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Large majority of state veterans’ home staff declined to be vaccinated

Monday, Jan 4, 2021

* December 30th

COVID-19 vaccinations for residents at LaSalle Veterans’ Home began Tuesday, while vaccinations for staff members started Wednesday.

It’s the first step in the process at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home. The interim administrator says residents and employees will continue to take all the necessary precautions to stay healthy. […]

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 35 residents have died from COVID-19 and there have been more than 200 cases among residents and employees.

“The staff was heartbroken that the virus got in here and the toll that it takes,” [Anthony Vaughn, LaSalle Veterans’ Home Interim Administrator] said. “Everything death is personal. These are our residents and veterans that they have been looking at after day in and day out.”

Vaughn said it’s not mandatory for residents or staff members to get the vaccine, but most have chosen to do so. The second dose will be given out next month.

* The staff may have been heartbroken, but look at what they actually did, or, rather, what they refused to do…


Ugh.

Every time I see one of these stories about the state bungling its care of our veterans, I ask myself why Illinois doesn’t just shut down the facilities and pay to put all the residents in nursing homes. We do not seem to be up to the task.

* Imagine what it’s gonna be like when those AFSCME-represented state corrections officers are offered the vaccines

More than 7,800 people imprisoned in Illinois Department of Corrections facilities have had coronavirus, according to state data. Another 3,435 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

Recent data on the number of people who have died from COVID-19 while incarcerated was not immediately available, but a story from Injustice Watch reported 52 people had died from coronavirus while incarcerated in Illinois as of Dec. 8. Fifteen inmates and one corrections officer died in November alone, according to those figures.

I sure hope the state and the union are more prepared for the next round.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

73 Comments
  1. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:17 am:

    Can I get one of those that the Anna staff turned down?
    I’m so far down the list the Cubs will be eliminated before I’m vaccinated.


  2. - @misterjayem - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:18 am:

    Are they also allowed to refuse to wash their hands?

    Or are some violations of health standards still important enough to merit termination?

    – MrJM


  3. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:18 am:

    When will Illinois residents realize that ridiculous collective bargaining rules for government unions in Illinois will continue to allow the tail to wag the dog


  4. - Not a Billionaire - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:19 am:

    We are in the 1 c category and want it. Is there anyone to contact to find out where to get it.


  5. - Former SEGIP - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:21 am:

    Have the staff stated why they do not want the vaccine? Anecdotally (with all the limitations that means), I have talked to medical professionals who would prefer their patients/elderly to receive the vaccine before they take it, if only to give them a better chance at avoiding catching COVID in the first place.


  6. - PublicServant - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:23 am:

    Fire them.


  7. - JS Mill - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:23 am:

    We were asked to submit a list of staff that would like the vaccine to our local county health department. I was very surprised at the number of teachers that declined. Especially those that have not had COVID. Baffling.

    Side note- we have several bus drivers that are, shall we say, a little different and were resistant to masks or wanted us to create a bubble for them on the bus. These same people declined the vaccine.

    I am told that we should be getting vaccinated sometime in February but nothing more specific than that.


  8. - phocion - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:24 am:

    Fire them.


  9. - ItsMillerTime - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:25 am:

    @Former SEGIP

    If I’m reading Rich’s tweet correctly, everyone at a nursing home was offered a vaccine which to me says that there was enough for everyone to get one if everyone said yes to it.


  10. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:27 am:

    I sincerely hope the IDPH will be tracking vaccine uptake by zip code or county.

    There are going to be large pockets where the anti-vax line of thinking is going to be the majority.

    I want to know where those places are, so I can avoid visiting or investing in those areas.


  11. - SAP - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:28 am:

    An employer can mandate that its employees be vaccinated. If the employee can show that he or she can perform his or her job functions remotely, the employer would have to make a reasonable accommodation and permit work from home. Obviously, most veterans home staff and IDOC staff cannot work remotely.


