Category Archives: Polarization

The Shortest History of Israel and Palestine


When the war between Hamas and Israel began I decided I must read a book about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.  I read such a book quite a few years ago. I certainly needed a refresher. The read certainly was not refreshing however.

As a result, I read the book, The Shortest History of Israel and Palestine by Michael Scott-Baumann. From the blurbs on the cover it seemed to be an impartial view of that conflict. I think I made a good choice. Its a very good book.

What have I learned as a result of reading that book?  One main thing has become absolutely clear to me. That is that I have no idea who started the war or who started the current conflict either for that matter. So I had not learned who is right. But I am sure about one thing I am sure about Iwho is wrong.  Both sides are wrong! And they have been wrong over and over again.

 Mainly, they have been wrong because both sides have repeatedly acquiesced with what their extremists are doing in their name. And the result of that is clear. Turning over “your side” to your extremists is so ensure that peace has no chance. You can’t give peace a chance when you turn your case over to the extremists. And the same goes for the other side. No moderation; no peace. The extremists will make sure of that. Over and over again it seems that is exactly what they extremists want.

And if no side is right then the Buffalo Springfield are right when they sang:


“There’s battle lines being drawn

Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong”


Hooray for Our Side


Stephen Stills wrote and sang  a wonderful song when he was with the band Buffalo Springfield. It is a classic embodying a lot of the good from the 1960s which I still think of as my time.  The song is very appropriate for the current times.  Here are the lyrics:


For What It’s Worth

There’s something happening here

But what it is ain’t exactly lear

There’s a man with a gun over there

Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop

Children, what’s that sound?

Everybody look – what’s going down?


There’s battle lines being drawn

Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong

Young people speaking’ their minds

Getting so much resistance from behind


It’s time we stop

Hey, what’s that sound?

Everybody look – what’s going down?


What a field day for the heat

A thousand people in the street

Singing songs and carrying signs

Mostly saying, “hooray for our side”


It’s time we stop

Hey, what’s that sound?

Everybody look – what’s going down?


Paranoia strikes deep

Into your life it will creep

It starts when you’re always afraid

Step out of line, the men come and take you away


We better stop

Hey, what’s that sound?

Everybody look – what’s going down?

I think this song written in the 1960s sums up a lot of what’s happening in the Middle East now.

Religion has declined in much of the world. In fact, I would argue it has declined most strongly in those areas where it appears to be most vociferously present. My wife Christiane used to have a pin that said something like this “When religion turns to hate, it is no longer religion.” When religion declined it transformed into politics and became hate it turns into the most ugly form of politics imaginable.  A long way from the holy. When that happens the “other side” is transformed from the other side to the devil. This is what demonization does. By definition it dehumanizes the other.

Sometimes this is done by ignoring the other. For example, when Israel ignores Hamas or treats them with disdain as it has done for more than 15 years, it dehumanizes them. Hamas of course, treated Israel with vicious hate when it attacked them on October 7th of this year.   Dehumanization again.

The first step in the process of dehumanization, as happened in Rwanda in the 1990s is to call the other side non-humans. Like pests as happened there. It happened again in Israel when their defense Minister called Hamas “human animals.” That gives them the license to kill.

This is what leads to the conflagration in the Middle East. Now we all have to live with it.

There is a better Way


I want to end this series on the paranoid elites trying to hunker down in a missile silo on a happier note. It is not all doom.

In the 60s and 70s Stewart Brand, now a Silicon Valley sage, owned the “Whole Earth Catalog.” It attracted a large and loyal cult following as it blended hippie-dippy advice with the technical. I loved their motto: “We are as gods and might as well get good at it.”. Brand experimented with survivalism but abandoned it.  Ultimately, he found it did not make sense. Things based on unreasonable fears seldom make sense. Evan Osnos described him in his current situation this way,

“At seventy-seven, living on a tugboat in Sausalito, Brand is less impressed by signs of fragility than by examples of resilience. In the past decade, the world survived, without violence, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression; Ebola, without cataclysm; and, in Japan, a tsunami and nuclear meltdown, after which the country has persevered. He sees risks in escapism. As Americans withdraw into smaller circles of experience, we jeopardize the “larger circle of empathy,” he said, the search for solutions to shared problems. “The easy question is, how do I protect me and mine? The more interesting question is, What if civilization actually manages continuity as well as it has managed it for the past few centuries? What do we do if it just keeps on chugging?”


