Monday, March 16, 2020

The Two Tiers

This sounds much like a sequel to a book about the Hobbits or some other mystical fantastical world and in some ways it is.  America is a country of two tiers - the haves and the have nots.  The denial by the have nots is the most fascinating as they are clearly not in the 1% and either are aspirational aka "delusional" to think they can be or in fact are simply that arrogant.

Here is some flattening for yyou:  The middle class to be actually middle class in America hinges on where one lives, the cost of living for the same region and in turn the ability to have job security, economic security and of course social and economic mobility.  Name three people you know who have that.

To be middle class in America depends. And it depends on a lot as this article explains how middle class is defined and what the median income is for each region in which yyou live.  In other words complex math that few Americans even know how to do let alone grasp.  I am a Teacher and I can say that exponentially.  (Pun intended)

Watching the panic buying the last 72 hours followed by a rambling incoherent President laughing while telling people to not hoard was well of course very Trump and again only further fuels the hysteria and panic. The reality is that his Administration was ill prepared to handle this crisis (well any frankly) and in turn led us to have a quasi martial law lockdown across America.

A Journalisty in Italy describes what it is like and why it got to the state it is now was largely because no one gave a shit and no one actually paid attention to this until too late.  And why Italy? Well been there? They say hello with their hands, they kiss upon greeting you and they touch you a lot.  I am a touchy person but even I have boundaries and living in the South with the hugging broke me of any need to ever touch anyone again.  And given the religious nature of that region I am surprised the outbreaks are not higher but irony is that poverty, coupled with mandatory vaccination laws and the sheer distance between places to go, lack of sidewalks, lack of public transportation and other social gathering places like libraries, museums and theaters explain why many Southern states are on the low end of the spectrum with the exceptions being places where there are more visitors and tourists, such as New Orleans and Nashville.  What might have been the saving grace there was the Tornado that hit a week prior to the outbreak.

Again if Memphis had been hit hard I can hear it now, "well the Blacks..." Yeah okay. But here in New York the outbreak began in largely in conservative religious communities that eschew vaccinations and have just had high holidays that put people in close quarters.   And now they are really really close with the National Guard locking them down.

So white people get a pass and the reality is that closing public schools will further the divide socially, economically and of course academically.  I have done distance learning and teaching and it well sucks and I am highly qualified and motivated but I cranked that shit out blind.  You do not care trust me you don't vest the same way. And this begins here today now. Good luck with it as this article explains that along with hospitals, medical care, testing and all he rest this is another hurdle the poor have to jump.

And for years this country has underfunded medical research, rural hospitals, public health facilities and other means to provide this little thing that really divides the poor from the rich - access and availability.   This means that if you have access it is available and anyone can get to it there are no barriers as prices are moderate, hours, location and service quality is acceptable and standardized.  Availability and access is kind of like Targets or Walmarts  are and we choose to go to one over the other.  The prices are not that different, quality is not that different, they run the same hours and are all over the place but one markets to one "type" or "kind" of customer over the other.   Same diff.

Healthcare is fucked up in this country we know it and we are now at the precipice of actually fixing some of it.  The ACH was a start and it left a lot to the insurers however to fundamentally provide said service, so in the profit margin of care the biggest loophole was either cost or deductible.  At one point I did the math, I paid close to $700 dollars for a cushion to provide me with care if I got sick and only after paying 3500 dollars first.  So if I got real sick I could write the check and get the care and of course still debate, squabble and fight over those costs after or if I got well.  Again no guarantees on quality of care that usually is just luck when you walk in those doors.  The only thing I ever used my healthcare was to get what? A flu shot.  When a measles epidemic happened a few years ago that was not part of my care and was considered extraneous and cost $150 bucks applied to my deductible that went used for the remainder of the year.  So again do the math. I thought at this point I would risk not taking insurance as I am five years out from Medicare and well that was again my risk and my choice as an adult.  You know you assess your behavior based on risk like gambling. So maybe social distancing and isolating is not a bad plan as it goes.

And that is where we are where people are not respecting and assessing their risk level, being honest and dealing with their health in an adult manner.  They are told to be tough, to push through and in reality it is because going to a Doctor is a bitch.  Despite urgent care facilities and walk in clinics all over the place (again in cities like Nashville it is a medical city and they are everywhere) you can go in and of course for a fee that will not be covered on insurance get the diagnosis and help you need.  Fuck that as trying to make an appointment with your Practitioner is a week off and for 15 mins you still pay regardless.  So again medical care in this country is a fucking expensive hot mess.

Again you can be a Celeste and put your head in the sand and go "never never" and shut your eyes and ears to the facts and frankly most do.  Americans are arrogant and ignorant and I used to think that was exclusive to Nashville, no they have a patent on it, but no it is everywhere and it is insidious like the Covid virus.  When you read Facebook or Twitter for your news you have informed me that you are uninformed.  I read the Times, the Post, the Guardian and yes I have watched even cable of late but that is so histrionic that I can say confining my news to 30 minutes National and 30 minutes local is sufficient.  They talk, they talk some more, they contradict one another, they inflame the great unwashed and they go to sports and weather.   Well sports is out now so hey what about that weather.

So you say to me GG how can I do that as I am not socially isolating or distancing myself and I have to take care of myself well guess what now that you are forced to it might be time to think that one through.  Oh wait you got Netflix.  Why do you have time to check Facebook endlessly but not a news site.  Oh one cost money... like health care which you have but can't afford to use or can you?

I have said repeatedly this is a white persons problem and the first time white people who have been Celeste's all these years are getting shit thrown at them and they cannot handle it.  Hoarding, panic buying, ignoring warning and in turn allowing Mayor's, Mayor's of cities declare curfews, closing doors of schools and not actually doing anything of import such as free testing sites, seeing that there are sufficient means to secure medical care or even adult or child care for those who are ill and need help.  Yes this is super great for the adults who do take care of themselves and pride themselves on respecting themselves and their environment by telling us we don't know any better. Thanks Daddy!

I am not responsible for assholes who are not.  Start naming the infected, start isolating those who have come into contact with them and paying for that and of course having zero tolerance for those who ignore the warnings. Funny how you have that in place for drug users but not for people who knowingly get on planes, trains and other public places all while sick. Maybe we should have stop and take Temps before entering a public space.  That won't happen.  Why is that? Oh that is right they are white and privileged.

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