I’m waiting for my wife. The orthopaedic surgeon is taking out the stitches today and making sure everything still wiggles correctly. Hopefully she doesn’t leave any toes behind in her boot. She’s made me smell her foot and I’ve assured her on numerous occasions that it doesn’t smell like almonds. Or blue cheese. Or whatever a gangrenous appendage is supposed to smell like. Hmmm. Cheese.
The hospital has a coffee shop with seating outside under the trees. It’s quite nice. Although the coffee… is … (I don’t want to sound like a coffee snob but) it’s really grim… its testing the upper limits of my gag reflex. (I’ve asked for sugar in order to make this concoction vaguely potable)
They’ve set up a container in the parking lot for COVID testing with an awning for the sun, that despite the fact that it’s 9:30 in the morning is already beating down. Watching these peeps is keeping me entertained while I clack away on my keyboard.
The clutch of people wanting to get screened huddle under the awning waiting their turn to get a swab shoved up their nostril inside the container. It doesn’t seem very socially distant. Or particularly risk adverse. I imagine if you’re getting screened you either have symptoms, or been in contact with someone who has tested positive or you’re doing your 72hr pre holiday or pre elective surgery test. Whatever your reason for being there is, surely some discretion is in order?
Vaguely I wonder if COVID was more lethal would we all be… I don’t know, be better at this? I mean if what if there was a 50% chance that it killed or maimed you?
I’m reading a book about Jonas Salk at the moment. Well it’s more about this philosophy than about him. Kinda. How to be a… responsible, maybe that’s not the right word… maybe just a mindful (in the grand scheme or long terms sense)… human.
Jonas Salk invented the polio vaccine… which undoubtedly saved millions of people… and continues to save hundred and thousands of people every year. He famously refused to patent his discovery allowing anyone to use it and for all of us to benefit from his discovery.
He wasn’t interested in fame or fortune but rather just wanted to ‘be of some help to humankind’.
I’d like to pretend that I’d be that magmamous. (Someone in the peanut gallery starts laughing)
Of course I am far too lazy (and let’s be honest far too stupid) to invent anything… but if I did … I would totally give it away for free to people who don’t appreciate that they’re not crippled for life is because of my generosity. Eh… for example.
In all honesty this COVID thing has me bent out of shape. Contemplatively I mean. I really don’t mind wearing masks or being social distant. But… in terms of government overreach and just general authoritarianism.. I’ve really been struggling with… I don’t know…
There’s a very blurry (ethically grey) line between wanting to protect the citizenry, especially by decimating the livelihoods of others. BUT… looking at these idiots under the awning… I’m thinking, maybe we’ve gotten exactly what we deserve. Maybe we have to be led, have to be told where to stand with markings on the floor, have to be reminded to treat each other with a modicum of respect. Because we’re all (on average) REALLY fucken stupid and selfish a-holes.
Although, to be fair, with governments all around the world seriously messing things up and demonstrating how massively inept they all are… who has, if not the people, or the leadership of the world, stepped up to save us?
The answer is… *drum roll please*
The capitalist. (Or the free marketers if you prefer the less dirty moniker)
I know thats a tough load to swallow for some of y’all. But its undeniably true.
The only people who stepped up to the plate to save humanity were the people who wanted to get paid for it. Let that sink in for a moment.
That is kinda scary. And also quite a sad inditement of Homo Sapiens. But it is what it is. Vaccines… and medical progress (mostly) only moves forward because people want MacMansions and Teslas and robot vacuum cleaners. Unless you’re Jonas Salk… but pinning your hopes on the exception rather than the rule seems a little poly-anna-istic. (especially when people are dropping like flies)
I mean it’s also the reason there is no vaccine for HIV yet. Because, poor Africans and homosexuals (at least back when Aids kicked off) aren’t or weren’t an economically viable commodity worth saving. Also, I suppose you couldn’t catch HIV buying a can of tinned beans at the grocery store, so there may have been some moralizing going on somewhere. To add some ying to your yang.
Hm. What this hospital needs is a Starbucks (I don’t really mean that). But in the very least a barista who takes some pride in their bean selection and creationist skill. But I guess when you have a captive audience who cares what swill you peddle, you can do what you want. And apparently charge what you want (Joey just got the bill)
Monopolies are bad. Herewith endeth my rant.