The doctor tells the grieving family members that the best way to honor the person they lost is by getting vaccinated and encouraging everyone they know to do the same.
There has been a lot of fake news surrounding the COVID-19 virus, with some claiming that it's a hoax, while others say this is just the flu. Due to the misinformation being shared, people are being convinced that it's okay for them to not take the vaccine that's available, even though that's not the case. Now, a doctor from Alabama is pleading with people to get vaccinated immediately, because even after a year and a half, the pandemic is claiming the lives of innocent people.
The harsh reality was shared by Dr. Brytney Cobia who works at the Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham. The medic wrote an eye-opening post on her Facebook, saying that she's been making a lot of progress in convincing people to get vaccinated recently, and it's all by telling them what people with COVID ask her on their deathbed.
"I'm admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections. One of the last things they do before they're intubated is beg me for the vaccine," she wrote.
But at that point, there really is nothing she can do. "I hold their hand and tell them that I'm sorry, but it's too late."
She advises grieving relatives that the best way to honor the person they just lost is by getting vaccinated. "A few days later when I call time of death, I hug their family members and I tell them the best way to honor their loved one is to go get vaccinated and encourage everyone they know to do the same."
Soon, she realizes why they didn't get vaccinated earlier. "They cry. And they tell me they didn't know. They thought it was a hoax. They thought it was political. They thought because they had a certain blood type or a certain skin color they wouldn't get as sick. They thought it was 'just the flu.'"
"But they were wrong," she wrote. "And they wish they could go back. But they can't. So they thank me and they go get the vaccine. And I go back to my office, write their death note, and say a small prayer that this loss will save more lives." She concluded her post by saying it is still not late to get vaccinated.
At the start of the pandemic, Cobia and other healthcare workers across the country worked tirelessly to try and save as many people as they could. “Back in 2020 and early 2021, when the vaccine wasn’t available, it was just tragedy after tragedy after tragedy,” Cobia told AL.com. “You know, so many people that did all the right things, and yet still came in, and were critically ill and died.”
While it is still taxing to care for COVID patients, it's different than what it used to be a year and a half ago, because they now have an option to protect themselves against it. “You kind of go into it thinking, ‘Okay, I’m not going to feel bad for this person, because they make their own choice,’” Cobia said.
“But then you actually see them, you see them face to face, and it really changes your whole perspective, because they’re still just a person that thinks that they made the best decision that they could with the information that they have, and all the misinformation that’s out there.
“And now all you really see is their fear and their regret. And even though I may walk into the room thinking, ‘Okay, this is your fault, you did this to yourself,’ when I leave the room, I just see a person that’s really suffering, and that is so regretful for the choice that they made.”
If there are still people worried about getting their shots, Cobia suggests talking to their doctors, so they can get clear answers to all their concerns.
When NBC News reached out to her, she declined to comment on her post, because she's reportedly been getting threatening messages. “I’m a little (ie a lot) overwhelmed and I just need to step back right now,” Cobia said. It is quite sad that a medical professional has to be at the receiving end of "threatening messages" just because she chose to speak her mind.
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Cover Image (representative): Getty Images | Photo by Jasmin Merdan