As it has so often in the past, America is being pushed and pulled at the same time particularly by the extremes of left and right.  On the one  hand there are people like survivalists, neo-liberals, and their political puppets who have shredded all of their fellow feeling in order to fill their bags with as much money as possible. On the other hand,  are some genuine whackos on the left as well.  Yet there are the kinder gentler souls who see a better way, but seem to be increasingly crushed by the more vocal and bellicose camps. I don’t know who will win this battle, but I care. I hope that America (and with Canada dragging along behind) comes to its senses and abandons this philosophy of fear. Fear is all right but it must be managed. Don’t let it get unreasonable. When it gives way to panic we have to realize that smart decisions will no longer be made. We must abandon panic; we must embrace critical thinking and fellow feeling. If we can do that then we will survive. If we are unable to do that, we will sink into the mire, or worse. And we will deserve it.

We must remember: there is a better way. We may need to meander to find it, but its there.


Trump Calls for Insurrection (Again)


Did you hear what Trump said? Just a couple of days ago, on September 15, 2022 Donald Trump was interviewed by a Mr. Hewitt on the radio and was asked what would happen if he was indicted. This is what Trump said said,

I think if it happened, I think you’d have problems in this country the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen before. I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it.


Then he was asked by Mr. Hewitt what kind of troubles, Mr. President? Trump responded this way:

“I think they’d have big problems, I just don’t think they’d stand for it.”

It was chilling. I thought of January 6th 2021. Don Lemon asked Phillip Mudd, a CNN analyst and former counterterrorism analyst if that was a threat.  Mr. Mudd’s answer was about as direct as you can get.  This was his answer:

Yes! I don’t know if that is a subtle enough answer Don. That’s a yes, Don. Let me be clear about what this is.  In the world of extremism which I followed for decades, that is what I would refer to as validation. So we saw on January 6th there were a lot of people who watch leadership. Whether it’s Lindsay Graham or other members of the White House, or the president of lawyers, who watch leadership and determine whether that leadership is validating the citizen’s belief that they were robbed. You don’t have to tell someone to go out there and commit an act of violence for them to say, ‘Well if we were robbed then it is my constitutional right and responsibility to go to the Congress and storm it.’ That is the president of the United States having witnessed January 6th saying, ‘Well let me have a redo of that. That redo will happen if I ever get indicted.’  To me as an extremist follower that is not a political statement, that is a statement that anybody who follows extremists can understand. That is validation…”


Juliette Kayyem, a CNN National Security Analyst agreed completely. She said,

“It is not even hinting anymore. We used to use the word “dog whistle” when we talk about Trump. This is now directing. Don’t just listen to Trump’s words. Imagine what his supporters are hearing. They are hearing the call to action…We need to call it what it is that we have a former president who is inciting violence as an extension of his political defeat. That’s what it is now.”


I know Trump’s supporters don’t believe anything CNN says, but I think they got this right from Trump’s own words. I listened to his words and I agree with the CNN interpretation. This was the only logical interpretation of what Trump said. This was a call to violent action if he was charge with a criminal offence  without mentioning the word. The message was absolutely clear, just as his words were absolutely clear to his supporters on January 6th. They knew what to do. And Trump was threatening to do it all over again if he was charged! This was doing what Donald Trump always does when he is cornered. He does not back down. He doubles down.

Americans must realize what Trump is doing. He is doing the same thing Hitler did after the German Reichstag burned down. The German people knew what to do and they did it.

Now the question is what will the American people do? Will they acquiesce with this dangerous slide into fascism?  I know many of his supporters will do that. They will accept that with the enthusiasm they showed on January 6, 2021.

I am not sure of what the majority of Americans will do, but I am uneasy.

West Side Story 


West Side Story is a remake of a classic film that I had never seen before. Let me confess, I have never been very keen on musicals. Is that actually pretty dumb? I admit I enjoyed this film a lot.

I found it interesting that this film is not unlike Belfast.  Both films deal with hate of one group against another coupled with demands from zealots in the group to amplify hatred rather than finding a resolution. Some people don’t want to find solutions; they want to fight. both films have a boy and girl from each group attracted to each other.  Both have outstanding production values.

The West side story is really an ancient oft repeated story, but it is no less important for that. It is a crucially important theme. Many times we have learned that we have not learned enough about it because we keep creating a trap for young lovers and others.  The background to the film is  is the enmity between 2 gangs in New York and the lovers caught in the melee.

The first line from Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliette, which explores the same theme,  makes a very important point in its opening paragraph:

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.


