Folks, if you’ve been following this continuing series on the subject of H1N1 from a patient’s perspective, you know the flu itself isn’t the only fact to worry about—the immune system goes straight to hell, laying you open for whatever comes next. In my case it’s been pneumonia. I was prescribed antibiotics I thought had done the job, but the dr. and I were both wrong because about five days ago I relapsed. Here’s the horror story: at one point I had to go out whether I liked it or not. The day was raw and by the time I left the apartment I was trembling, coughing up phlegm/mucus as I walked. Fever/chills, the whole lot. At one point I was trying to cut through a parking lot to get to the Runnymede subway station when it felt like I was going to have another problem. I sure did. The episode was so violent I started to pass out behind a parked car and thought, “Well, this is a terrible place to die. Somebody’s gonna think I had a heart attack while trying to boost somebody’s ride.” People literally walked out of their way to avoid me. They understood something was badly wrong but they did not want to get involved. I can’t blame them, and won’t.
It passed, though, and I resumed. It rained and the wind was appalling. Walking home from my subway stop, only one removed from Runnymede which will tell you how sick I felt, I started to feel as though even the elements were conspiring against me but I made it home—and have barely left the house since.
We’re closing in now on the—what? The six-week mark?—of this illness in my case and now I don’t trust myself to say I’ve turned the corner. H1N1 should scare the hell out of you, partly because of what it is in its own right, partly because of what it does to your immune system, and partly because elements in the government and wealthy bastards are proving every day of this pandemic that the average person does not matter in this equation, not even in Canada where one would presume things would be different. Surprise. Bay Street fatcats are getting their shots, so are pro athletes and their families (OK, I know—ballers, etc., travel a lot; but they’re no more important in the grand scheme than your/my friends who can’t get it at all.), and that’s an insult. WHY AREN’T TEABAGGERS OUTRAGED AT THIS?
Oh, right. Dick Armey hasn’t told them to. Neither has Michelle Bachmann. Presumably they’ve already been vaccinated. I loathe them both, but refuse to wish H1N1 upon them or their families. Personally, I was about 24 hours away from becoming another corpse. That much I know. Without proper medical care, there’s no way in this world I’d still be alive to tell you anything. Earlier this week, it could well have happened even with good care. So I’m among the more fortunate. Now, I tell you this: I’m not outraged at how the vaccination program’s working out. Outraged is not strong enough. What I feel is simple, primal rage. If I ever in life should meet anyone who jumped the national line to get their shots ahead of you, I will slap whomever it is dead in the mouth for the lot of us. If you find someone like that, do the same and tell ’em John says Hi, motherfucker—
People, understand something. There are some people in Wall Street businesses, and certainly among the Right in the US and Canada, who’d rather see the human herd thinned out somewhat. There’s only one problem with that: You and I are part of the herd; how do we know they aren’t talking about us specifically?
It’s because: they are talking about us specifically. I mean the Right, both political and religious. They care about themselves, not us. If you’re feeling rage right now, you should be. The teabaggers have it backwards; they should be going after the Armeys, Bachmanns, the actual criminals.