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. 

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