Across the country, as fear mounts and misinformation is disseminated, nurses and other healthcare workers are being booted from their homes by landlords who are afraid that medical professionals may be “walking Petri dishes” who will spread coronavirus to everyone they encounter, according to a disturbing report from The Daily Beast.
A nurse who works at a hospital in Las Vegas recalled the day she was told she needed to vacate her apartment ASAP, with her landlord even citing COVID-19 as the reason:
“Her landlord—a quiet, older woman who lived downstairs from Jones and her husband—informed her that she would need to vacate the premises within 24 hours. The reason, she said, was COVID-19.
“’I don’t want interaction or debate over this decision,’ the landlord wrote in emails reviewed by The Daily Beast. ‘I’m sorry for the abrupt notice, but given the situation, it’s the choice I’m making to protect myself.'”
Kadey Carter, a travel nurse in Missouri, said several Airbnb hosts had told her she was no longer welcome:
“They’re apologetic but they’re just like, basically for our protection right now, we’re not comfortable with that.”
Across the country, nurses and medical professionals recalled similar treatment by landlords who suddenly told them they’d have to find another place to live. As one nurse noted, the news was nothing short of cataclysmic:
“Honestly, I have never felt scared to be a nurse until this happened. We love what we do, we just want to be able to do it without worrying about where we will lay our heads.”
Similar scenes are taking place across the world:
“A top administrator at the Royal College of Nursing recently tweeted about British nurses being heckled, verbally abused, and called “disease spreaders” on the street. The Japanese Association for Disaster Medicine (JDAM) has also called on the public to stop harassing health-care workers, after receiving dozens of reports of providers being treated ‘unbelievably unfairly.’
“’This should be considered a human rights issue,’ the association said. ‘We strongly protest and demand that the situation be rectified.'”
And nurses are warning that food service and grocery store employees may be the next to face such discrimination as fear of contracting the disease intensifies. One nurse said she recently watched as a cashier at her local grocery store rang up her items and thought:
“If it’s happening to us, it’s only a matter of time before they’re thrown out of their housing situation. And that’s a real concern, because they don’t have the [financial] buffer.”
Featured Image Via CNN Screenshot