  12. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:30 am:

    ===I ask myself why Illinois doesn’t just shut down the facilities and pay to put all the residents in nursing homes. ===

    If you need an answer to this question, I am certain there are plenty of examples of state contracts being offered and renewed to vendors who didn’t do a good job, kept the money, and went scot free on any consequences. Also plenty of examples of a politically connected person getting a contract and then turning it over to a sub contractor.

    The problems would be different, but not better and private nursing homes haven’t exactly fared better through COVID-19.

    ===or, rather, what they refused to do…===

    Though it might be worth considering whether the State’s veterans homes should continue to be treated like jobs programs to communities full of people who cling to their ignorance with all of the gusto of southern racists clinging to their “heritage.”

    It is not illegal to make a vaccine condition of employment and it would not be difficult to create reasonable exemptions from a mandated policy, but Pritzker’s governing style as certainly not given the impression that there’s a whole lot of clout anywhere in his administration.


  13. - northside reformer - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:31 am:

    Are nursing home workers unionized?


  14. - Bruce( no not him) - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:31 am:

    At least the residents seem smarter than the staff.


  15. - NIU Grad - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:33 am:

    Thank you for bringing up AFSCME’s hands-off role in all of this. With the power they have in our state politics, I wish they could finally move on from the “our members can do no wrong” stance and start thinking about accountability, especially since they’ve hobbled agency leadership’s ability to hold staff accountable.

    Time to step up and be part of the solution now, because it will be easier to do so no than dealing with a Republican governor again in two years.


  16. - Groundhog Day - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:33 am:

    It seems that organizations are not requiring vaccination as long as it is still under the EUA.

    And the CDC recommends waiting 90 days after infection to be vaccinated, although this is not being observed at my facility. But I agree that it is a very low acceptance rate.


  17. - Responsa - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:34 am:

    I do not know the answer but I do know that between this vaccine shocker and the weekend headlines of the CPS board membervacation scandal/coupled with stated union refusal to go back into the classroom, the state’s unions are not looking good. Do they (leadership and regular members) understand this? Do they know how irresponsible this looks out in the public?


  18. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:39 am:

    @Flying Elvis: I thought the Cubs were already eliminated for this year. And next


  19. - Dee Lay - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:40 am:

    How is vaccination not a condition of employment for the VA homes?
    Is the problem there is such a shortage of nurses they can do whatever they want?

    Like seriously here folks.


  20. - northernwatersports - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:41 am:

    AFSCME leaders should have seen this as a great opportunity to actually LEAD, and earn some great media and public good will (towards unions generally) by vigorously telling their members to do their part. It would be nice to see the union members leading by example, because the politicos don’t always do it.
    I was a union member, and I understand AFSCME’s purpose to protect/defend Healthcare providers salaries/working condition, but…fighting and defending is one thing…advocating, leading and promoting the vaccine, and better healthcare outcome for VA residents and Illinoisians is the real goal.


  21. - Magic Dragon - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:43 am:

    Getting beyond this pandemic is in AFSCME’s best interest, economically speaking. Hopefully they realize that fact soon and step up to encourage their members to get vaccinated when available.


  22. - Suburban Mom - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:43 am:

    What. the actual. eff.

    When I lived downstate and worked a little bit with hospitals, I was shocked at the number of nurses in the OSF hospital system who refused to be vaccinated for pretty much anything that wasn’t strictly mandatory, a lot of them insisting vaccines “didn’t work.” I felt at the time that should be a greater concern to hospital administrators, since it suggested a fundamental inability to understand the work (as well as a relatively unreasonable risk to patients). I hope a lot of health care facilities review their policies and get strict about vaccinations — this is completely ridiculous.

    Where I am in the suburbs it’s mostly cops and EMTs who are talking real big about how vaccines don’t work, and that’s really not thrilling either and I would like the county/village/whomever to mandate it for continued employment. We had a big bunch of flu vaccine refusers among the EMTs last winter, who were in and out of nursing homes non-stop.


  23. - Huh? - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:45 am:

    Everyone knows that the virus is a hoax. So why get a shot against a hoax? /s


  24. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:47 am:

    “and EMT’s who are talking real big about how vaccines don’t work”

    You meet the EMT who doesn’t think they know more than a doctor, let me know. I’ve yet to come across one.


