My Mother Marian Perz grew up during the Great Depression which began in 1929 when the stock market crashed. I remember her telling me how she saw people standing by the side of the road with all of their belongings because they had been evicted. … People standing in line for bread. She was a child when it began and it wasn’t until she was a teenager that the Great Depression started to subside in the late 1930s. My grandmother worked in a sweatshop sewing sweaters in New York City during the day when her husband was out of work and she took him piece-work to sew at night to make extra money to help make ends meet. My grandmother in her 80s still used to wash out plastic ziplock bags and re-use them. My grandparents were immigrants that came over on a boat through Ellis Island from “the old country,” where my grandmother grew up on a farm raised by her grandmother after her mom died. She immigrated to the U.S. by herself by boat at age 16 or 18–I got two different versions so I’m not sure which was correct–but either way she had a lot of courage. She was sponsored in the U.S. by an uncle not much older than herself.
Recently, Governor Cuomo talked about how his Italian roots, how his grandfather came from “the old country,” and the saying in his household that was passed down–that if you have your health you can fix everything else– And Governor Cuomo talked extensively and courageously about the VALUE OF HUMAN LIFE in the midst of this COVID-19 and tremendous political pressure to reopen states “for the sake of the economy” despite losses to human life.
My grandparents were also immigrants from “the old country”–a phrase that immigrants of multiple ethnic origins used back then. My mother and grandmother are two of the most influential people in my life. Their steadfast love for me was imperfect but unconditional and strong and truly unbreakable. They taught me the power of love in relationships and the value of human life–that we value the lives of the people we love more than possessions, money, and at times, more than our own personal desires and dreams. I ultimately spent 8 years of my life taking care of my mother in a hospital bed in my living room while working full-time and paying sitters during the day to keep her as healthy as possible and keep her safe at home instead of in a nursing home–and I thank God that I was able to do that. Not everyone can for many reasons. During that time, I spent a LOT of my own personal money to pay for her sitters and supplies. I worked literally 5 full-time jobs per week to do night care for her while working a 6th full-time job outside of the home. I gave up personal dreams and a social life. I sold the home we used to live in that had been rented in a short-sale–partly because of money to pay for sitters and partly because it was too much for me to handle while taking care of her–and we lost $15,000 of equity–but my mother mattered more–and my ability to keep her safe at home.
My point is not about me. My point is–that what I gained by loving her and taking care of her and refusing to abandon her in her greatest hour of need–what I gained was far richer and more valuable than anything that money could ever buy. I will and do cherish the look of adoring love on her face when she saw me in the mornings. The time when she acted like she was sleeping and then suddenly opened her eyes and burst into a huge happy smile because she faked me out. The time when she stuck her foot out of the side of a hospital bed when she was recovering as if she was going to trip me, laughed, and smiled a gleeful, mischievous smile. The time when I took her in her wheelchair with a sitter to a Christmas store and she picked out Christmas gifts that she liked and then when we were driving away I accidentally hit a speed bump and we all burst into hilarious laughter. And then when we got home, she tied a little red ribbon into a bow with her left hand, (the only hand she could use,) around a sweet ceramic spotted deer that she picked out–to make it look Christmasy. Her favorite display in the mall where she used to run the carousel was always the Christmasy nature scene of all the animals in the snow including deer, squirrels, and rabbits. I remember the time we died Easter eggs together and she dipped a hard-boiled egg into the colors with her left hand from her wheelchair. I remember how when she was in the hospital and something wasn’t right she would look at me with that LOOK and I knew exactly what she was saying and I told her I know, I WILL fix it. And I did–by advocating for her in whatever way I needed to. Dealing with the medical errors that were made by doctors and hospitals was the hardest thing I ever did in my life. Taking care of her and loving her was easier–although staying up at night to change her was exhausting. All of it was WORTH IT–and I wasn’t perfect at it–but I WOULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN!
I DON’T REGRET ANYTHING I “gave up” to take care of her. I don’t. She was WORTHY of love care and DESERVED the love and care she received and so much more that I could not do because I am only one person and was forced to do the job of 5 or more people. Our elders–especially those who have given the best years of their lives to care for us and our mothers who risk their lives in childbirth to give us life!
