After applause, hospitals now receive threatening letters: ‘It is very intense’

According to Van Buuren, these people have a deep mistrust when it comes to government and media. A few claim that the virus would not exist, there would be no crowds in the hospitals. The interview with an unvaccinated corona patient in intensive care would have been staged.

So is Tuesday. RTL Nieuws broadcast an item about Jules Rasoelbaks. Unvaccinated, ended up in ICU and regretted not having taken a vaccine after all.

Below you can see the video:

According to some commenters, the seriousness was exaggerated, Rasoelbaks would be an actor. Hospitals receive the same kind of response when they post messages online about corona. And that doesn’t always stop with comments online. “There are employees who have received letters at home. Incidentally, but it happens,” says Dick Nagelhout of Maastricht UMC. “We also receive threatening emails.”

‘We made it look full of dolls’

Lex Kloosterman of the UMCG in Groningen recognizes that harsh tone. His hospital recently posted a photo that showed a doctor with a doll because they don’t post patient faces online. “Then immediately reports came in that the ICs were not busy at all, that we made it look full by putting dolls everywhere.”

The UMCG received strong criticism when it came out that the hospital would open a reception center where corona patients could have been forcibly admitted in the most extreme case.

“A lot of angry calls came in and telephone operators were threatened,” says Kloosterman. “They were really under fire, also personally. Then an employee ran away and went home. Then you see how intense it can be.”

Even after coma still deny

And then Kloosterman has not yet mentioned the people who are still brought in with corona. However ill, there are people in that group who continue to deny that the disease exists. “There are patients who wake up on the IC and still say that they have had pneumonia, because corona does not exist.”

Dennis Verschuren of the Radboud Hospital in Nijmegen also recognizes the latter. There have been no personal threats in Nijmegen yet, but Verschuren also sees that communication is more difficult. “We continue to inform people, we continue to remove ambiguities, but that becomes very difficult when clear untruths are stated and rudeness is discussed.”

Not only hospital staff, but also general practitioners have to deal with threats. They can no longer talk about the importance of vaccination, said outgoing minister Hugo de Jonge last night during the corona press conference. “That is unacceptable, but unfortunately no exception. Not everyone feels free to talk about the seriousness of the coronavirus anymore. Because that can quickly count on fierce discussion, or worse.”

Dozens of phone calls

The fact that work in healthcare is becoming more difficult is also apparent from the story of experience expert Egbert Schutte. He was in intensive care in Dordrecht for weeks last year and was interviewed by RTL Nieuws. You can see that interview below:

At the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Dordrecht, 50 to 60 telephone calls had come in about Schutte. “They said I was an actor, that I hadn’t been lying there at all.”

‘They wondered if I was her father’

An employee had become angry after the umpteenth call, very angry, she told Schutte. “It’s crazy here already, and then this too,” she allegedly yelled at the caller. Schutte: “I was often accused of having spoken to the media, while that would not be possible if I were really that sick.”

Why is the response so high? Researcher Jelle van Buuren of Leiden University states that most fierce people often have a negative attitude towards the discussion. “Sometimes there are justified questions. But there is no discussion because those questions are mixed with innuendo. For example, the story of Rasoelbaks ‘is deliberately brought out the day before the press conference’.”

These conspiracy theories sometimes go a long way, says Van Buuren. “Up to and including the tube in the left nose, which should not belong there. It would all have been staged. That whole shade of mistrust encourages polarization.”

“All those reactions are just really annoying for your family,” says Schutte. “In the beginning I could just cry about it. They really don’t know what it’s like. I always say: you should chase people up a flight of stairs with a pin on the nose and a straw in their mouth, then you know what corona is .”‘

It is absolutely not the case that no one trusts the media anymore. On the contrary, says researcher Van Buuren. “But the fact that some columnists go in and write that unvaccinated people cannot get a place in the hospital does not help either.”

But what does help? Van Buuren: “Keep looking for a picture of the discussion. Presenting substantive considerations and choices. Because now the discussion is splitting families, groups of friends and colleagues.”

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