Friday, April 24, 2020

Amazon's Deadly Covid19 Policy

Me, guarded by my loyal pittie, Nissi. 
A combative post. Here, have a nice picture of Nissi & I on our couch.

Times are tough lately. Covid19 is still killing us, and there is no end in sight.

Do not inject disinfectant into your lungs our anywhere else! For fuck's sake, people. 

The 'helpful' effort in question is Amazon's policy to cordon off PPE (personal protection equipment) to be sold only to hospitals. The public version of this on their web page can be read here and more specifically, here. You do not have to read it now, once you go looking for gear you might need you will be sent to this over and over again.  The issue discussed here is not just a problem at Amazon and it's holdings, this kind of decision making is all over the place. Amazon is the place where I am struggling with this the most. Some policies meant to help just make things worse. 

I am interested in purchasing masks. No I am not a hospital or medical practice oriented business. I am someone struggling with auto-immune deficiencies. So I am a person that needs this kind of help more than a regular person with a regularly working immune system. According to my doctor, general medical guidance, and specific lupus guidance. 

Other sorts of folks that need extra protection: cancer and chemo patients, diabetics, people with MS, ME, SLE/lupus, organ transplant recipients, people with replaced joints, older folks... Remember that scary list you hoped would not include you or your loved ones? Yeah, that list. If you are not on it, someone in your life will be, you can count on that. Usually we do not afforded any extra thought or notice, but we are in fact extra vulnerable.

Perhaps in order to get away from the fact that Amazon's system initially allowed predatory market controlling behavior on the part of speculators, they have gone too far in the other direction and currently allow no sales of PPE to the general public. There are no exceptions for people that may be extra vulnerable and trying to stay out of the very places that can purchase PPE.

I want to say that again: in the middle of a plague Amazon will not let sick or disabled people to buy lifesaving gear.  No exceptions, no more finely tuned policy in sight. 

Maybe they should go ask some NYC nurses if they would rather see people like me in a mask in public or clogging up their emergency room. Sure, cloth masks are now recommended for use by the public but that only protects you from me - and I already know I do not have it. How? Because I went through a two week quarantine after suspected exposure at my doctor's office. My family and I started staying home when it was first recommended, and we will be at home except for essential errands, until the stay at home orders are no longer recommended.

It was easy to find gloves, gowns, and shields on their site that I could buy. Hell, I did buy some gloves. Masks are blocked much more stringently. 

This is an easy fix - put account limits on monthly purchases. Require contact through the standard chat help windows or even phone calls with issue trained account help representatives. Tag accounts that do buy restricted gear so that they come to company attention if they try to sell masks later.

Contacting Amazon got me sent back to the same document listed above, over and over again - even if I start the conversation with "I read your statement regarding PPE and #Covid19..." 

Next time you see those tallies of the sick and the dead, maybe you will wonder along with me, about how many of those folks would still be here if they could have protected themselves.

Yes, I am aware of the stated goals of leaving this gear for purchase by hospitals and I do somewhat agree. Nurses, techs, and staff need the right gear to to their job. That point is getting a lot of play everywhere, but for the record I want people to know about this particular consequence of knee jerk over reactions. Sick people wanting to avoid Covid19 are not the cause of the shortage: US government corruption, neglect of the emergency stockpiles, for profit hospitals using "just in time" supply chains, the wicked looking to corner markets... That is one of many reasons why people are dying for the lack of PPE.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Rationed Health Care Will Kill Me

Dear Reader, let us just wade right in here. Recently you may have heard a term new to most: rationed health care (RHC). What is it? It is the medical community's response to running out of doctors, equipment, or even human organs. It is fascism and bigotry that most USians can either ignore or give their tacit approval. I know that the title above may seem to be overly ripe click bait, but the truth is more murky than your local lab coat may be willing to admit.

Nissi, a black pittie, looking sadly at the camera. 

Here in the early spring of 2020, the spread of a novel corona virus is infecting people with Covid19. While less ambitious than the Black Plague, it is currently associated with a 2-5% fatality rate, with that rate increasing dramatically for those that have managed to kick around on this dirtball longer than most, those making the best of life with other conditions like diabetes, cancer, or other chronic conditions. The best data on US standards prior to Covid19 can be found in the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, a non binding document adopted state by state (sometimes with changes.)