HUMAN LIFE MATTERS. EVERY HUMAN LIFE MATTERS–REGARDLESS OF COLOR OR INCOME OR ANY OTHER DIFFERENCE.
COVID-19 AND THE PUSH TO REOPEN OUR STATES TOO EARLY RAISES THE ISSUE–WHAT IS THE VALUE OF OUR HUMAN LIVES TO THE MONOPOLY CORPORATE ECONOMY AND THOSE WHO GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WHO REPRESENT IT AND CARE ABOUT PROFITS MORE THAN THEY CARE ABOUT US–THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES!
AND THIS IS NOT A PARTISAN ISSUE. The Great Depression happened because the Glass-Steagall Act did not exist–that law was put in place AFTER the Great Depression AND BECAUSE OF the Great Depression–and it created a firewall between commercial investment banks and savings and loan banks. The push to REPEAL Glass-Steagall came by a Congressman who was married to a woman on the board of directors of EXXON Corporation. He single-handedly held up a different bill in Congress until repeal of Glass-Steagall was put in–and it was buried in hundreds of pages of the bill. Some Congress members resisted it until it was held up single-handedly by this ONE Congressman for so long that they finally gave in. Some Congress members didn’t know it was buried in there. BUT GUESS WHO SIGNED THE BILL AFTER CONGRESS PASSED IT? IT WASN’T A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT. IT WAS PRESIDENT CLINTON–A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT. HE ALSO SIGNED NAFTA AND WAS OFTEN A FRIEND TO CORPORATIONS MORE SO THAN TO FAMILIES AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES –JUST AS GEORGE W. BUSH WAS–AND OTHER PRESIDENTS BEFORE AND AFTER HIM. ONE OF THE REASONS THAT THE DEPRESSION OF 2008 WAS SO BAD WAS BECAUSE THE GLASS-STEAGALL ACT WAS REPEALED–SO EVERYTHING THAT AFFECTED THE COMMERCIAL INVESTMENT BANKS ALSO AFFECTED THE SAVINGS AND LOAN BANKS–BECAUSE THEY NO LONGER HAD TO BE SEPARATE.
THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRAT VS. REPUBLICAN ISSUE. THIS IS A CORPORATE VS. FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES ISSUE–AND IT HAS BEEN AS FAR BACK AS THE GREAT DEPRESSION AND EVEN AT THE FOUNDING OF THIS COUNTRY WHEN JOHN ADAMS CALLOUSLY TOLD HIS WIFE WHO ASKED HIM TO REMEMBER THE LADIES IN THIS NEW CONSTITUTION THAT HE WOULD NOT GIVE RIGHTS TO WOMEN OR NATIVE AMERICANS OR AFRICAN AMERICANS–NOR EVEN POOR WHITES.
THE VALUE OF HUMAN LIFE… EVERY human life
THE KILLINGS OF GEORGE FLOYD IN MINNEAPOLIS, BREONNA TAYLOR IN LOUISVILLE, AND AHMAUD ARBERY IN SOUTH GEORGIA OVER THE LAST THREE MONTHS–RAISE THE CENTURIES OLD HORRIFIC REALITY THAT BLACK LIVES DON’T MATTER AS MUCH AS WHITE LIVES– WHEN WILL BLACK LIVES MATTER? WHEN WILL AFRICAN AMERICANS BE TREATED WITH THE SAME RIGHTS AND PROTECTIONS AS WHITES?
THE RACIST SCAPEGOATING, EXPLOITATION, AND VIOLENCE TOWARD PEOPLE OF COLOR IN THIS COUNTRY IS AN INDIVIDUAL PROBLEM, BUT IT ALSO SERVES POLITICAL PURPOSES TO ALLOW CERTAIN FACTIONS OF THE POPULATION TO BE EASILY MANIPULATED TO ELECT PRO-CORPORATE PUBLIC OFFICIALS WHO PERPETUATE RACISM TO GET ELECTED, TO EXPLOIT THE LABOR OF PEOPLE OF COLOR WITH LOW WAGES, TO INCARCERATE PEOPLE OF COLOR IN CORPORATE PRISONS FOR CORPORATE PROFIT, TO PERPETUATE VIOLENCE AGAINST PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES OF COLOR WHEN THEY ARE PERCEIVED TO BECOME TOO POWERFUL. –AND WHITE PEOPLE TOLERATE IT, CLOSE OUR EYES TO IT, DENY IT, AVOID DEALING WITH IT–AND ULTIMATELY SANCTION IT IN ORDER TO NOT ROCK OUR BOATS AND KEEP WHATEVER AMOUNT OF COMFORTABLENESS WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SUSTAIN IN THIS CORPORATE MONOPOLY ECONOMY THAT SQUASHES SMALL BUSINESSES AND SMALL FARMS RIGHT AND LEFT.
