South Dakota Nurse Says Dying Patients Still Don't Believe COVID Is Real

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 

She said they ask for ‘magic medicine’ that doesn’t exist

A South Dakota emergency room nurse’s tweet went viral this week for its horrifying message about patients who still don’t believe the coronavirus is real — even as they are dying from it.

Jodi Doering shared a sobering message on social media about her patients who, on their dying breath, still think COVID-19 is a hoax. “I can’t help but think of the Covid patients the last few days,” she started her Twitter thread. “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.”

Doering told CNN’s New Day that her frustration didn’t come from just one person but that she encounters so many who are sick and hospitalized and truly don’t believe it is real. “It wasn’t one particular patient, it’s just a culmination of so many people,” Doering said. “And their last, dying words are, ‘This can’t be happening. It’s not real.’”

She continued in her tweet, “They tell you there must be another reason they are sick. 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.”

The Midwest has been hit hard in recent weeks by the virus. In South Dakota, a reported 821 new cases of COVID-19 were announced on Monday, with 62,521 current confirmed cases statewide. As of today, 644 people have died in South Dakota — where the per capita rate is higher than any other state in the country. The seven-day positivity rate is nearly 60%, also the highest in the US.

South Dakota’s Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has never issued a statewide lockdown and continues to criticize statewide mask mandates. “It’s a good day for freedom. Joe Biden realizes that the president doesn’t have the authority to institute a mask mandate,” Ian Fury, communications specialist for Noem, told South Dakota’s The Argus Leader. “For that matter, neither does Governor Noem, which is why she has provided her citizens with the full scope of the science and trusted them to make the best decisions for themselves and their loved-ones.”

Doering continued: “These people really think this isn’t going to happen to them. And then they stop yelling at you when they get intubated. It’s like a fucking horror movie that never ends. There’s no credits that roll. You just go back and do it all over again.”

She also told CNN that patients continue to rationalize the virus, telling her it’s something else entirely because they’ve convinced themselves it’s not real, saying things like, President-elect Joe Biden is going to ruin our country. “People want it to be influenza, they want it to be pneumonia,” Doering said. “We’ve even had people say, ‘You know, I think it might be lung cancer.’ … Even after positive results come back, some people just don’t believe it.”

Doering ended her tweets, saying she was trying to enjoy her brief night off. “How ironic I have on my ‘home’ Hoodie,” she wrote. “The South Dakota I love seems far away right now.”

Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.

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