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Pondering the Pandemic*

March 20, 2020

Helle 2020

Pandemic Playlist

So, I’ve been doing the socially responsible thing of self-isolation and social distancing. I’ve only bought what I needed to sustain my family for a week. I’ve probably also watched too much news. I mean what else is there to do? Have you seen the choices for daytime TV lately? There’s only so much Dr. Phil a normal human being can take before losing their goddamned mind. Yesterday, I actually found myself watching a Facebook live video of a funeral for someone I don’t even know, and only because one of my friends shared it. Let me just say, I will haunt for eternity, all people who broadcast and share my funeral on Facebook.

I am by no means an expert in epidemiology or actually anything other than perhaps chocolate martinis, but I am telling you that this shit is BANANAS. I did work for a for-profit treatment center for a year and I will tell you, that convinced me that for-profit healthcare is the fucking devil. There is absolutely no way that someone making a profit off of your misfortune is doing what’s best for your health.

But besides that sickening fact, the thing that strikes me as just unfuckingbelievable is that for the supposed greatest nation on the planet, many people don’t even have health insurance. They can’t afford it. Many of them have almost full time jobs making $10 an hour working for places like Walmart. Yeah, when people work less than 40 hours a week, a company doesn’t have to give benefits. So guess what? You and I get to subsidize some of those Walmart workers who perhaps work 35 hours a week so they can have Medicaid and maybe food stamps. By the way, the Walton Family, owner of the Walmart, is one of the richest families in America.

Equally disheartening is that we also have people who work full time jobs who don’t get paid sick time. Couple that with the toxic American work culture and we have people who are sick showing up to work because they can’t afford to take off. Perhaps they are making your lunch time Big Mac meal or looking after your kids in the daycare. And when they have, oh let’s say the Corona Virus, then you may be exposed to it as well. Your kids could get it. Maybe your 80 year old granny will get it. And she could die, all because some guy couldn’t call off at McDonald’s and still be able to pay his bills for the month.

And don’t tell me you’ve never worked at a place that actually had sick leave but made sure you never used it. What kind of wimp calls off sick and makes her coworkers pick up the slack? Oh what’s wrong, you little pussy, can’t handle a cold? America is the inventor of the toxic work culture that expects you to show up no matter what. In some work places, you can’t even take a vacation day, let alone a sick day.

The United States of America, land of the free, home of the brave, is the only industrialized country in the world where people go bankrupt because they were unfortunate enough to get cancer. People who have diabetes die because they can’t afford their insulin. Women still die in childbirth in the US. Last year, the average life expectancy for US citizens dropped for the 3rd straight year in a row.

Yet during this pandemic, we have communities who are afraid to shut down schools for fear that children won’t eat. We have people who can’t miss work or they won’t make their rent. We have people who are one paycheck away from financial disaster. We also have people who just don’t fucking care that their actions affect other people.

In the midst of all of that, we have no real leadership in the White House. We have GOP senators selling off their stocks after receiving classified briefings of the economic damage this pandemic is having on our country, while they simultaneously vote against measures that could help hard working Americans. NBA players, actors, and the wealthy get tested and treated, while veterans and nursing home patients languish and die.

I don’t know about y’all, but it doesn’t seem like we’re really concerned about being best or making America great.

*This is my very first blog where I personally painted the image, wrote the entry, and procured a playlist for your listening pleasure. It’s basically a full time job that I didn’t get paid one penny for, but it’s ok because I like you. The least you could do is like it or maybe even share it. If the bars weren’t closed, I’d say you could buy me a drink. Thanks for reading, love you all, and stay the fuck home. ~helle xoxo

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