I’VE WRITTEN ABOUT GEORGE FLOYD AND MICHAEL BROWN AND THIS HORRIFIC PATTERN OF POLICE VIOLENCE AGAINST AFRICAN AMERICANS IN MY LAST POST.
THE CORPORATE MONOPOLY SYSTEM DEVALUES HUMAN LIFE IN MORE WAYS THAN IT IS POSSIBLE TO LIST HERE. TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME WAS LONG IGNORED WHEN IT CAME OUT BECAUSE IT AFFECTED WOMEN. AIDS WAS LONG IGNORED BECAUSE IT AFFECTED GAY MEN. PEOPLE IN POVERY WITHOUT HEATLH CARE ARE IGNORED BECAUSE THEY LACK POLITICAL POWER–AND FACTORIES NEED SOMEWHERE TO LOCATE AND POLLUTE, SO THEY LOCATE IN LOW INCOME AND COMMUNITIES OF COLOR WHERE PEOPLE HAVE LESS POLITICAL POWER–SPEWING TOXINS IN THE AIR, DUMPING TOXINS IN THE WATER, AND INJECTING TOXINS INTO THE SOIL BENEATH THEIR FACTORIES WHERE NO ONE OUTSIDE CAN SEE.
PEOPLE FORGET THAT IN THE 80s MANY CORPORATIONS RAN SWEATSHOPS OVERSEES, AND MOVED U.S. FACTORIES OVERSEAS TO SWEATSHOPS IN “THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES” WITH OPPRESSIVE REGIMES THAT SQUASHED EVEN MINOR WORKER’S RIGHTS MOVEMENTS. WE FORGET THAT MANY CORPORATIONS IN THE 80s AND SINCE HAVE GONE BANKRUPT AND ELIMINATED OR REDUCED WORKER PENSIONS WHILE PAYING OUT BIG BONUSES AND TERMINATION PACKAGES TO THEIR CEOs. WE FORGET THAT MANY CORPORATIONS AVOID PAYING THEIR FAIR SHARE OF TAXES BY USING OFF-SHORE TAX SHELTERS. IF WE THINK CORPORATIONS ARE LOYAL TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE–WE ARE WRONG. THEY ARE LOYAL TO PROFITS–PERIOD.
SO, OUR MONOPOLY CORPORATE-RUN COUNTRY RUN AS A LARGELY WHITE MALE OLIGARCHY HAS A PROBLEM WITH VALUING HUMAN LIFE… –EVEN IN A GLOBAL PANDEMIC!!!!!!
I DON’T UNDERSTAND OPENING UP STATE ECONOMIES WHEN CASES ARE CLEARLY GOING UP AND FEDERAL CRITERIA FOR COVID-19 AND REASONABLE SAFETY HAVE NOT BEEN MET.
