Just because the COVID-19 outbreak is ongoing doesn’t mean the world has stopped turning. Just like before, trends continue to come and go. That also means memes, hashtags and viral videos are still circulating despite our global lockdowns.
Many of these sentimental viral videos are more necessary than ever and can show us the human side of our current predicament. Tap or click to see how the people of Italy are comforting one another during the crisis.
Other viral videos, however, aim to illuminate just how dire the situation really is. A perfect example was a recording of a crying nurse, who claimed to quit her job after her hospital failed to provide protective equipment. But it turns out that video was nothing but a hoax, leaving politicians and the media with egg on their faces.
Fake news, fake nurse?
On April 5th, CBS News shared a viral clip featuring a nurse who claimed to quit her hospital job because of the lack of protective equipment provided to staff. Through tears, Imaris Vera explained that America was not prepared for the crisis and that she did not feel safe doing her vital healthcare work.
In tears, a nurse says she quit her job after she was asked to work in a coronavirus ICU without a face mask: “America is not prepared, and nurses are not being protected” https://t.co/ywoSuLOPYP pic.twitter.com/S5BsnlO5nt— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 5, 2020
But as anyone can tell you with viral videos, they’re not always what they appear to be. The Federalist, a conservative news outlet, did some digging on the video and discovered social media statements from the alleged nurse that didn’t make sense with her timeline of events.
According to writer Chrissy Clark, “Prior to CBS picking up this video, Imaris posted on her public Facebook page that she has anxiety and bi-polar depression and had not been an employee at the hospital for over a year. She mentioned in her post that she was unsure if she was ready to return to her job.”
Looking closer, it was found that Vera had only been on the job for a day or two. Not only that, but she had also allegedly taken a year off prior to pursue a career as an “Instagram model.” She is no doubt a registered nurse based on her education, but she isn’t someone who had been fighting on the front lines as she represented herself as doing.
Unfortunately, this discovery came a bit too late. CBS’s segment on the matter was shared thousands of times, and politicians like former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders shared the clip to illustrate how dangerous the coronavirus crisis is for healthcare workers.
This clip is just another in a long line of hoaxes surrounding COVID-19. Thankfully, it seems like most people aren’t willing to put up with falsehoods about something this serious. Tap or click to see the story of a man whose coronavirus prank forced a plane to make an emergency landing.
If this clip is fake, does that mean hospitals are really in trouble at all?
Despite the fact that the nurse in the video lied, hospitals are definitely experiencing a dangerous shortage in both protective equipment and supplies like ventilators. This is one of the reasons why manufacturing is ramping up nationwide to produce even more masks and gowns for our frontline workers.
The biggest danger with COVID-19 is not how deadly it is, but its infectiousness combined with delayed effects. When enough people are infected, it creates a surge of patients all at once — which can easily overwhelm healthcare systems. That’s why staying home and flattening the curve is so important to protecting our hospitals.
No matter the intention, there’s no excuse to make dishonest videos like this deliberately. Instead of tricking people into caring about a serious issue, you can do more to help our country by staying at home and slowing the spread of this dangerous virus.
And if you must go out, taking proper safety measures will ensure that you and others are limiting your potential exposure. Tap or click here to see the best preventative steps you can take for coronavirus.
In times like these, small acts like staying home and social distancing help society more than viral videos and social media influencers. Perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned here.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, advice, or health objectives.