U.S. nurse says dying COVID-19 patients spent last minutes insisting virus isn't real

An emergency room nurse in South Dakota is speaking out in frustration after watching several COVID-19 patients die from a disease they insist isn’t real, describing her job like a “horror movie that never ends.”

In a Twitter thread that has since gone viral, Jodi Doering said she has been screamed at by patients who accuse her of using “magic medicine,” who repeatedly tell her there must be another reason why they are sick “all while gasping for air.”

“They call you names and ask why you have to wear all that ‘stuff’ because they don’t have COVID because it’s not real,” she said in the thread, published Friday.

“These people really think this isn’t going to happen to them. And then they stop yelling at you when they get intubated.”

On Sunday, South Dakota health officials reported 23 deaths related to the novel coronavirus, increasing the total number of fatalities to 219 in the last 15 days.

According to the COVID Tracking Project, there were nearly 2,062 new cases per 100,000 people in South Dakota over the past two weeks, which ranks second in the country behind North Dakota for new cases per capita.

Despite these figures, Doering says her experiences show a disturbing level of COVID-19 denial.

“The hardest thing to watch is that people are still looking for something else and they want a magic answer. They don’t want to believe that COVID is real,” she said in an interview with CNN.

“Their last dying words are ‘this can’t be happening, it’s not real,’ when they should be spending time FaceTiming their families, they’re filled with anger and hatred. It just made me real sad the other night. I just can’t believe those are going to be their last thoughts and words.”

She says some patients are convinced they have been misdiagnosed, sometimes suggesting they have cancer instead.

“We’ve even had people say I think it might be lung cancer. Something so far-fetched,” she said. “The reality is, since day one you’ve kind of been able to say if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, it’s a duck. I hate to tell you that you have COVID, but that’s what you’ve had.”

Doering added her ER has been overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, and while many are grateful for their care and thankful towards doctors and nurses, she notes those are not the cases she remembers.

“It’s a horror movie where the credits never roll,” she told CNN. “You just do it all over again and it's hard and sad, because every hospital, nurse and doctor in this state are seeing the same thing.”  

I have a night off from the hospital. As I’m on my couch with my dog I can’t help but think of the Covid patients the last few days. The ones that stick out are those who still don’t believe the virus is real. The ones who scream at you for a magic medicine and that Joe Biden is

— Jodi Doering (@JodiDoering) November 15, 2020


Use CTVNews.ca's interactive charts to compare Canada to other countries around the world or click here to track each case of COVID-19 in Canada. 

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