GEORGIA’S CURVE SAYS ITS CURVE IS GOING DOWN–WHEN IT’S CLEARLY GOING UP. NEW YORK’S CURVE IS ACTUALLY GOING DOWN. COMPARE THE CURVES FROM BOTH STATES AND SEE THE VAST BLATANTLY OBVIOUS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND MANIPULATION AND/OR HIDING OF STATE CASE NUMBERS, INFECTION AND DEATH RATES TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE RATES ARE GOING DOWN WHEN THEY ARE REALLY GOING UP.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND PRIORITIZING THE ECONOMY OVER HUMAN LIFE.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW ANYONE CAN SAY THAT ELDERLY PEOPLE ARE EXPENDABLE.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY WE ARE STILL SAYING THIS DISEASE MOSTLY AFFECTS POEPLE OVER 70 WHEN THE LARGEST PERCENTAGE HAVE BEEN UP TO THIS POINT–BETWEEN THE AGE OF 18 AND 50.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW HUMAN BEINGS CAN BE CALLED COLLATERAL DAMAGE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THIS DISEASE OR CIVILIAN DEATHS DURING WAR –WAR BEING THE ANALOGY THAT IS BEING MADE WITH OUR FIGHT AGAINST COVID.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND GEORGIA GOVERNOR KEMP ANNOUNCING HE WILL ALLOW 20 PRE-K AND YOUNGER STUDENTS IN A DAY CARE CLASSROOM–WHO ARE LARGELY INCAPABLE OF SOCIAL DISTANCING AT THAT AGE–ON THE SAME DAY THAT THE CDC ANNOUNCES A PUBLIC HEALTH WARNING THAT CHILD CASES FROM THE COVID-19 RELATED PULMONARY IMMUNE SYNDROME IS INCREASING AND NOW EXISTS IN 16 STATES INCLUDING 100 CASES AND 3 DEATHS IN NEW YORK. (IT NOW EXISTS IN AT LEAST 27 STATES, 7 COUNTRIES, WITH ALMOST 300 CASES–THE MORE THEY LOOK, THE MORE THEY FIND.)
I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW A PRESIDENT CAN PUBLICLY SUPPORT IN A PRESS CONFERENCE–N FRONT OF PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS AND THE NATION–PUBLIC SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR REOPENING–AND TURN AROUND AND TELL HIS FANS ON TWITTER TO “LIBERATE” THE ECONOMIES OF THEIR STATES.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW “LIBERATION” IS FREEDOM TO BECOME INFECTED WITH COVID-19 AND POTENTIALLY KILL YOURSELF AND/OR OTHERS.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW CONGRESS–SPECIFICALLY THE SENATE–CAN REFUSE TO PROVIDE AID TO STATES WHO ARE THE ONES FUNDING ESSENTIAL WORKERS WHO ARE LITERALLY KILLING THEMSELVES AND DYING TO FIGHT THIS DISEASE AND PROVIDE FOOD AND ESSENTIAL SERVICES LIKE HEALTH CARE, POLICE, FIRE, TRANSPORTATION, FOOD PRODUCTION, GROCERIES DURING THIS PANDEMIC.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW GREED CAN BE SO STRONG THAT IT LITERALLY PUSHES THIS NATION TO REOPEN PREMATURELY–AND CAUSES OUR NATION TO DRAG ITS FEETS ON PROVIDING NEEDED RESOURCES AND ACTIONS THAT COULD HAVE ACCELERATED TESTING–WHEN TESTNG WAS ALREADY DELAYED DUE TO THE LOGISTICS OF QUICKLY RAMPING UP THE MASSIVE NUMBERS OF TESTS NEEDED.
I remember how my mother used to talk about how money became worthless during the Great Depression because it was so inflated. She told me stories of how people had baskets of money that could barely buy one loaf of bread. I learned. I learned that you can’t eat money. Money was originally meant to be a symbol or a place holder for REAL goods and services. It has morphed into a product in and of itself and the stock market has become a casino–and so-called “experts” have said that. GREED IS AN ADDICTION, BUT THERE ARE THINGS THAT MONEY CAN’T BUY–LIKE HEALTH AND LOVE AND ETHICS AND ONE’S SOUL. YES, MONEY CAN BUY FOOD AND HEALTH CARE RIGHT NOW–BUT NOT IF ESSENTIAL WORKERS REFUSE TO WORK. ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD AND THE BEST HEALTH CARE IN THE WORLD HAVE NOT SAVED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE GLOBALLY WHO HAVE DIED FROM THE COVID VIRUS.
