Those At Risk Deserve To Exist
I really do love apple cinnamon herbal tea on a coolish morning, but certainly not when it is accidently being snorted out of my nostrils and flowing down my freshly laundered sweater. When this happened this morning I had to do a double take. Did I really read what I was reading that caused this herbal calamity coming out of my face? I did. A nationally known politician was in the news echoing the view of others on social media that those at risk of complications and death from the COVID-19 should be glad to make the sacrifice for the US economy.
I am in my late 50’s and suffer from a combination of rare and more common chronic illnesses that can impact how I handle viruses. Several people I love dearly fall under one or more of those categories. All of us feel responsible for not only our own health but our community’s welfare.
Who hasn’t seen what has happened in the world regarding the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic? I was already aware that because of a lack of respirators, the elderly in Italy impacted by this virus and needing ventilators were being given sedatives and allowed to perish. Obviously it is heartbreaking for those who were allowed to die, their families and the doctors who have had to make those decisions.
What I was not prepared for was to see well educated people in the public eye, as well as normally well meaning people on social media, viewing our elderly and those with compromised health as expendable. The economy, stocks and jobs are their only focus. These like minded people feel that I and others like myself should gladly risk our lives so that America can lower it’s defenses and go back to business as usual sooner than what likely is needed.
What really strikes a chord in me is that as a social worker, a woman, the mother of someone with disabilities and now someone with quite a list of disabilities herself, I have always known that there are people who see those like me as throw away people.
Never thought I would live to see a time in America’s history where people have the nerve to so openly own up to that point of view of questioning if the lives of any demographic were worth trying to safeguard.
Adding to the theme of the day, after coughing for a couple of days, suffering fevers up to 100.6, sore throat that ended up traveling to my chest where it hurts, that I would learn how impossible it would be to get tested for COVID-19. I saw a message from my doctor telling me to call the COVID-19 hotline to go through their testing protocol. I did and was told by two resources I called that because I hadn’t been in contact with anyone known to test positive, and hadn’t traveled abroad, I was not allowed to be tested.
Further, even in spite of having all the symptoms and being on several accounts high risk, I was told if I got to the point that I could not breath, I couldn’t just contact the ER and then go to the ER. Instead I had to contact my primary care doctor or urgent care first. . I was nice, but I told the worker that if I can’t breath, as in no oxygen making into my body, I would be lucky to make it directly to the ER. So I wasn’t going to jump through those hoops. My doctor was already involved.
When I got off the phone, I thought to myself, “Well world are you trying to tell my you are through with me?”
I admit it, the following hour, I didn’t emotionally have a good feeling about what had been read and experienced. I got over it, I thought about how so many of us are going through this. I thought about how many, many people in the medical field do care about all their patients including those like myself. They are right now risking their lives for our welfare. We all do the best we can do for ourselves, each other and our general community.
So here I am trying to tough this out here at home with an inhaler my doctor provided me. With luck won’t need further assistance with breathing. If I need to, I will call the ER first and go directly in.
As for the attitudes of some folks who believe otherwise, I know the world is a better place because we are all in it together. We each deserve respect for our right to exist.
I’m sure not going to sacrifice another cup of my favorite tea because of the news or social media. We all need to enjoy those sorts of moments and not sacrifice them for any reason.