And that is the point—two groups that are actually very similar hate each other and draw blood, making unclean hands. And for what purpose? Very often as Shakespeare said, the two groups are alike. Sometimes the more alike the more vicious the fighting.

In that play it was the Montagues and the Capulets and the dynamite created when a young girl from one family and a boy from the other fell in love with each other.  The issue was the same as the issue in this film. Can the hatred keep the lovers apart? What is more powerful , love or hate? In this film it was the Jets against the Sharks, but it could just as well be the Catholics and the Protestants as in the  other film nominated for best film, Belfast. It could just as well be the Conservatives and Liberals, Republicans and Democrats, Russians and Ukrainians, Hutus and Tutsis, or Mennonites from Winker versus Mennonites from Steinbach, or vaxxers against anti-vaxxers. All groups can come to hate the “other.”  It is easy to fall into hatred. Getting out is not so easy.

After Steven Spielberg announced that he was interesting in renewing this old musical he explained why he wanted to do that. This is what he said:


“Divisions between un-likeminded people is as old as time itself. … And the divisions between the Sharks and the Jets in 1957, which inspired the musical, were profound. But not as divided as we find ourselves today. It turned out in the middle of the development of the script, things widened, which I think in a sense, sadly, made the story of those racial divides – not just territorial divides – more relevant to today’s audience than perhaps it even was in 1957.”


The film has a lot going for it.  Great art design, excellent music with familiar tunes, well sung by beautiful young people, and one old person who starred as a younger person in the earlier version. Everyone should see this film and make up their own mind. I am just not entirely convinced that a musical with stylized violence is the best way to deal with such classic themes. But that’s OK. Every film does not have to be best in its class.


Tucker Carlson also likes Putin

I actually don’t care that Donald Trump likes Putin. After seeing him on television every day for more than 4 years that is hardly surprising. The same goes for Tucker Carlson. I don’t care because both of them are entirely corrupt.  They are irredeemable.  Even that does not matter. What does matter is that 55 million Americans voted for Trump and many of those continue to believe in him.  Many of them also believe in Tucker Carlson a Fox News Channel commentator.


Tucker Carlson is the most watched American conservative in the US. More than 3 million viewers watch him every night according to recent numbers. Trump and Carlson are the two most revered conservatives in America and that is important.  How can so many people in America have faith in them? It seems completely improbable, but it’s true. As a result, what Tucker Carlson says is significant.

This is what Tucker Carlson said about Putin just before the Russian invasion of Poland that he had ordered:

Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him? Has he shipped every middle class job in my town to Russia? Did he manufacture a worldwide pandemic that wrecked my business and kept me indoors for two years?

 Is he teaching my children to embrace racial discrimination? Is he making fentanyl? Is he trying to snuff out Christianity? Does he eat dogs? These are fair questions, and the answer to all of them is no.

Vladimir Putin didn’t do any of that. So why does permanent Washington hate him so much?”


Carlson is really saying he likes Putin more than American liberals or Democrats.  That is  how polarized that country is. Many prefer a brutal Russian dictator, a modern Hitler, to Democrats!

First of all, the statements Carlson made are definitely odd. Was Carlson suggesting there is no reason to challenge or even dislike a brutal dictator, who uses his resources to disinform the public around the world, who orders the murder of dissenters, who has stolen perhaps from his people the largest fortune in the world, who has led an invasion of Crimea, and Ukraine (now twice).

Moreover, is Tucker really saying there is no good reason to challenge Putin? After all he is a brutal dictator who uses his extensive resources to disinform the world, who orders the assassination of dissenters, while in power has amassed perhaps the largest fortune in the world, who has led an invasion of Crimea and Ukraine, now for the second time. Is not sufficient to discredit Putin? What more does Tucker want to denounce Putin? What more must Putin do to be worse than the Democrats?


Added to that,  it seems strange—very strange—to think that Putin is not evil just because he has not done anything bad personally and directly to you. Is that really the standard?  Do the lives of millions of people whom Putin  has harmed not count in this moral calculus? Is it all about Tucker Carlson? Well, actually it is just about Tucker Carlson. At least that is all that counts to Tucker Carlson. And that is exactly the attitude of the fascist. No one else matters. Harms to anyone else can be ignored. To the fascist, it is only about the fascists and his fellow travellers.

Jon Stewart said this in an interview with the New York Times, about  the right-wing in  America: “They view Putin as a defender of Western civilization. They view him as an ideological brother.” And of course, the implication is clear—i.e. western civilization to the fascists means white people. To many in the American right Russia have the right look—i.e. Christian, unfriendly to gays and lesbians, and white. Just like them in other words. That is why Jon Stewart said, “I think for years, it’s been pretty clear that they would much rather do a deal with Putin than Pelosi.”