MONEY CANNOT BUY THE COMMITMENT AND ETHICAL SERVICE OF ESSENTIAL WORKERS TO CONTINUE TO PROVIDE HEALTH CARE, FOOD, FIRE, EMT, POLICE, GROCERY, TRASH, TRANSPORTATION, AND OTHER ESSENTIAL SERVICES. YES, MANY DO HAVE TO WORK TO PUT FOOD ON THEIR OWN TABLES–BUT THAT IS NOT THE ONLY REASON THEY WORK–AND MANY COULD QUIT AND FIND OTHER WORK IF THEY REALLY WANT OR HAVE TO–IF THEY FEEL TOO ABUSED BY OUR COUNTRY’S LACK OF CONCERN FOR THEIR SAFETY, WELFARE, ETHNICITY, AND LACK OF ADEQUATE COMPENSATION FOR THEIR JOBS–LET ALONE THE RISKS THEY ARE TAKING EVERY DAY.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW SO MANY PEOPLE CAN ACT AS IF THE PANDEMIC AND RISKS ARE OVER JUST BECAUSE ELECTED OFFICIALS SAY IT’S TIME TO GET BACK TO WORK. IT’S OVER JUST BECAUSE WE’RE TIRED OF IT? –AND WE WANT IT TO BE OVER? GEORGIA’S CURVE HAD STARTED TO DECLINE–FINALLY–BUT IT’S NOW GOING BACK UP–WHY? BECAUSE GEORGIA OPENED UP TOO SOON AND TOO INDISCRIMINATELY–TOO MUCH, TOO FAST. MANY PEOPLE ARE NOT WEARING MASKS. THIS PUTS ESSENTIAL WORKERS AT RISK–BECAUSE THEY CAN BE INFECTED BY US. WHAT IF HEALTH CARE WORKERS STOP GOING TO WORK BECAUSE THEY ARE TIRED OF BEING PUT AT RISK AND TIRED OF BEING EXPECTED TO SAVE THE LIVES OF CALLOUS PEOPLE WHO DON’T EVEN WANT TO WEAR A MASK? MANY NURSES AND DOCTORS HAVE DIED WHILE WORKING TO SAVE COVID PATIENTS. OTHER ESSENTIAL WORKERS HAVE DIED DOING THEIR JOBS TOO–SO WE CAN HAVE GROCERIES AND TOILET PAPER AND MEAT.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW STOCK PORTFOLIOS AND THE STOCK MARKET COULD BE MORE IMPORTANT TO ANYONE THAN FUNDING AMERICANS AT A LIVABLE RATE SO THAT PEOPLE CAN AFFORD TO STAY HOME DURING THE PANDEMIC INSTEAD OF BEING FORCED TO GO TO WORK EVEN IF THEY OR THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS ARE IN A VULNERABLE POPULATION.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW THE PRESSURE TO GET OIL PRICES BACK UP HIGHER (BECAUSE PEOPE DON’T DRIVE MUCH DURING A PANDEMIC SHUTDOWN)–IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN HUMAN LIVES–AND I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW HUMAN LIVES BECAME UNIMPORTANT BECAUSE THE U.S. WAS RUNNING OUT OF PLACES TO STORE OIL (EVEN OFFSHORE) IN LATE APRIL AROUND THE SAME TIME THAT THE CRY TO LIBERATE THE ECONOMY AND THE PUSHES TO REOPEN AND SACRIFICE THE OLD PEOPLE BEGAN—THE SAME TIME THAT THE U.S. WAS BEING FORCED TO START SHUTTING DOWN OIL REFINERIES–AND OIL IS STILL THE MAIN INGREDIENT IN MOST STOCK PORTFOLIOS AND MOST STOCK MONEY MARKET FUNDS–THEREFORE DECLINES IN OIL PRICES STILL HIT STOCK PORTFOLIOS HARD–AND SINCE MOST RICH PEOPE INVEST MUCH OF THEIR MONEY RATHER THAN SPENDING IT, THEY HAVE A LOT TO LOSE WHEN THE STOCK MARKET DOES POORLY. YES, MANY PEOPLE HAVE THEIR RETIREMENT FUNDS AND/OR PENSIONS IN THE STOCK MARKET ALSO–BUT WHAT GOOD IS THAT MONEY IF YOU ARE DEAD OR HAVE HAD PERMANENT ORGAN DAMAGE FROM THIS DISEASE AND CAN’T ENJOY YOUR RETIREMENT–OR YOUR SPOUSE OR CHILDREN ARE DISABLED OR DEAD? IF YOU DON’T HAVE YOUR HEALTH, PEOPLE WHO STRUGGLE WITH HEALTH ISSUES–AND PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOST LOVED ONES KNOW–NOTHING ELSE REALLY MATTERS.
UNFORTUNATELY, I DO UNDERSTAND AT LEAST SOME OF THE REASONS WHY MORE PEOPLE OF COLOR ARE DYING. MORE PEOPLE OF COLOR ARE OFTEN ESSENTIAL WORKERS SO THEY ARE MORE DIRECTLY AT RISK. COVID-19 AS A RESPIRATORY DISEASE KILLS A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN MORE POLLUTED AREAS–AND BECAUSE OF ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM–MORE FACTORIES ARE BUILT IN OR NEAR AFRICAN AMERICAN AND LATIN AMERICAN AND NATIVE AMERICAN NEIGHBORHOODS–THUS THERE IS MORE POLLUTION IN THESE NEIGHBORHOODS AND THAT IS A DOCUMENTED FACT. THE LIFE EXPECTANCY FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR BEFORE COVID-19 WAS ALREADY LOWER AND POLLUTION WAS ALREADY KILLING HIGHER NUMBERS OF PEOPLE OF COLOR ANNUALLY THROUGH DISEASES LIKE ASTHMA WHICH IS ALSO ONE OF THE HIGHEST KILLERS OF WOMEN. FACTORIES ARE OFTEN LOCATED IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS OF PEOPLE OF COLOR BECAUSE WHITE PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO LIVE NEAR POLLUTION AND WHITE PEOPLE HAVE HISTORICALLY HAD MORE MONEY AND POLITICAL CLOUT. MANY FACTORIES POLLUTE NOT JUST THE AIR, BUT ALSO INJECT UNWANTED CHEMICALS INTO THE GROUND AND INTO RUNOFF THAT POLLUTES LOCAL CREEKS AND WATER SOURCES–SO IN SOME AREAS PEOPLE CAN’T EVEN GROW FOOD IN THEIR OWN YARDS. PEOPLE OF COLOR MAY BE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE INADEQUATE HEALTH INSURANCE, POLLUTED WATER AS IN FLINT MICHIGAN, THEY STILL EARN LOWER INCOME FOR EQUAL WORK, AND SOME NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES DON’T HAVE RUNNING WATER, BASIC UTILITIES, OR ADEQUATE MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HOSPITALS, FOR INSTANCE IN THE NAVAJO NATION WHERE THE DEATH AND COVID-19 RATES ARE VERY HIGH.
UNFORTUNATELY, I DO UNDERSTAND WHY SO MANY ELDERLY AND VULNERABLE AMERICANS ARE DYING IN NURSING HOMES–WHICH HAVE LONG BEEN UNDERSTAFFED SWEATSHOPS WHERE ELDERLY ARE STORED AND LARGELY IGNORED–AND WORKERS ARE UNDERPAID, UNDERSTAFFED, AND OVERWORKED. MEDICARE HAS NO MINIMUM NURSE-TO-PATIENT REQUIREMENTS, NO MINIMUM NURSING ASSISTANT (TECH)-TO-PATIENT REQUIREMENTS, AND A DOCTOR IS NOT REQUIRED TO BE ON SITE AT ALL TIMES–NOT EVEN WEEKLY–OR LONGER. I SAW THE DOCUMENT WITH MY OWN EYES ABOUT 6 YEARS AGO. THESE ARE OUR MOST VULNERABLE AMERICANS–MOSTLY WOMEN–MANY HAVE GIVEN THEIR LIVES TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR FAMILIES–AND THEN HAVE TO SUFFER LONELINESS, SOME STAFF WHO ARE IRRITABLE OR EVEN HOSTILE AND FRIGHTENING, SOME STAFF THAT ARE EXHAUSTED AND OVERWORKED BUT MAY TRY TO CARE, AND AN ADMINISTRATION THAT IS USUALLY MORE INTERESTED IN MAKING MONEY OFF OF THEM, THAN ACTUALLY CARING FOR THEM. GEORGIA RANKED ABOUT 45 IN THE STATE FOR NURSING HOMES ABOUT 6 YEARS AGO. I SLEPT ON THE FLOOR OF A NURSING HOME NEXT TO MY MOTHER FOR 2 WEEKS BEFORE SHE WAS WELL ENOUGH TO COME HOME AFTER HER STROKE–(DUE TO A DOCTOR MEDICATION ERROR WHILE SHE WAS IN REHAB).
