Doctor shares his 'typical day' in a COVID ward, taking a jab at medical conspiracy theories

By now, we've all seen the many conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic floating around (Plandemic, anyone?), but medical conspiracy theories are nothing new. In fact, most of the anti-vaccine movement is predicated on a couple of them, which are getting a lot of attention right now:

1) Pharmaceutical companies are big, money-grabbing corporations (which is arguably true) and therefore doctors and medical associations recommend people get vaccinated are all part of the Big Pharma conspiracy to fool the masses into paying them big money (arguably not true).



2) There's a bigger, more nefarious plot organized by some evil player (ahem, Bill Gates) to vaccinate people in an attempt to depopulate the world or control the masses somehow, and the pandemic is just a planned rouse to give the medical "establishment" an excuse to carry out the dastardly plan.

I'm sure there are other somewhat related ones, but one thing they all seem to have in common is an underlying assumption that most doctors are willing to go against their "do no harm" oath in order to stash some cash. That seems like a terribly negative view of doctors and humanity in general, but that's how conspiracy theories work—they play on people's fears and amplify skepticism to outrageous proportions.

Dr. David Young, a hospital care specialist in the Chicago area, shared a breakdown of his daily schedule in a COVID ward to illustrate what these conspiracy theories sound like when you take them out of the chatroom/YouTube information bubble in which they fester. And you have to admit, the absurdity really does come through.

Young wrote:

A lot of people have been asking me what it's like being on the COVID wards in the hospital, so I figured I'd share what a typical day looks like for me:

6 a.m. Wake up. Roll off of my pile of money that Big Pharma gave me. Softly weep as it doesn't put a dent in my medical school loans

6:30 a.m. Make breakfast, using only foods from the diet that gives me everlasting life by avoiding all fats, sugars, carbs, and proteins. For details buy my book and check out my shop.

7 a.m. Get to work, load up my syringes with coronavirus before rounds.

8 a.m. See my patients for the day. Administer the medications that the government tells me to. Covertly rub essential oils on the ones I want to get better.

9:30 a.m. Call Bill Gates to check how 5G tower construction is going, hoping for more coronavirus soon. He tells me they're delayed due to repairs on the towers used to spread the Black Plague. Curse the fact that this is the most efficient way to spread infectious diseases.

10 a.m. One patient tells me he knows "the truth" about coronavirus. I give him a Tdap booster. He becomes autistic in front of my eyes. He'll never conspire against me again.

11 a.m. Tend to the secret hospital garden of St. John's wort and ginkgo leaves that we save for rich patients and donors.

12:30 p.m. Pick up my briefcase of money from payroll, my gift from Pfizer for the incomprehensible profits we make off of the free influenza vaccine given every year.

1 p.m. Conference call with Dr. Fauci and the lab in Wuhan responsible for manufacturing viruses. Tell them my idea about how an apocalypse-style zombie virus would be a cool one to try for the next batch.

2 p.m. A patient starts asking me about getting rid of toxins. I ask her if she has a liver and kidneys. She tells me she knows "the truth" about Big Anatomy and that the only way to detoxify herself is to eat nothing but lemon wedges and mayonnaise for weeks. I give her a Tdap booster.

2:45 p.m. Help the FBI, CIA, and CDC silence the masses. Lament the fact that I can only infringe on one or two of their rights. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

4pm - One of my rich patients begins to crash. Laugh as I realize I've mismatched her spirit animal and zodiac moon sign. I switch out the Purple Amethyst above her bed for a Tiger's Eye geode. She stabilizes. I throw some ginkgo leaves on her for good measure

6pm - Go onto YouTube and see coronavirus conspiracy videos everywhere. Curse my all powerful government for how inept they are at keeping people from spreading "the truth"

6:10pm - Go onto Amazon and see that a book about "the truth" is the #1 seller this week. Question the power of my all powerful government. Make a reminder to myself to get more Tdap boosters from the Surgeon General next time we talk.

7pm - Time to go home. Before I leave, sacrifice a goat to Dr. Fauci and say three Hippocratic Oaths.

9pm - Take a contented sigh as I snuggle under the covers made of the tinfoil hats of my enemies, realizing that my 4 years of medical school and 3 years of residency training have been put to good use today.

Snort. Even as someone who uses essential oils and herbal treatments for some things, I found this hilarious. That really does seem to be close to what some conspiracy-minded folks think doctors do all day.

The reality is that the vast majority of doctors really do go into medicine to help people and would not tacitly go along with any evil plots to harm even one person, much less mass numbers of people. While there are legitimate discussions and debates to be had about pharmaceutical medicine vs. alternative medicine vs. natural medicine for various ailments, as soon as we get into evil plots and conspiracy territory, those legitimate discussions lose all credibility.

