“You think grown-ups have it all figured out? That’s just a hustle, kid. Grown-ups are making it up as they go along, just like you. You remember that, and you’ll do fine.” – Lawrence Woolsey (John Goodman), MATINEE (1993).
It shows just how times have changed. A dozen years ago, people were shocked by the false rumor that Obamacare mandated that no one over 75 be given major medical procedures unless approved by an ethics panel. “You can’t kill Grandma!” they cried. (Yes, it was a political lie, but some were genuinely fooled by it.)
The argument then was that good Christian people must protect the right to life of octogenarians. One could understand that premise, even if it were based on a false premise. This new twist boggles the mind.
Moreover, the “call to reopen the economy would put a premature end to the nationwide social isolation efforts underway to quell the spread of the coronavirus, and could cause the entire health care system — and in turn the economy — to collapse under the weight of a crush of critically ill people.”
Incidentally, some folks I came across online are convinced that the medical establishment in Italy is sacrificing old people because of socialized medicine. The Italians are using triage because there are too many sick and dying at the same time. Seeing page after page of obituaries in their newspapers is awful to see.
And that could be California or Washington state or New York State soon. Or Louisiana or West Virginia, which was the last state with a confirmed COVID-19 case, not much later. Or somewhere not yet on the radar a month from now.
Of course, I know the stock market is mostly sinking. I’ve been studiously avoiding taking a look. My position is that assiduously tracking the Dow Jones will change nothing.
Earlier in the week, my wife called across the room that the stock market was down again. I yelled back, “DON’T CARE!” It’s not that I’m unconcerned. But worrying about it will just give me agita.
I will get a quarterly statement in early April. I will open it, look at the bottom line, scream, throw it in a drawer, and forget about it until early July, when I will likely repeat the process if necessary. Mentally, the pessimist in me had always budgeted for a drop; I will survive.
Stimulating the economy
That said, I’ve gotten in the past two weeks at least six books, a DVD set, a couple of compact discs and some other items online. While some were purchased on a gift card, the rest was my money. I have this desire to do my part to buy what I can from small to medium-sized businesses.
I purchased three Marvel Masterworks from Mile High Comics just before it was announced that Diamond Comic Distributors is no longer taking in new comics for a time. This could be the death knell of the vast majority of comic book stores, especially those reliant on sales of the latest issue of the four-color publications.
I went to the store last week, during the old people’s early hours. And though I didn’t really NEED toilet paper, I bought some, a four-roll pack.
That afternoon, one of our young neighbors, who actually talks with us, sighed that they only had one roll of TP in the house. I went inside, got the 4-back, and tossed a perfect spiral to the young person. (Social distancing, don’t you know?) Obviously, I DID need to purchase it. I just didn’t know why before then.
Suddenly, the chorus of some Sting song popped into my head.
On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star
Like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are
How fragile we are
That’s it! That is how I’m feeling. The song references a different context, but it still applies.
ITEM: My father in law Richard has Angioimmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma. It’s a rare form of the disease. It took ever-so-long to get a decent diagnosis, involving him staying at hospitals in both Schenectady and Oneonta, cities 75 minutes apart, over a three-week period.
The treatment options, even early on, were uninspiring. The possible side effects of one course of treatment was having a heart attack. So that won’t happen. There are family dynamics needing to be balanced as well.
Who are you?
ITEM: A boy, 7, tested positive in Albany County for coronavirus. He is a student at the elementary school nearest my house, the school my daughter used to attend.
ITEM: The office I used to work at is on the third floor of a building downtown. Someone in another unit on that floor tested positive for COVID-19, it was announced March 16. Out of respect for her PRIVACY, we don’t know which person it is, except it is a female. The units don’t interact much, but they DO share a small breakroom. And I actually got to befriend a number of people in that other unit. So my ex-colleagues are all self-hanging out at home.
ITEM: This is not my usual behavior, but I have developed a fair case of hypochondria. Indigestion manifests in my mind as lung disease. My regular spring allergies/sore throat is, in my head, something worse. At least I recognize it as such.
They reminded me of what I used to do 25, 35 years ago: look through my address book and call people I had not spoken to in a while. That was it! In the morning, I was so excited to do it, even before I’d picked up the phone. It was something that got me out of my own head. I’m going to try to do that twice a day, at least.
More good news is that my church is come up with a remote connection.Virtual worship. I suspect we have to bring our own bread and juice.