The recent ‘surge’ of COVID-19 is putting hospitals and health care workers in an ‘unsustainable’ position, they say in a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey.

Shut up and save us.

That’s the message we have for health care workers.

If I was one of them I’d be tempted to respond, “Fine, then save yourselves … jerks.”

More than 1,000 physicians, nurses, caregivers and others have signed an open letter to Gov. Doug Ducey, health care leaders and state and county officials asking for immediate action to help combat the latest omicron surge of COVID-19 cases in Arizona.

These are individuals who see the horror every day.

Arizona’s hospital situation is ‘unsustainable’

They begin by saying, “Our healthcare workforce is suffering from moral injury and burnout from the sustained onslaught that wave after wave of COVID has had on us, our families, and our communities. The COVID-19 pandemic is running unmitigated throughout the state and is straining our hospitals and affecting patient standards of care. Our current situation is unsustainable.”

The group is asking Ducey, lawmakers and other officials to implement indoor mask requirements, increase access to COVID-19 testing, provide free, high-quality masks to the public and increase funding for air filtration systems in schools and businesses. And they want a safer workplace for themselves.

They’re asking us this collectively, and they’re asking it individually. You can see some of their stories online.

One of those in solidarity with the group that sent the letter is Phoenix-based Dr. Christina Bergin, who has a long thread on Twitter in which she says in part:

“We are the ones seeing the devastation of this pandemic day in & day out. We know the realities of working in the hospital and in outpatient settings right now … And that earlier thread didn’t even get into single rooms turned into double rooms, or physicians trying desperately to find beds for critically ill patients but not being able to find any. And it didn’t address the deep moral injury that comes from seeing so much death … .”

Nurses ask for help, Gov. Ducey ignores

Story continues

Gov. Ducey on Monday gave his final State of the State address to the Arizona Legislature.

Did he talk about this?

Did he attempt in his speech to address any of the concerns expressed by health care workers?

Did he acknowledge the suffering and the deaths – now nearly 25,000 in Arizona from COVID-19?


The people who each working day risk their mental and physical health trying to save as many of our brothers and sisters as possible have made a simple request of their government. They’re saying, in essence: Help us out. Require people to wear masks in tight indoor settings. Make high quality masks available. Put some money into filtration systems, particularly for schools.

Some people actually honor their oaths

They’re asking these things because they know mitigation efforts will help, at least a little, to lessen the misery.

Not just for them, but for the afflicted and their families. And for those with other ailments, other serious health concerns, whose treatment has been limited or cut off by all the COVID-19 cases jamming the system.

The doctors and nurses and others ask this even as they continue to deal with the slow, horrible deaths, the daily tragedies, the sickening, suffering mess.

And in return they’ve gotten … nothing.

Yet they don’t say, “Fine, then save yourselves, jerks.”

Because one lesson we’ve learned during this pandemic is that medical professionals, unlike politicians, honor their oaths.

Reach Montini at [email protected].

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona tells health care workers to shut the hell up

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