Bonneville Lock and Dam Visitor Center stating masks are required for the unvaccinated while encouraged for the vaccinated. File photo: Tada Images,, licensed.

TUCSON, AZ – Watching the news, speaking with my patients, and even just listening to random strangers converse, I’m saddened by what I’m hearing. My perspective is different than most. You see, I grew up in the South-Western Region of Nigeria, Emure-Ekiti kingdom where my family, the Adumori Royal Dynasty has ruled since about 1200 AD. As an African Princess living in Diaspora, I have seen firsthand what it’s like when people don’t have access to adequate medical care. People in Africa and other parts of the world are dying from a lack of necessities like food and water, and here in America we are blessed to have access to a miracle of modern science that can save your life. It’s mindboggling and irritating that people are so against this vaccine.

I left the royal household at the age of 17 and decided to come to America to pursue my dream of psychiatry and mental health. I was determined to bridge the gap between Africa and America, helping people with trauma change their life stories. For years I have successfully done just that, but I’m not sure how much longer I can go on. I’m not sure how much longer any of my fellow healthcare workers can go on, either. In fact, many of them have called it quits already.

We don’t want to be heroes. We just want to be able to go home safely to our families each night. As a Psychiatric Mental Health Dr. of Nurse Practice, I may have signed up to help you move from trauma to recovery, but I never signed up to die, nor did I sign up to have my own family affected in a traumatic way.

2020 was deemed the year of the nurse, yet in 2021 we are burning them all out. If more people don’t take the Delta variant seriously, get vaccinated and start wearing masks, lookout! 2022 will be known as the year of the nurse exodus. If you think doctor’s offices and hospitals are busy now and run less efficiently than they should, you’re not going to like what’s coming. Nurses are the heart and soul of our healthcare system, and without them it will be pure pandemonium.

Our healthcare providers are exhausted and depressed right now, not because our patients are getting sick and dying from Covid, but because they don’t have to. We have pleaded and preached but we’re still being ignored by many of our patients. And honestly, we’re scared out of our minds because even though we have been vaccinated, we know the high volume of sick patients we see each day puts us at risk to carry the virus and transmit it to even more people.

It’s time to care for one another, ditch the rhetoric about politics, ignore the misinformation and start saving lives. It shouldn’t even be a question of if people should get vaccinated and wear masks. They should just do it. If not for you, do it for your family, friends, kids who are too young to be vaccinated, healthcare providers and all those around you.

Nurses and all healthcare providers are not machines nor are we robots. We have blood running through our veins and if people won’t do what it takes to protect us, we will do whatever it takes to take care of ourselves and our own families, even if that means walking away from it all.

If the pandemic tide does not change and people do not vaccinate, you will hear more and more stories of nurses and all healthcare workers throwing in the towel. Do your part. Do the right thing. Get vaccinated, save your life and the life of those around you. It’s the only way we will ever get the upper hand on Covid and return to the life we all love.

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