Thursday, March 19, 2020
We Can Do Hard Things, Thursday 3/19/20
Hey, Reader, how's it going today? I confess to feeling an uptick of rage. It started about an hour ago when I heard about someone I know testing positive for the virus. (How are we going to write this word? Virus? Corona Covid? Covid-19? Should we be clever or ironic or matter-of-fact and terse? Maybe the uptick started last night when I went to bed and read a few emails from our old pediatrician's office. He's a private doctor who treats a lot of very wealthy families and celebrities. I "picked" him over 23 years ago because he was willing to work with my babies' vaccination schedule given Sophie's seizure disorder and the suspicious way it started. That's another story and we sure as hell aren't going into that now. I'm telling you this so you know why I took all three of my children, through their childhood, to a ridiculously expensive pediatrician. Don't get me wrong. I love the man and his staff. Fortunately, we made very few visits to the pediatrician, but I can honestly say that in nearly every single instance, I spotted a familiar golden face.
You know what? Forget this story. It's about self-tests for The Virus, how they were available for $250. How as soon as the newsletter went out, first come, first serve, another newsletter arrived and all the tests were gone, accounted for, paid for, etc., as if those tests were toilet paper, frantically purchased and hoarded.
Capitalistic concierge medicine.
My uptick of rage is related to my son announcing that several Lakers have The Virus or have tested positive, and I've been reading accounts from FRIENDS that they haven't been able to get a test despite having symptoms of The Virus. So, all I'm going to say about this is the same thing I've been harping (that's a fine word, isn't it?) about for all the years you've been reading this shit that I write and that is that we can not call ourselves a great country when the country has such a huge disparity between those that are obscenely rich and the rest of us. Where celebrities and pro athletes and rich people have access to healthcare while regular folks do not.
Let's not even get into the disabled issue.
When all of this is over, I think I don't want to hear another word about a celebrity or a pro athlete or really anything related to vast sums of money or adulation of those who have vast sums of money.
I did have a good morning teaching my dear students. One made a video for his final project related to the great Flannery O'Connor's short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find." I practically fell on the floor in a state of shock and awe when I watched it. Honestly. This 14-year old kid got that short story and created something original, weird and incredible. I wish I could share it with you and will let you know if he makes it public on Vimeo.
I also spoke with my therapist in a telephone session, and that helped me a lot. We compared notes on coping, talked at length about how we can do hard things, how helping others helps ourselves, how caregiving is a form of meditation and damn if I'm not grateful for the people out there working so hard to ease the suffering of others.
Thank you doctors and nurses and all those who help in the healthcare world.
Here's a poem by Lynn Unger: