GREAT DIE-OFF: Anonymous, New York Nursing Home Caregiver
Excerpt from "COVIDsteria: An Oral History of America's Great Reset" - see https://covidsteria.substack.com/p/covidsteria-table-of-contents
Many had already written off New York City and its politics as hopelessly dysfunctional before the devastation of the COVIDsteria years had finished taking their toll on the city. But while white yuppie areas of Manhattan and Brooklyn, in particular, were hit hard by the Great Die-Off, this impact has proven to be a blessing in disguise for residents of the rest of the city. During the most recent local elections (the first since COVID Spring), surviving voters shocked the nation by actually electing reasonably competent politicians, who promised to make the city great again, to city and borough offices.
I spoke with a Queens nursing home worker to learn more about what had happened in New York nursing homes during the COVIDsteria pandemic and in the aftermath of the vaccination campaign. She wished to remain anonymous given what she had to say...
I was born in Manila. My family was poor, and life was hard for all of us. There was often not enough food to feed the whole family. So my siblings and I would go hungry. Nevertheless, I studied hard in school because I was determined to make a better life for myself and my family by working in America – the land of freedom and opportunity.
The fastest way I could legally work in America was to work as a caregiver on what they called an H-1b visa. Since I was young and did not have any close relatives in America, I was a little naïve. I did not understand what working on an H-1b visa would mean. I just wanted to go to America and earn money to help support my family in Manila.
And so that is what I did. I got an H-1b visa to work in a New York state nursing home. But I found out the hard way that if you held an H-1b visa, America was not a land of freedom or opportunity. My colleagues and I who had H-1b visas were treated no better than slaves by our employers. We often had to work 18-hour shifts changing bedpans and giving sponge baths to our nursing home residents. And little did I realize just how bad the job would become… [She sighs.]
What happened at your nursing home when the COVIDsteria pandemic started?
[She sighs again.] The media kept saying that COVIDsteria was like an airborne Ebola and a Black Death with some Spanish flu mixed in that required a great reset to contain. They also said there were no treatments for COVIDsteria until you needed a hospital ventilator. But nothing could have prepared me for what happened during that initial COVIDsteria pandemic in our nursing home. [Tears form in the corners of her eyes.]
New York never could provide us with enough gloves and other personal protective equipment to help keep our nursing home residents safe. But they were always good at sending us plenty of extra body bags as they never ran out of them! [She frowns.]
And it was a good thing that New York State had unlimited amounts of body bags. Once any of our elderly residents got COVIDsteria, it quickly spread like wildfire throughout the nursing home. Our residents started dying all around us! [A tear rolls down her face.]
But we could not send the bodies of our dead nursing home residents to the New York morgues right away. The morgues were already full of other New York nursing home residents. So we had to stuff our dead residents into state-provided body bags. Then we had to stack our dead and bagged up residents into neat piles in my bosses' offices until there was more space available at the New York morgues. This bagging and stacking went on for several months, and it was exhausting! [Another tear rolls down her face. and she shakes her head.]
And all that bagging and stacking work was so depressing. But being Catholic and from the Philippines where family is so important to us, Sundays were always the worst for me at our nursing home…
On Sundays, the granddaughters of our Italian American residents would come by to bring spaghetti and meatballs to their nanas. They also wanted their nanas to meet their new boyfriends in the hopes that they would like him… [Tears roll down her face.]
But it was inevitable that these granddaughters would never again eat spaghetti and meatballs with their new boyfriends and their nanas… That was because I had just bagged and stacked their nanas in my bosses’ offices with all the other nanas! [She wipes the tears away from her face.]
But we could not tell the granddaughters what had happened to their nanas. You see, when you work in a nursing home, you learn that the family members of our residents often have an undocumented psychological condition we called NDS or Natural Defiance Syndrome… They do not want to hear that there is something wrong with nana… They will not listen to you… They certainly would not want to hear that their nana was now bagged and neatly stacked in my bosses’ offices! [She pauses for a moment to wipe away all her tears.]
The saddest story in my nursing home involved poor sweet little old Ann… You see, Ann was a Holocaust survivor who had just arrived at our nursing home. She always managed to be happy and have a big smile on her face – like us Filipinos! [More tears form in her eyes.]