 Those in the American right-wing movement who follow Trump and Carlson prefer to root for Putin  over Biden. It is now a little more comprehensible, but no less dastardly.  And no less shameful.



Patriot or Martyr


I understand that the jury has still not rendered its verdict in the case of Kyle Rittenhouse and will resume deliberations tomorrow.  Yesterday I posted about why I thought there was a good chance he would be acquitted and made a hero.  Today I want to talk about the less likely  chance that he will be convicted and made a martyr. If he is a patriot for his actions as his supporters allege and many on the right believe to be the case, then if he is convicted  he will be hailed as a martyr. Which is it?

Personally, I don’t think a young man who travels from out of state carrying an automatic AR-15 style rifle  to an area of heated dispute   that some call riots and others protests, depending on which side of the great divide in America (and Canada) they lie, is a hero so should not be welcomed as a hero if successful  or a martyr if not.  Instead, he was a foolish young man who took a dangerous chance while endangering the lives of many others that led in fact to the deaths of 2 Americans while injuring a third.  He was not trained for this job and took it upon himself as a vigilante to “help” the police to do their job. He made things much worse as the trail of devastation behind him made clear. It is part of their belief that “the system” cannot be trusted and only private vigilantes or warriors can be trusted.

I realize that many young American men have been raised in the Marvel FantasyLand where such actions are encouraged. They think they can stand up to the evils of a corrupt or inept system that fails to protect American citizens.

Rittenhouse should not be valorized. He was hardly a peacemaker. No one should encourage other young American men (and they are largely men who do this) to take such foolhardy and dangerous actions. Such actions are not helpful. They are pouring fuel onto an already raging fire.

Rittenhouse may or may not be guilty of murder or the other crimes he was charged with, but he is neither a hero nor a martyr.  And he might be much worse.


The trial in Kenosha


Kyle Rittenhouse in August of 2020 travelled to Kenosha from his home in Illinois during unrest that broke out after a white Kenosha police officer injured a black protester who was protesting the police violence against a black man.  The case has aroused the interested of the American public on both sides. The police officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, in the back.

Rittenhouse had heard online how Black Lives Matter and left-wing radical groups such as Antifa, were attacking white businesses in Kenosha and patriots needed to go their to protect them.  He brought a rifle and a medical kit with him. Rittenhouse’s ostensible goal, according to his own statements was that he went there to protect property after two previous nights marked by arson, gunfire and the ransacking of businesses. He wanted to be an “unofficial deputy”, which really amounts to being a vigilante.


Historically, in America, self-conceived patriots would come to the rescue of the government who could never be trusted to do the right thing. The vigilantes would come to the rescue to protect America. It happened over and over again, perhaps no where more regularly than the southern border with Mexico. Read, for example, a shocking book by Cormac McCarthy called Blood Meridian. You will never be the same after reading it. I have blogged about it earlier.

Here I think are some undisputed facts about the present case as reported by the Associated Press:

“Rittenhouse fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, after Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse across a parking lot and threw a plastic bag at him shortly before midnight on Aug. 25. Moments later, as Rittenhouse was running down a street, he shot and killed Anthony Huber, 26, a protester from Silver Lake, Wisconsin, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, a demonstrator from West Allis, Wisconsin.

Bystander video captured Rosenbaum chasing Rittenhouse but not the actual shooting. Video showed Huber swinging a skateboard at Rittenhouse before he was shot. Grosskreutz had a gun in his hand as he stepped toward Rittenhouse.

Rittenhouse faces two homicide counts and one of attempted homicide, along with charges of reckless endangering and illegal possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18.”


I am looking forward to learning how the jury sees the evidence.

Rittenhouse has been charged with first degree murder but what is interesting to me is how differently he is viewed by those on the left or those on the right. As Scott Bauer, Michael Tarm and Amy Forliti reported for the Associated Press,

“Rittenhouse has been painted by supporters on the right — including foes of the Black Lives Matter movement — as a patriot who took a stand against lawlessness by demonstrators and exercised his Second Amendment gun rights. Others see him as a vigilante and police wannabe.

He is white, as were those he shot, but many activists see an undercurrent of race in the case, in part because the protesters were on the streets to decry police violence against Black people.”

