COVID-surviving nurse baffled by Republicans who refuse to get vaccinated: ‘I just don’t get it’
New coronavirus variants have raised fears that these strains could thwart the vaccine rollout. - Sam Hodgson/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

GOP opposition to coronavirus vaccinations has baffled one registered nurse.

"It has been a dizzying year of illness, death, misinformation, contradictions, confusion, loneliness, isolation and political extremism. In my work as an RN, I've seen much of the negative psycho-social consequences of the response to the pandemic. Especially among the elderly, with whom I work. I have also seen the virus kill more than a dozen people who didn't need to die," RN Allan Stellar wrote for the Red Bluff Daily News.

Stellar reflected on his experiences during the HIV crisis.

"It was new and scary and even though it had been around for four or five years, we still didn't know much about the virus. Just like today there were racial implications around the virus as it was first discovered among the Haitian population. Suddenly bodily fluids became a big deal and we were frightened of a needle stick. We were frightened of HIV but we also knew the odds of getting it were quite small if we practiced universal precautions," he wrote. "Of course, nobody thought it was a violation of liberty to wear gloves while working with a patient. We knew it was for our protection."

Stellar wrote how he contracted the virus after doing his best to protect others.

"The inevitable happened and I got sick with the virus. Wearing the mask protects others. I was working with clients when I was infectious so we monitored the clients I had been in contact with in addition to the coworkers I had exposed to the virus. Because I wore the mask, no clients or coworkers got the virus from me," he wrote. "However, I picked up the virus someplace — although the mask protects others, it takes others wearing the mask to protect you. The push back against the mask meant that a much smaller percentage of the population around here wore the mask. The result? I got sick."

After surviving COVID, Stellar is mystified by those who refuse to get vaccinated.

"A friend of mine wrote me to tell the story about a local rancher relative of hers who decided not to get the vaccine after talking to an anti-vax nurse at a local healthcare facility. A survey released last week found that 49 percent of Republican men are refusing to get the miraculous vaccine against COVID. I just don't get it. We have a safe, effective vaccine that will prevent thousands of deaths and enable us to safely participate with our fellow humans again. President Trump secretly got the vaccine in January," he wrote. "Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that Trump should urge his supporters to get the vaccine. Fauci went on to say, regarding Republican men refusing to get the vaccine, 'How such a large proportion of a certain group of people would not want to get vaccinated merely because of political considerations … it makes absolutely no sense.'"

Stellar went on to urge his local Republican Party to put out a press release encouraging its members to get vaccinated.