Ann told me how she had been born in Poland before the war… When Hitler invaded her country, she, her family, and her entire village got rounded up by the Nazis. They were all taken to a forest, forced to dig their graves, and shot… But somehow, Ann was the only person to survive this massacre unscathed…
Ann then was forced to live in the Warsaw Ghetto all alone. She had to eat rats and pieces of leather to stay alive… But Ann survived those horrors too…
Then the Nazis destroyed the Ghetto, put Ann in a boxcar, and sent her to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Almost everyone else with Ann in those boxcars ended up being gassed immediately upon arrival there… But not Ann… She was sort of “lucky” because she was chosen to be a slave laborer for the Nazis and managed to survive…
When the Soviet troops neared Auschwitz, the Nazis force-marched Ann with no shoes on in the dead of winter to Germany. She ended up in the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. She nearly died of typhoid and almost starved to death… But Ann still managed to survive until the Americans liberated her at the end of the war… [Tears stream down her face.]
After surviving all those horrors of war and the holocaust, do you know what holocaust poor sweet little old Ann could not survive??? [She pauses as more tears start to stream down her face.]
Poor sweet little old Ann could not survive the New York nursing home COVIDsteria holocaust for just one lousy month!!! [She begins sobbing uncontrollably. I stop the interview for a few minutes so she can regain her composure before continuing.]
Do you know what bothered me the most about all of this?
I was new to the job and America, but all of my colleagues acted liked this level of death was perfectly normal for a New York nursing home![She frowns.]
They all casually explained to me, “What difference does it make? Whether it is COVIDsteria or a Norovirus going around our home or another bad flu season, we always have these big die-offs in New York state nursing homes! However, this amount of die-off seems much bigger than normal because all the city morgues are full. Come to think of it - we have not had to bag and stack this many residents in our bosses’ offices since that 2009 swine flu!”[She shakes her head with a look of disbelief.]
My colleagues then explained the strict OSHA and union rules for bagging and stacking dead residents in New York nursing homes. Our employee handbook even had a chapter that explained how to properly bag and stack our dead nursing home residents to comply with these complicated workplace rules. [She shakes her head again.]
Our handbook said that we must always stack dead nursing home residents according to their weight and size. The heavier ones had to go on the bottom of the stack to form a solid foundation.
Then lighter dead residents like Ann… Poor sweet little old Ann… [A tear rolls down her face.] Ann, who had survived the war and the Nazi holocaust... But who could not survive the New York nursing home COVIDsteria holocaust… [She blows her nose into a handkerchief.] Must always go on top of a stack of dead residents… [She wipes the tears from her face again.]
And we cannot ever make a stack of dead nursing home residents higher than four residents in height. A stack higher than that might tip over and injure a living person walking by and lead to lawsuits…
It was all explained in our employee handbook - complete with graphics, measurements, and weight calculations for the stacks of bodies… [She shakes her head and frowns.]
Those of us on H-1b visas could never complain about anything without the fear of being fired and deported. So our bosses made it our job to stuff all of our dead nursing home residents into body bags and then to stack them into neat piles in their offices where they would hopefully go unnoticed by residents or State inspectors. Not that the State inspectors were looking very hard at how many of our residents were dying.
We had to do this bagging and stacking all day and all night to the point where we were utterly exhausted… [She takes a deep breath and exhales.] I worked 18-hour days just stuffing our dead residents into body bags. Then I had to carry them to the offices of my bosses. They had to be neatly stacked into piles along the walls and desks with enough space for the living to get through. Many of our nursing home residents were also very heavy, and I was afraid of suffering a back injury!
And then sometimes our bosses would complain that our dead residents were not stacked neatly or properly, and that OSHA might come and cite us for it! [She frowns.] So we were forced to take apart the stacks of dead residents in our bosses’ offices, take them out into the hallways, resort them according to size, and then bring them back into their offices where we restacked them into neater piles…
What was even worst was how as soon as a nursing home bed became available because the prior occupant was now bagged and neatly stacked in my bosses’ offices, the State would send us a new resident for the empty bed! It was just like the stories Ann told me about being in Auschwitz when the Nazis just kept sending new victims by the boxcar load to be gassed in the gas chambers! [A look of anger appears on her face.]
Did the media ever look into what was happening at your New York nursing home?
Yesss, but not the way you would expect! [She frowns.]