  25. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:48 am:

    I thought that AFSCME was interested in worker safety


  26. - northshore cynic - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:50 am:

    Why not refuse medical treatment for anyone who refuses to receive a vaccine? If someone has the freedom to refuse treatment, the medical community should have the same freedom to focus resources on those who try to hep themselves.

    This is already done for many medical procedures. An overweight life long smoker is very low priority for transplants and cancer/heart disease treatments.

    They are not only hurting themselves but anyone they come in contact with.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 10:59 am:

    ===leading Democrat===

    (Sigh)

    No matter the side… no matter the side…

    If you make this a “Democrat” or “Republican” thing in your argument…

    … you’re doing it wrong.


  28. - Merica - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 11:00 am:

    This is what happens when the primary criteria for locating State facilities is political, and locating them to prop up depreciating rural parts of the State, instead of where would it be best operationally to locate these facilities.


  29. - Excitable Boy - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 11:04 am:

    - leading Democrat -

    LOL, yeah, RFK Jr. is really big time in the Democratic Party. You’re supposed to start sobering up after the holidays.


  30. - Skeptic - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 11:07 am:

    “ridiculous collective bargaining rules for government unions” Where in the rules does it say employees don’t have to be vaccinated?


  31. - DirtLawyer - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 11:12 am:

    Sad but hardly surprising. I don’t think this is an issue of politics; rather, it’s an issue of IQ and education. For instance, I know plenty of healthcare workers who are refusing the inoculation. But every single one of the scores of physicians we know has gotten the shot.


  32. - midway gardens - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 11:16 am:

    These employees have many reasons to be vaccinated (most can’t work remotely, work directly with a high risk population). Makes me fearful about how the general rollout is going to go.


  33. - cermak_rd - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 11:37 am:

    Merica,

    While I agree that placement of state facilities to prop up economies that are no longer all that functional is not a great choice, I’m not sure what an alternative would be. Private investment dried up before Gov. Edgar’s idea for putting facilities in these areas was born. The people left behind by disinvestment are not all ambitionless losers who didn’t show some initiative by leaving. Some are people with family obligations, civic pride etc. And some of the members of those nursing homes probably are from those areas and should be able to sunset their lives in a comfortable closeness to home.


  34. - JS Mill - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 11:40 am:

    =a lot of them insisting vaccines “didn’t work.”=

    The flu vaccines have a history of limited effectiveness, often well below 50%. I wonder if people are conflating that issue with the highly effective (over 90%) COVID vaccines? The misinformation campaigns supported by various politicians for personal benefit have many insidious side effects.

    Lucky Pierre would like to see unions destroyed so that workers can all be reduced to $3 an hour and no benefits so the Bezos’ and Koch’s of the world can make more money. Nice of him.


  35. - OneMan - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 11:40 am:

    My wife works in this sort of environment but is employed by a hospital group, so she got her vaccine via the hospital (and also administered them) and is set to get her second shot this week.

    When she was administering them (and watching for reactions) a common thing was these health care professionals getting photographed doing it, so they could share those photos with concerned family members (see I got it).

    At the facilities she visits she has been asked by staff about it and shared her experience including side effects (a headache), she was able to encourage staff who had concerns.

    Where this is going, I suspect there may not have been a whole lot of ‘encouragement’ of the staff at these facilities, also I suspect since so many of them have had COVID they thought they were ‘ok’ without getting the shots.

    That 18% at Manteno, that’s messed up


  36. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 11:44 am:

    In fairness to AFSCME — the Pritzker Administration should have negotiated at least the frame work if not the entire language for an agreement for mandatory/mostly mandatory vaccination months ago.

    In fairness to the Governor’s office, the state has an agency with a whole bureau that should have addressed this.

    Absence of an agreement and allowing individual staff to make individual decisions wasn’t an AFSCME policy choice, if CMS wanted to introduce a vaccine mandate policy it should have been drafted months ago and bargaining with the union should have concluded months ago.