The judge repeatedly reminded the jurors of what he believed, but what was palpably wrong, namely that “This is not a political trial.”  A political trial is exactly what it will has been, though understandably the judge is trying his best to make it otherwise. I believe that is be impossible.

The judge pointed out that both sides were making political hay out of the trial.  Both sides, as always happens in politics and particularly in the United States have tried to make it political. They both want the judge to say, “Hooray for our side,” to quote Buffalo Springfield.

The jury, though mainly white, from appearances,  does seem to be composed of many sides (both sides?). According to the Associated Press, “One of the jurors is a gun-owning woman with a high school education who said she was so afraid during the protests that she pulled her cars to the back of her house and made sure her doors were locked. She said she went downtown in the aftermath and cried.” The Associated Press said this about another juror: “Another woman chosen is a special education teacher who expressed anxiety about being on the jury: “I figure either way this goes you’re going to have half the country upset with you and they react poorly.”

Who can deny the truth of that? In a deeply polarized country like the United States that seems inevitable

Hate Club


Canadians often think they are immune to the craziness of American politics and life. Not so. Lately, we have experienced American style polarization fuelled by hate. In the past it is has led to serious violence in Canada and it might happen again.

In the 2021 Canadian federal election there has been a spike in hate. Most of it has been focused on the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who seems to be a lightning rod for hate. Recently in Bolton Ontario he was forced to avoid scheduled stops because the RCMP has said it was unable to guarantee the safety of the people attending his rallies. As the Winnipeg Free Press reported,

“Trudeau has been dogged by protesters throughout the campaign, most of them voicing angry opposition to mandatory vaccinations, masks and lockdowns that have been implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”


Some of these protesters have got down right nasty. According to the Free Press this was caused by

“Conservative campaign workers were spotted among a crowd of raucous protesters who forced the cancellation of a Liberal event featuring Justin Trudeau in Bolton, Ont. At least four volunteers for local Conservative MP Kyle Seeback were photographed among the angry, obscenity spewing crowd, wearing blue “Team Seeback” T-shirts.”


The protesters are tweeting with the hash tag” #hateclub.” I think this tells you all you need to know about them. The last thing Canada needs, yet what is getting, are haters.

Showing their allegiance to right wing nonsense the Free Press reported,

“At least some of the protesters appear to share views with supporters of former U.S. president Donald Trump, seemingly importing many of the conspiracy theories prevalent among his followers that led to last January’s violent assault on the U.S. Capitol.

In a live videostream of the Bolton event, protesters can be heard calling Trudeau a criminal, a communist, a murderer and a pedophile and berating police for being “pedophile protectors.”

In the video, posted on Facebook by a self-identified American woman, a woman can be heard saying that if Trudeau wins the election, it will be because it was “rigged.”



Trudeau responded by saying,

“I think this is something that Canadians, all of us, need to reflect on, because it’s not who we are,” he said, adding that everyone has had a difficult year and that “we need to meet anger with compassion.”


How do comments like that trigger such hate? I am not so sure that Trudeau is right about such conduct being un-Canadian. It seems to be more and more prevalent in Canadian society but he did hit the right tone. The other political leaders were also quick to denounce the antics of the protesters and that was good to see as well.

 I am still worried about the rise of hate in Canada. We don’t need vaccine unreason spiced with conspiracy theories and right wing lies. Is Canada ready for the storm? That’s what Qanon calls the return of Trump.


Going to the Worst Places in the World


Often I hear people say the pandemic is nothing. I find that hard to understand. Recently, I heard an astonishing interview with an astonishing person on Amanpour & Company. The interviewee was a travelling crisis nurse called Chelsea Walsh. She travelled around the United States to many different states when they were in the worst crisis ever. She went to New York, Arizona and Texas when they were all at crisis stages. If a Covid crisis was spiking in one state that’s where she went. She went to the worst places, at the worst times, and she did it deliberately and intentionally. She must be crazy.

Why did she go? “I knew that people needed help and I wanted to help them,” she said. This reminded me of the Russian union men who went to Chernobyl and then went right into the contaminated centre of the storm, knowing they would die, because they were Russians and Russians suffered and they were asked to help they helped. That’s it. Crazy heroes.

Walsh went at great personal risk to herself. Many health care workers in the US have contracted Covid-19 and have died. Yet she did it anyway. She had the support of her fellow professionals, her supervisors, the hospital, the management, and most important the people. The Communities supported her. Until they didn’t. First some stopped listening to her and her colleagues. They thought they knew more than the professionals. They “knew” Covid-19 was no big deal. This over confidence led to more cases than there should have been. This nearly overwhelmed her and her fellow professionals.

