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August 8, 2022



Czech nurse expresses frustration with those denying COVID-19 and spreading disinformation: People are dying of this here!

16.3.2021 7:16
PHOTO:  Firefighters of the Karlovy Vary Region, Wikimedia Commons
PHOTO: Firefighters of the Karlovy Vary Region, Wikimedia Commons

Lucie Rašková, a nurse at a hospital in Sokolov, Czech Republic that is overwhelmed, has expressed her frustration with those who deny the existence of COVID-19 to the Czech News Agency (ČTK). "I'd like to give them all a slap," she told the wire service.

Every day Rašková has to witness the suffering the COVID-19 disease causes. She finds the delusions she has seen people posting through social media profoundly irritating.   

Dr Alice Novotná, her colleague, cannot understand those who are denying the existence of the virus either. She told ČTK that the consequences of such allegations are deadly.  

"We are hearing from these COVID deniers that this is all a marketing campaign, that COVID-19 does not exist, or that it does exist but is not deadly, and all the while you're seeing young guys and women fighting for their lives here," says Rašková, who has been working at the hospital in Sokolov for 17 years. She has never before experienced anything like what happened at the beginning of the year, when the British mutation of the novel coronavirus fully impacted the Sokolov area.  

During January and February alone almost 200 people died at that hospital, exponentially more than is customary during that time of year. This is not just about statistics, but mainly about the medical staff's daily personal experience with the suffering and death of absolutely different kinds of people with absolutely different stories.

"These people do actually exist, they are lying in bed here. When we look at their lungs it is clear they are suffocating," the nurse says, adding that she herself no longer responds to the deniers' output on social media because she believes there is no point.

"It seems to me that they have been absolutely brainwashed," the nurse says without reservation. She is sometimes surprised when people whom she knows well write such comments.

"I believed that my friends, whom I have known since childhood, were normal people, but then I see what they are capable of posting on Facebook, the delusions. They need to be slapped. If I could, I would probably give them all a slap," she says.

Dr Novotná says that while the COVID deniers' remarks are absolutely "beyond the pale", she herself would not go so far as to slap anybody. "It does make me awfully angry. It's incomprehensible to me," she says with emotion.

"These people have no sense of responsibility, they are spreading allegations that could result in somebody else dying. People read them, some people believe them, and it inspires them not to follow some of the public health measures," the doctor fears.

ČTK, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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