Back when I was a kid my mother and grandmother used to watch their stories on TV in the afternoon. They watched As The World Turns and Days Of Our Lives. Often they’d knit or crochet and have a cup of coffee. All of this went over my head. It seemed so boring. Why would you watch stories about people’s lives. I didn’t understand until Dallas and Falcon Crest (I loved that one!) that some lives are more exciting than others, particularly when they string all the drama together with very little cooking, cleaning and laundry.
Life is starting to look a lot like those stories. A lot of drama is being strung together with very little in between. Of course the drama in real life has real life consequences and pain.
I’ve noticed a new trend on Twitter. Maybe it isn’t new but it’s caught my eye. People post videos of themselves talking to their phone in their car. I’d call these car confessions if I was creating a TV show. They’re quite compelling and for the most part raw and honest. The three that struck me were all discussing the same topic. When I saw the first one my heart broke.
Two videos were mothers talking through tears. They’d been to the pharmacy to pick up insulin for their type one diabetic children and the prices have jumped by 900% – if my math is right (for one $36 to $360 and $100 to $1000 for the other per month). The third video was a recent college graduate who has seen a similar increase in the price of his insulin. This guy was mad. All these people know that without the insulin the person will die.
I know life isn’t fair but this was a completely avoidable situation if the original EO had just been left in place. There are things these people can do: contact your doctor. See if an alternative brand is available or if they have some samples to get you through while you readjust your budget. Contact the drug company. They often have coupons. Many companies are willing to help people who can’t afford their medications. Contact your senators and congress members. Tell them you want a reinstatement of that EO. They can write a new law to return to the lower prices.
The other tragic trend is photos of children who have committed suicide because of depression brought on by the isolation from the pandemic. These tragedies can be prevented if the kids can get their normal routine back. Kids need to go back to school. They need a social life. I read a statistic a couple of weeks ago that said 33% of people will have a new mental health issue by the time we get through this pandemic. This sounds like a much bigger problem than the pandemic itself. Keep an eye on the young people in your life.
Finally there are growing reports that Andrew Cuomo’s administration hid the actual number of deaths in nursing homes. One of his aides came forward and made the admission. All while there was a field hospital and a hospital ship available for Covid positive patients. But those were not used. In my state we had a large number of deaths at the veterans hospital and in nursing homes. I was quite forgiving at the beginning of the pandemic knowing that none of us had lived through this sort of a health crisis. When the numbers began to increase in the fall and my governor spoke of putting Covid patients into nursing homes I sent him an email chastising him for not learning from previous mistakes. These people need to be held accountable. Once is a mistake but to repeatedly do the same thing is intentional and when it involves life and death it is murder.
Remember I mentioned the Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times. I hope the year of the ox, which begins today, will be a much kinder and gentler year for us all.