The argument goes that first come first serve is UNFAIR in a medical crisis. I watched a nurse, in real time, talk as though saying that some jaggoff with young kids is more deserving of medical supplies and effort than a grandma with a poor pancreas. His youth and status as someone that could mash their meat against someone else's meat enough to make yet more meat makes him more worthy of LIFE ITSELF. Is that how you want your Granny to leave this Earth?  Do you think that would be fair to her and her family?

This problem is not a surprise. We knew we had too few ventilators, too few beds, too few caregivers. The Obama Administration knew, and told this clown car known as the Trump Administration. The WHO knew, Bill Gates knew, all credible sources that looked at the problem knew. They knew that we would need to ration care during a health emergency like this one and our powers that be DO NOTHING. DID NOTHING. And as soon as the public looks away, they will go right back to it unless something changes. 

At the center of this disaster is negligence at both the corporate and governmental level. Profit making hospitals have to ration their money into the features of a hospital that can generate profit. That profit comes from you, the patient, the taxpayer and goes to the very top of their corporate chain. It does not go to new buildings to provide more health care to the less privileged making them also under-served. It does not go to buying equipment that may only get used in an emergency. And the US government allowed it.

I am not knocking an individual person here. Nor do I have a chance in this fight - if infected, I am likely to die at home long before I would give consent to be taken to a hospital in this pandemic. My crippled immune system would make me more likely to get sick from the germs in an ER, and the stress would cause a flare that would go unattended by most staff even in the best of times. Even if I were to go to an ER for something else, Covid19, germs, worn out & stressed staff not able to pay attention to special needs cases, and my body's stress response means I would die of one or the other. So I have made the decision to stay home, to die at home if it comes to that: surrounded by those that can care for me, that care about me, in however much peace and comfort we can muster. 

Individuals run from the responsibility of their own decisions by hiding as a cog in a machine, just a representative for a corporation they barely understand, let along control. Modern doctors do not stand up for the poor like they should. As of yesterday, apparently this country realized that black and brown folk are 70% of Covid19 deaths. This is the result of a chain of inequity of which the hospitals were the last link of the chain. THIS IS ALSO THE RESULT OF RATIONED CARE. You can disagree with my earlier statement about bigotry in RHC, but the truth is in thousands of dead black and brown bodies.

There is no fairness in a plague. There is no fairness in a hospital where infection floats from room to room on garb that has not been changed or  sterilized. There is no fairness in death. None. First come first served has the benefit of being something that we do see as fair in other circumstances. It also has the benefit of rewarding those that took action early. We can do better. We can make sure that we need to ration less the next time, and the time after that. 

You are welcome to do your own research, (find out how much your own life is worth, you may be surprised.) I did before I ranted above. Much love to health care workers in general and ALL those workers that make sure we can live though this: from green grocers to ER nurses to delivery drivers to electricians. You are seen, needed, and awesome. 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Neglected Blog Gets Quarantine Post

Hallo, there. It sure has been a minute. So, yeah, obvious title is obvious. Actually, here there has been little change between pre-shelter/safety/health/Covid isolation/quarantine/just in case lock down and during it for me and mine. We shop a little further out, order everything we can and try to be mindful. 

On a happy note, congratulations to me for surviving a formal quarantine order. No fancy gown or certificate, so I admit I feel a little cheated. I had to go to my doctor's office for my quarterly Criminal Yet? pain patient visit and sometime during the day a patient that tested positive for Covid-19 was in the same building. (Not that they had any tests for us, the hoi polloi. Their rep said they had none at all but vapor locked when I asked how they could know a C19 patient was there with such a certainty as to change our lives so dramatically.) As of April 2nd I am free & clear to only be as worried miserable as everybody else!

That is right. In my county there were no tests available for a aging, disabled, immunocompromised woman even when suspected of being exposed to something as deadly as this coronavirus.

I have debated the future of this blog so many times I can hardly count them all. There are many more disability blogs out there than ever before and they are written by smarter, sharper, and more insightful people saying most of the things I think about saying here.

I do need to get some shit off of my chest, from Buddhism to the Bore in Chief and I suspect if I keep filling the ears of my Guys, they may go mad - and it just is not fair to corner them during a pandemic faux quarantine.  Windows is nagging me about yet another update, so I will see you in the next entry - or the previous ones if you so desire. Look around, get a feel of the place.

Thanks for stopping by!