Emotions run high in medical settings — and higher in some places and times than others. When I was working in a county hospital decades ago, the sheriff found it necessary to maintain a substation in the ER. The first day I worked there, a martial arts instructor addled by a horse tranquilizer kicked me across the room.

During this current pandemic of both virus and misinformation, emotions are especially high. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), healthcare workers comprise 13% of the workforce but suffer 60% of all workplace violence incidents. They suffer injuries that require sick time at quadruple the rate of workers in other industries, and it’s estimated that healthcare workers under-report violence by 50%.