A nurse has tweeted a picture of a long row of ambulances outside a hospital and asked conspiracy theorists: ‘Who do you think this lot are dropping off?’
Leslie Young also warned his colleagues are ‘tired, stressed and breaking’ on the frontline of the surging Covid pandemic.
The pre-hospital nurse is based in the West Midlands, where seven hospitals are said to be inundated with patients.
They are at CRITCON level three, one off the highest alert, which means they are ‘fully stretched’ and ‘non critical’ areas are being used to cope with the heightened demand.
A ‘major incident’ has already been declared in London, with Mayor Sadiq Khan warning that ‘immediate action’ is needed to stop the NHS being ‘overwhelmed’.
In Essex, an influx of Covid patients at Southend Hospital has led to a ‘critical situation’ with a high demand for oxygen.
However, conspiracy theorists have continued to protest and spread misinformation via social media, despite a clampdown by the police and Facebook.
The theories include the notion that hospital wards are empty and the virus is somehow a hoax concoted by a higher power to control the population
Mr Young described one video, showing a purported nurse speaking against the lockdown at a small rally in Scotland, as ‘very disturbing’.
He said: ‘So for those who believe the false social media posts about empty wards in hospitals, who do you think this lot are dropping off?’
The message was retweeted by West Midlands Ambulance Service.
Last week, Metro.co.uk told of the immense pressure on paramedics and hospital staff trying to cope with a huge influx of Covid patients in London.
Mr Young said the pandemic was also ‘taking its toll’ in the West Midlands, as he urged people to save lives by staying at home.
He said: ‘Looked at the faces of some of my colleagues today & they have lost their spark. They’re tired stressed and breaking, yet they are out on the COVID frontline working hard.
‘This pandemic is taking its toll on us. Help us by being kind and following the rules.’
The nurse’s message followed another from Allie Sherlock, a HR assistant at the region’s ambulance service, who was taken to hospital and told she would die if she didn’t go on a ventilator.
She tested positive for Covid on Christmas Day and was being treated in an intensive care unit.
Allie, whose whole family tested positive, said: ‘I was fine, a healthy young family just getting on with life, and this has completely floored me. I was told two days ago that if they didn’t put me on a ventilator, I would die.’
Mrs Sherlock, who is based with the service in Gloucestershire, received antibiotics and steroids, had central lines put in her arms and arterial lines and was hooked up to a feeding tube and a face mask to help inflate her lungs.
She said: ‘This is happening and this is serious.
‘This NHS will not be able to cope if people do not take this seriously.
‘I have seen two people die in beds either side of me, people with families and children.
‘How will they ever be able to explain to their families what has happened to them?’
Mrs Sherlock since has begun what is expected to be a long recovery after leaving intensive care.
Birmingham registered 8,523 coronavirus cases in the seven days to January 5, according to the latest available official data.
The total is the highest in the country and reflects a rise of 3,602 based on a count per 100,000 of the population.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more stories like this, check our news page.