That stupid clown Fredo Ratto came into our nursing home. He did a primetime Ostrich News Network (ONN) story about the “wonderful job” our governor was doing to keep New York state nursing home residents alive and safe during the COVIDsteria pandemic. He also said during his segment that there was “absolutely nothing to worry about” for any resident or a family member of a resident of a New York nursing home.
I had just worked an 18-hour shift bagging and stacking up our dead nursing home residents. Many were stiff because we were far behind with the bagging, sorting, and stacking as so many residents dying all over the place. And since the media would be coming, my bosses were even more anal than usual about the stacks being nice and neat in their offices. Not that stupid clown Fredo and his crew of newshounds were going to be snooping around their offices looking for hidden stacks of bodies. That did not fit their narrative of “absolutely nothing to worry about” in New York nursing homes… [She frowns even more.]
What bugged all of us the most was when his newshounds turned the news cameras off, that stupid Fredo immediately took off his mask and started coughing everywhere without making any attempt to cover his mouth! My colleagues and I were all livid that he might have COVIDsteria and kill even more of our residents!
Then we heard later that Fredo probably did have COVIDsteria when he visited our nursing home for his primetime news story! He had also refused to properly quarantine himself or wear a face mask when not on TV! [Another angry look appears on her face, and she shakes her head.]
What happened when the nDNA vaccine became available and did you take the vaccine?
[She sighs.] At first, the policy was to vaccinate vulnerable and essential workers like those who worked in nursing homes. So I was excited to get vaccinated to protect our residents from getting sick and dying of COVIDsteria.
However, my colleagues explained that we should all wait for others, such as our residents, to go first and be… [She sighs again and lowers her voice.] And be the guinea pigs or lab rats so we could find out what the nasty "coincidences" might be. They explained that in America, you should never trust anything the media and especially what the Ostrich News Network or Coyote News said about a new drug or vaccine. That was because most advertising during the nightly news or on the 24-hour cable news networks was paid for by big pharma companies or bedding makers.
They also explained that if something goes wrong with a drug or vaccine, the medical community and public health authorities have a code of silence or an omertà. You never break the medical community or public health authority omertà. If you do, there will be vendettas and reprisals.
At least my employer did not mandate us employees to get that vaccine – unlike with that stupid anal swabbing! [She frowns.]
What do you mean?
My employer mandated that all of us non-management staff undergo mandatory daily anal swabbing for COVIDsteria!
At first, I thought there would be exemptions for marginalized people just like that Chinese woman thought before getting dragged off the plane and treated like Rosa Parks. After all, I am Asian. And unlike that Chinese woman, I was working as a slave on an H-1b visa!
But there were no exemptions for Asians like me! The stupid government did not consider Asians as marginalized people! [She frowns angrily.]
What I never understood was why you would even look for a respiratory virus down there! It was not how we tested our residents for COVIDsteria!
But boy, our bosses sure seemed to get a thrill out of personally anal swabbing us staff every day! And we could not argue with them thanks to all the media COVIDsteria hysteria as we would have gotten accused of being homophobic racists who wanted to kill all the country's grandmas or so-called marginalized peoples! Plus, they would have fired and deported me since I was on an H-1b visa! [She frowns and shakes her head angrily]
By now, the media was saying there had been a so-called “elderly holocaust” in Florida and just some “elevated numbers” of deaths in New York nursing homes. I do not know what was going on in Florida, but I cannot believe more elderly were dying down there than were dying in our New York nursing homes.
At least New York State started insisting on vaccinating elderly nursing home residents. So I thought that would mean the end of long days of bagging and stacking residents. But that was not exactly what ended up happening... [She frowns.]
Were there side effects or deaths among your residents after they got vaccinated with the nDNA vaccine?
[She sighs.] Yesss! I would say that 4 out of 5 residents vaccinated had some sort of noticeable coincidences" within days! The most common coincidences were pain at the injection site, headaches, fevers, skin rashes, temporary loss of smell, eye problems, coughing, difficulty breathing, and elevated blood pressure. I guess these sorts of reactions to vaccines were the norm, but they could be life-threatening for the elderly with comorbidities. So we had to observe our residents very closely. Many were very sick for a few days after being vaccinated.
What was odd, though, was how many of our residents behaved after they were vaccinated. They all wanted to hug us or each other! We also had to watch some of our male residents as they got a little frisky with both us and some female residents!