    I like our governor, but I do not believe he or his administrative staff have slipped into gear well with the actual administrative apparatus of the state and at some point we may need to recognize that at lot of agency leadership positions are being filled by people who got their jobs back when the only way to get hired by the state was to bribe the Thompson administration and that the state has done a terrible job developing and training administrators, and that it was much easier to ignore that problem roosting until it retires with a slightly larger pension when there wasn’t a deadly pandemic.

    The idea that there isn’t already an agreement with AFSCME, Teamsters, and the ILFOP already isn’t an indication of a union issue. It’s a CMS issue.

    Someone, but more likely a whole group, of people at CMS categorically failed the state and this administration by failing to reach an agreement, or tentative agreement pending final details months ago.

    Whoever they are needs to be fired. Even if it’s the director, and if they’re not looking at firing the director over this, whoever is in charge over at their bureau of personnel should be fired.

    That agency is a rats nest of unqualified exempt employees and some of them need to be fired over this blatant incompetence.

    We should not let our absolute lack of expectations for CMS as an agency continue to shield incompetence.


  37. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 11:44 am:

    Constant misinformation disseminated by the Trump administration didn’t help…anyone.


  38. - Nick Name - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 11:51 am:

    “Are you an anti-vaxxer?” should be an interview question for all health care facilities. This is unconscionable.


  39. - Bigtwich - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 11:56 am:

    This is confusing. The press release also states, “Following this initial vaccine program, 74% of residents in the homes have been
    vaccinated and 40% of the staff have received the vaccine.” Not sure how that relates to the breakdown.


  40. - west wing - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 12:01 pm:

    This alarming news about nursing home staff unwilling to take the vaccine is yet another consequence of our truth decay, as former President Obama put it. This era of FOX and social media disinformation.


  41. - Ryan - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 12:11 pm:

    I think the rate of covid cases among LaSalle staff would be relevant. I wouldn’t expect people who’ve had covid recently to be vaccinated. And there may be some who didn’t get a positive test, but nonetheless believe they had it. There may be reason that people in that category also wouldn’t be vaccinated.


  42. - WestBurbs - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 12:11 pm:

    I do not believe that SAP is correct that all employees who refuse the vaccine must be reasonably accommodated. My understanding is that a private employer can require employees to get vaccines and only those who have disability or religious exemptions have to be “reasonably accommodated.” Employees who refuse for any other reason can be terminated. The law is pretty clear on this for “at will” employees, the vast majority of IL workers - but it may be different for union or other contract employees.


  43. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 12:19 pm:

    No one asks me at work if I want/will take any of the vaccines that are mandated. I just get notified when/where to get my shot.


  44. - Groundhog Day - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 12:26 pm:

    Because the EUA is not actually an FDA approved vaccine, there is a hesitation to mandate it.


  45. - Frank talks - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 12:29 pm:

    Afscme only cares about 1 thing 3% compounded COLA nothing else. You’d figure after 4 years of Bruce and seeing how bad life could be they’d take some pride in their work product, guess not?


  46. - Louis G Atsaves - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 12:31 pm:

    Hey, while millions wait for the opportunity to get vaccinated, an overwhelmingly group of people who have been repeatedly lauded as being brave and tireless frontliners are refusing? Tell them to step aside and allow others to get the vaccine. Then put them in the back of the line and let them wait until say, Octoberish, or next Christmas.

    Talk about a tone deaf anti-public relations response by the union workers and union here. It seems like CTU is heading down the same road.

    My local CVS and Walgreens both have signs up stating they do not have the vaccine yet. Anyone want to predict that when availability starts, pharmacists and nurses will not be standing on the sidewalk begging people to be innoculated?


  47. - RDB - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    The Danville prison has an outbreak that is out of control. Word is that one inmate has died so far in the last month. Almost half of the inmates have contracted COVID.


  48. - Essential State Employee - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    == You’d figure after 4 years of Bruce and seeing how bad life could be they’d take some pride in their work product==

    Not just Bruce but also the 12 years stress they had to endure under Pat and Rod too.


  49. - t - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 12:46 pm:

    Evidently, it is considered, that it worked so well giving the unions control of state finances, we’ll also give them control of health matters in veterans hospitals.