The US at this stage when Walsh talked had more than 260,000 deaths from this disease. 12 &1/5 million people were infected. What do people think is unreal about this illness? Why do they not take this seriously? Walsh compares these people to people that have been warned by meteorologists that a lightning storm is on the way and it can be dangerous, so be careful and stay out of the storm. Some people run into the storm with a lightning rod in their arms saying “we don’t believe in lightning.” How is that possible? Walsh asked, “How do you convince people who don’t believe in lightning that lightning is real?”

One day Walsh ran out of the hospital at the end of her day exhausted and crying. A young woman had come into the ICU with Covid-19 “bleeding profusely from her nose, her eyes, her vagina. Everywhere. Then you realize this is something that is contagious. When you leave the hospital you might have it.” The woman had bled out. Screaming. Walsh said, “Whatever she had I don’t want that.” Whatever it was, it was real.

When she sees a young woman in such horrific condition and she realizes that could be her lying in that bed it is deeply disturbing. She pointed out that nurses like her develop a bond with their patients. Neither of them can go home to their families. They are alone in the hospital as is the nurse. They are together all the time. “It is like watching a friend die,” she said.

Then when she talks to the family they often have panic attacks. Some of them did not believe Covid was real. They did not realize how serious this illness is. Some have significant guilt because they gave it to the patient who died.

Walsh has therapy once a week now because of all she has seen, said and had to do. She is suffering from “Covid PTSD” as she calls it. A lot nurses of nurses are developing it. The nurses talk about it all the time. They have empathy with their patients. Now all around them patients are dying.

Walsh said,

“A lot of these places don’t have enough support staff anymore. They have all quit or been fired. It’s now mainly doctors and nurses on the ground floor. In some places the doctors won’t even help anymore; they won’t even go into the rooms anymore. It’s still up to the nurses, and we felt from the very beginning most of us that talked about it we’ve pretty well been sacrificed. Our lives would be worth less than everybody else from the beginning by being told only we could go in to see the patients. So there is a constant fear of ‘why us’? And again, when it going be to our turn to be in that hospital bed?”

As if that is not bad enough in some places they don’t have the PPE they need or the supplies they need. They are not getting the support they need. Sometimes they are running out of medications or supplies they have to rationed. Imagine the decisions they have to make!

At the same time the nurse/patient ratio is going up and this is what kept them alive. That means they have less time to spend with each person.

Added to that, “a lot of risky things have happened and are happening that make the entire situation very unstable and very unsafe right now.”

These are all things that make it very different from seasonal flu spikes. Those are bad and they stress hospitals and care workers too, but nothing like this. This is different!

Walsh was asked what hospitals should be doing:

“Right now what people should be concentrating on is protecting their nurses, because once we’re gone there is no more hospital standing, because without us there is nobody to do the skills. These hospitals are already turning into these ghost town situations where there’s not enough staff to take care of a hospital. And we’re doing our best. In some places I’ve had to do housekeeping; I’ve had to be the secretary; I’ve had to be the pharmacist. I’ve had to do every job in the hospital because nobody else is working. And then the doctors still won’t go into these rooms and we have to do doctor’s assessments. So nurses are literally picking up all the fields that are leaving the hospital and if we’re gone and we’re not protected the hospital can’t stand. So right now the highest priority hospitals should have is protecting their nurses, because we’re keeping the hospital standing.”

This is what an overwhelmed hospital looks like. People who won’t wear masks or wont’ wash their hands or won’t believe in Covid-19 should really pay attention. People who don’t think the pandemic is a big deal should think again. This is real.

As Hari Sreenivasan asked, “why is it that nurses are telling us that people are literally dying without believing the very thing that is killing them?” Walsh, I believe has the right answer, “Because everything became politicized. Politics invited itself into medicine and then divided everything.” When politics came in it caused people to choose sides. They say, “my side” does not believe in Covid. So I will stick to my side no matter what. That is the way polarized politics works. People choose sides rather than the truth.

Walsh says that instead of listening to their doctors and nurses, people listen to their political leaders who don’t care about them and, even worse, don’t know what they are talking about. The nurses also also hate wearing masks at all times. They also care about the economy. They also want to go to the bar after work. But they also care about their patients and want this thing to be over. No one wants it to be over more than him or her. Listen to them. As Walsh said, “If anyone wants an unbiased opinion ask your nurse or doctor.”