My colleagues and I attributed this strange behavior to our residents being happy they would not end up bagged and stacked in my bosses’ offices. I mean, it was not like the residents did not know what was going on in our nursing home with so many beds opening up as their prior occupants ended up bagged and stacked in my bosses' offices! [She frowns.]
Even odder was the fact that most of our residents craved salty junk food after being vaccinated. They cleaned out all the vending machines in our home!
And then some of our vaccinated residents suddenly dropped dead of sudden heart failure while others got sick with COVIDsteria. It started happening within weeks of getting either the first or second nDNA vaccine shot. Those deaths were all ruled to be “fortuitum est” or just “a coincidence.” But I do not know. There were sure a few too many coincidences happening within weeks of being vaccinated. [She shrugs.]
When your residents were vaccinated, do you recall what syringes got used?
What syringes got used? [A perplexed look appears on her face.]
In nursing homes where Medicare, Medicaid, or another government program is often footing the bill, we always used expensive so-called MAGICal Happy Syringes. But these syringes were not so magical to use as they were difficult to load, and they often broke when giving someone an injection. In hindsight, those who had syringes break or maybe improperly used were probably the lucky residents in our nursing home.
Did you take the nDNA vaccine?
[She sighs.] No… I never ended up getting vaccinated because the new Administration or so-called Team Science came in and quickly changed all the priorities of the vaccination program to focus on vaccinating marginalized people first. Even though I was born poor in Manila and came to America legally on a slave visa, I ranked at the bottom of the priority list above or at the same level as white people! So even if I wanted the vaccine, I would have to wait.
But by the time they got around to vaccinating most Asian and white people, more and more of our vaccinated residents were getting sick with mysterious colds, the flu, and other ailments. They all started to… [She pauses and sighs.] They started to die off or drop dead… First, it was only a few residents… Then it was a few more… And next thing you know… [Tears form in the corners of her eyes.] It was like the first several months of the COVIDsteria pandemic all over again… [Tears start streaming down her face.]
The weirdest thing was that many of our vaccinated residents had somehow turned magnetic after they had died. They would stick to metal like refrigerators magnets, making it harder for us to remove them from their beds.
Then our bosses would complain that the staked bodies were somehow interfering with their mobile reception or wi-fi! I mean, of all the ridiculous things our bosses could complain and worry about with our nursing home residents dying all around us! [She shakes her head and frowns again.]
By now, though, we were all experts on quickly bagging and stacking our dead residents, including the magnetic ones, into neat stacks in the offices of our bosses! So at least they no longer complained about our stacking abilities [She wipes the tears from her face.]
But then that stupid clown Fredo Ratto came back to our nursing home with his crew of ever-hungry newshounds. They did another big primetime Ostrich News Network story about the “wonderful job” our governor had done vaccinating New York state nursing home residents for COVIDsteria. He also said that there was “absolutely nothing to worry about” with the nDNA vaccine and that everyone needed to “trust science!”
I had just worked another 18-hour shift bagging and stacking all of our dead residents into neat stacks in my bosses’ offices. I just felt like punching him in the face on live TV! Of course, I could not do that because I was working on an H-1b visa. I would have been fired and immediately deported back to Manila! [She shakes her head.]
At least this time, that stupid clown Fredo was not coughing all over the place when they turned the news cameras off, and he took off all three of his masks! [She frowns again.]
It was not long after that news segment of his aired that I was practically tripping over dead bodies of homeless people who were half-eaten by rats every time I walked to and from home to work every day! And then other people started dropping dead or dying everywhere else! And then you had all the gruesome pictures, videos, and goofy cat memes being shared in social media messages and on messaging apps! [She shudders.]
I will never fully understand how the start of the so-called Great Die-Off went unnoticed for so long by the American media, like the Ostrich News Network and that stupid clown Fredo Ratto, along with the government! I guess the media and the entire government were all part of the medical community or public health authority code of silence or omertà my colleagues had warned me about! [She shakes her head and sighs.]
Articles Posted in Nursing Home Violations (2021). In New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog. (Archived 20 May 2021)
Pavlich, Katie (July 16, 2020). "Top Biden Advisor: Yeah, We Really Screwed Up Swine Flu and are Lucky More Americans Didn't Die." Townhall. (Archived 17 Jul 2020)