  50. - Citizen Kane - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 12:46 pm:

    Sounds like a lack of inspirational leadership to me.


  51. - Jeff S. - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 12:51 pm:

    Those of you calling for firing them, nursing homes have a hard enough time finding people to work, so you’d rather have less workers who are overwhelmed? It’s sad to see all of you who will gladly give up your freedom. Move to Australia.


  52. - Skeptic - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 1:05 pm:

    “Afscme only cares about 1 thing 3% compounded COLA nothing else.” I assume you’re referring to the State Pension? The one that isn’t a union benefit?


  53. - ChrisB - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 1:06 pm:

    I have a (doctor) buddy who got vaccinated and he was kind of mad he didn’t have to wait, or that there wasn’t a line out the door. He’s worried about waste, since there’s such a small window between storage and shot. Similar to what @Louis G Atsaves is saying, I wish there was some sort of “Snooze you lose” rule, where if you refuse/don’t get it when your turn comes, you go to the end of the line. There needs to be a sense of urgency that weirdly seems to be lacking right now.


  54. - Demoralized - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 1:30 pm:

    I don’t think they should have a choice. If you work in a healtcare setting certain things should be required and this is one of them. You don’t want to take the vaccine? Fine. You’re fired. Hire someone else who has a brain.


  55. - Lurker - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 1:35 pm:

    It makes me curious about the flu shot rates.


  56. - WestBurbs - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 1:35 pm:

    to JeffS’s comment — while I share your concern about the difficulty of replacing workers in tough, low-paying jobs such as nursing home assistants, I suspect that your concern is overblown. My guess - and I could be wrong - is that a very large percentage of the refuseniks would quickly change their mind if the choice was get the shot or get fired.


  57. - Anon - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 2:20 pm:

    I dont understand how this is possible in a healthcare facility. They require the flu shot, drug testing, background checks how is this different. They should be fired and their needs to be legislation.


  58. - Merica - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 2:28 pm:

    Cermak Rd: I think the state should locate facilities in the geographic area that serves the programs the best. So
    for example, with a Vet home, it should be close to a major and highly reputable hospital system, and close to a major airport and other modes of transit. we can’t assume every Vet and their family are from or reside in-state. With Prisons, we make the family of prisoners drive many hours to see their loved ones, this has a detrimental impact on recidivism and costs the taxpayers more in the long run.

    basically, everything should be located close to the chicago area because that’s where 80% of the people in this state reside. I think about the families that are unable to visit their loved ones in prisons and vet homes because we place them so far away.

    Also, we place these facilities in areas where there is too small of a base of employees and then we’re surprised that many of the employees at these prisons and vet homes are not good employees. There is little competition, no wonder. I have worked with DVA and IDOC and i know first hand about their staffing challenges. We end up paying higher salaries
    down state because there is so little competition and because different state agencies compete for the same good employees and try to avoid getting stuck with the bad ones.


  59. - Jibba - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 2:30 pm:

    ===It’s sad to see all of you who will gladly give up your freedom.===

    I’m more sad to see the nursing home residents giving up their lives. They apparently don’t have the choice as to whether they will be assisted by a safe person or a refuser.


  60. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 2:33 pm:

    ===Move to Australia===

    How about you move to South Dakota?

    Putz.

    Vaccine stories always bring out the Facebook nutballs.


  61. - Demoralized - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 2:51 pm:

    ==Move to Australia==

    I’ve thought about moving out of this country before and those thoughts have increased over the past year. Given the Covididiots and the nightmare we still continue to suffer through with the nutball in the White House places like New Zealand and Australia look better and better by the day.


  62. - Chatham Resident - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 3:19 pm:

    ==I have a (doctor) buddy who got vaccinated and he was kind of mad he didn’t have to wait, or that there wasn’t a line out the door. He’s worried about waste, since there’s such a small window between storage and shot.==

    As far as I’m concerned, when it’s my turn for the vaccine (which I will definitely take–and I’m wishing I could be one moved farther up the line), if I have adverse allergic reactions from the vaccine to the point of death, as far as I’m concerned it’s worth risking my life to take the vaccine. It would just mean the Big GUy up above was ready to see me sooner than expected (or my years of eating processed/fatty food and lots of diet soda coming back to haunt me).