Doctors on the front line are dealing with enough right now. They really shouldn't have to be fending off absurd ideas about them lying and scheming en masse to fill their own pockets or bring the world to ruin.

Courtesy of Amita Swadhin
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In 2016, Amita Swadhin, a child of two immigrant parents from India, founded Mirror Memoirs to help combat rape culture. The national storytelling and organizing project is dedicated to sharing the stories of LGBTQIA+ Black, indigenous people, and people of color who survived child sexual abuse.

"Whether or not you are a survivor, 100% of us are raised in rape culture. It's the water that we're swimming in. But just as fish don't know they are in water, because it's just the world around them that they've always been in, people (and especially those who aren't survivors) may need some help actually seeing it," they add.

"Mirror Memoirs attempts to be the dye that helps everyone understand the reality of rape culture."

Amita built the idea for Mirror Memoirs from a theater project called "Undesirable Elements: Secret Survivors" that featured their story and those of four other survivors in New York City, as well as a documentary film and educational toolkit based on the project.

"Secret Survivors had a cast that was gender, race, and age-diverse in many ways, but we had neglected to include transgender women," Amita explains. "Our goal was to help all people who want to co-create a world without child sexual abuse understand that the systems historically meant to help survivors find 'healing' and 'justice' — namely the child welfare system, policing, and prisons — are actually systems that facilitate the rape of children in oppressed communities," Amita continues. "We all have to explore tools of healing and accountability outside of these systems if we truly want to end all forms of sexual violence and rape culture."

Amita also wants Mirror Memoirs to be a place of healing for survivors that have historically been ignored or underserved by anti-violence organizations due to transphobia, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, and white supremacy.

Amita Swadhin

"Hearing survivors' stories is absolutely healing for other survivors, since child sexual abuse is a global pandemic that few people know how to talk about, let alone treat and prevent."

"Since sexual violence is an isolating event, girded by shame and stigma, understanding that you're not alone and connecting with other survivors is alchemy, transmuting isolation into intimacy and connection."

This is something that Amita knows and understands well as a survivor herself.

"My childhood included a lot of violence from my father, including rape and other forms of domestic violence," says Amita. "Mandated reporting was imposed on me when I was 13 and it was largely unhelpful since the prosecutors threatened to incarcerate my mother for 'being complicit' in the violence I experienced, even though she was also abused by my father for years."

What helped them during this time was having the support of others.

"I'm grateful to have had a loving younger sister and a few really close friends, some of whom were also surviving child sexual abuse, though we didn't know how to talk about it at the time," Amita says.

"I'm also a queer, non-binary femme person living with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, and those identities have shaped a lot of my life experiences," they continue. "I'm really lucky to have an incredible partner and network of friends and family who love me."

"These realizations put me on the path of my life's work to end this violence quite early in life," they said.

Amita wants Mirror Memoirs to help build awareness of just how pervasive rape culture is. "One in four girls and one in six boys will be raped or sexually assaulted by the age of 18," Amita explains, "and the rates are even higher for vulnerable populations, such as gender non-conforming, disabled, deaf, unhoused, and institutionalized children." By sharing their stories, they're hoping to create change.

"Listening to stories is also a powerful way to build empathy, due to the mirror neurons in people's brains. This is, in part, why the project is called Mirror Memoirs."

So far, Mirror Memoirs has created an audio archive of BIPOC LGBTQI+ child sexual abuse survivors sharing their stories of survival and resilience that includes stories from 60 survivors across 50 states. This year, they plan to record another 15 stories, specifically of transgender and nonbinary people who survived child sexual abuse in a sport-related setting, with their partner organization, Athlete Ally.

"This endeavor is in response to the more than 100 bills that have been proposed across at least 36 states in 2021 seeking to limit the rights of transgender and non-binary children to play sports and to receive gender-affirming medical care with the support of their parents and doctors," Amita says.

In 2017, Mirror Memoirs held its first gathering, which was attended by 31 people. Today, the organization is a fiscally sponsored, national nonprofit with two staff members, a board of 10 people, a leadership council of seven people, and 500 members nationally.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, they created a mutual aid fund for the LGBTQIA+ community of color and were able to raise a quarter-million dollars. They received 2,509 applications for assistance, and in the end, they decided to split the money evenly between each applicant.

While they're still using storytelling as the building block of their work, they're also engaging in policy and advocacy work, leadership development, and hosting monthly member meetings online.

For their work, Amita is one of Tory's Burch's Empowered Women. Their donation will go to Mirror Memoirs to help fund production costs for their new theater project, "Transmutation: A Ceremony," featuring four Black transgender, intersex, and non-binary women and femmes who live in California.

"I'm grateful to every single child sexual survivor who has ever disclosed their truth to me," Amita says. "I know another world is possible, and I know survivors will build it, together with all the people who love us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

This article originally appeared on 11.21.16


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Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."