  63. - Occasionally Moderated - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 3:29 pm:

    Does anyone do their job anymore?


  64. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 3:38 pm:

    To the post,

    It’s gravely disappointing to see these numbers as they are.

    If only to the health of the homes themselves, vaccination of staff helps save the residents.

    It’s hurtful, to me, to read this and realize the challenges everyone faces in these facilities… and seemingly not every thing that can make everyone (staff and residents) safe is being realized.


  65. - Demoralized - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 3:42 pm:

    The Governor said at the outset (right or wrong - and I believe it was wrong) that vaccinations were going to be volulntary. I think that stance needs to be seriously reevaluated.


  66. - Demoralized - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 3:44 pm:

    Perhaps the state could refuse to indemnify these employees for acting with such gross negligence by refusing to be vaccinated.


  67. - Anna - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 4:16 pm:

    IDPH should make it a requirement for all nursing home employees to have the COVID vaccine, much like they did the flu vaccine (there were exceptions). Their failure to do that opened the door to choice and employees refusing.


  68. - PublicServant - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 7:06 pm:

    JFK - “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,”

    US Citizenship has inherent to it certain rights and responsibilities. Public Health police powers need to be utilized to limit the freedom of Covidiots to harm others, and is a responsibility of citizenship.

    The legal principles employed to sustain state public health police power were sic utere tuo ut alterum non laedas (use that which is yours so as not to injure others) and salus publica suprema lex est (public well-being is the supreme law).

    Fire them. Mandate vaccination…or allow them to leave.


  69. - PublicServant - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 7:28 pm:

    The legal principles employed to sustain state public health police power were sic utere tuo ut alterum non laedas (use that which is yours so as not to injure others) and salus publica suprema lex est (public well-being is the supreme law).

    Fire them.

    Pritzker needs to grow a backbone and use well established public health police powers to fine, fire, and jail citizens that don’t understand their public health responsibilities. Just ask the families of lost, loved veterans home residents.


  70. - Essential State Employee - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 8:15 pm:

    Not to sound like I’m suggesting a conspiracy, but could it have been likely that some AFSCME and other union member state employees that are protesting vaccinations (and likely will be out protesting the budget cuts when those get implemented further) could have also been some of the same people since last spring protesting the stay-at-home order and the bar/restaurant shutdowns? Me thinks there’s more of these types of AFSCME and other union employees, especially in Springfield and elsewhere downstate, then one might think.


  71. - PublicServant - Monday, Jan 4, 21 @ 8:51 pm:

    Right wing zealotry isn’t limited to a ew AFSCME members sadly, and I’d venture to say that their membership in the union is a far lower percentage than in the populations of the areas where the veteran homes are located.


  72. - Arock - Tuesday, Jan 5, 21 @ 12:00 pm:

    Wow bodily autonomy (my body, my choice) suddenly went out the window with this crowd. Okay to intentionally kill your unborn child by using this ridiculous argument but you can force someone to take a vaccine that has been only authorized under emergency use because we don’t yet have all the information on future health issues that may arise. If my daughter was still planning on having children in the future I would probably want more data before wanting her to get the vaccine. Seeing that the main people we are trying to protect is the elderly that will suffer the most dire consequences if they contract the virus I am glad to see those numbers so high. And I will get the vaccine and wish that enough will get it to achieve herd immunity but I have read the concerns and though most are bogus conspiracy there are some reasons to be apprehensive in some categories and being a mother in the future could possibly be one.


  73. - Michael Feltes - Tuesday, Jan 5, 21 @ 2:50 pm:

    >>Move to Australia

    > I’ve thought about moving out of this country before and those thoughts have increased over the past year.

    No hiding place down here
    There’s no hiding place down here
    Well, I went to the rock to hide my face
    But the rock cried out, “No hiding place,
    There’s no hiding place down here.”


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