I WAS SADLY NOT SURPRISED TO HEAR ABOUT THE HIGH DEATH RATES IN NURSING HOMES–NOT JUST BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE CRAMMED IN INCREDIBLY SMALL SPACES BUT BECAUSE NURSING HOMES ARE TYPICALLY TOO UNDERSTAFFED TO NOTICE WHEN PATIENTS ARE SICK–OR THEY OVERMEDICATE PATIENTS TO MANAGE THE OVERWHELMING DEMANDS FOR CARE THAT THEY ARE TOO UNDERSTAFFED TO PROVIDE. I DID WRITE A COMPLAINT TO THE PROPER AGENCY AND TO MY KNOWLEDGE NOTHING WAS DONE, BUT THAT NURSING HOMES WAS NOT AN ISOLATED CASE.
I FEEL LIKE WE ARE LIVING IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE–NOT BECAUSE OF THIS PANDEMIC–(WE ALREADY LIVED THROUGH THE AIDS PANDEMIC–WHICH WAS HORRIBLE)–BUT BECAUSE OF THE LEVEL OF GREED THAT IS JAWDROPPINGLY SHOCKINGLY UNCONCERNED WITH HUMAN LIVES–NOT JUST THE ELDERLY, THE MEDICALLY VULNERABLE, AND THE MIDDLE-AGED–BUT NOW CHILDREN TOO. HOW ARE CHILDREN GOING TO SOCIALLY DISTANCE IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE FALL? IT’S NOT REALISTIC UNLESS THIS PANDEMIC IS OVER–I.E. ACTUALLY OVER–NOT JUST–WE WANT IT TO BE OVER SO WE’RE GOING TO ACT LIKE IT’S OVER.
I have not in my lifetime seen a public health response this unconcerned with public health and unconcerned with human life from so many elected officials that affects the actual majority of the U.S. population in one way or another.
This is not about politics. The Republican Governor Hogan of Maryland is doing a fabulous job! He personally negotiated with South Korea to purchase supplies for his state when other governors were struggling to get supplies. He and other governors are participating in a bipartisan effort to work together to reopen the New York metro area which includes about 5 or more states.
Republican Governor Hogan and Democratic Governor Cuomo issued a joint bipartisan request for funding for state and local governments on behalf of all 50 state governors–ALL 50 STATE GOVERNORS. This is not political. It is about human lives and protecting workers and families so that they have jobs and incomes so they have food on their tables and homes to live in and are not out on the street evicted or standing in bread lines–as we see cars lined up for hours in food lines in current times.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW WE CAN FAIL TO UNDERSTAND HOW CLIMATE CHANGE IS CREATING MORE AND MORE EVENTS IN WHICH DISEASES JUMP FROM ANIMALS TO HUMANS.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW OUR LEADERS CAN CONTINUE TO PUSH FOSSIL FUELS AND HOW THIS COUNTRY CAN CONTINUE TO IGNORE CATASTROPHIC CLIMATE EVENTS LIKE KATRINA AND THE EXTINCTION CRISIS–AND ALLOW FOSSIL FUELS TO BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN DEMANDING THAT WE RAPIDLY TRANSITION TO RENEWABLE ENERGIES LIKE SOLAR, WIND (wind technologies that don’t use radioactive rare earth metals are used for windmills in Germany), AND GEOTHERMAL ENERGIES; ELECTRIC CARS, AND SHIELDING THE POLAR ICE CAPS. ELECTED OFFICIALS ARE SHOVING FOSSIL FUELS DOWN PEOPLES’ BACKYARDS THROUGH PIPELINES AND FRACKING–AND PEOPLE DON’T WANT IT!
THE LEVEL OF CORRUPTION THAT EXISTS IN MANY ELECTED OFFICIALS AND MANY SUPPOSED “NEWS” SITES THAT ARE REALLY CORPORATE PROPAGANDA FAKE NEWS MACHINES–THE LEVEL OF CORRUPTION THAT EXISTS IN THESE PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT REFUSE TO BE HONEST ABOUT THE REALITIES OF THE COVID-19 AND CLIMATE CHANGE CRISES-AND THAT REFUSE TO VALUE HUMAN LIFE, PEOPLE OF COLOR, AND OUR WILDLIFE AND ANIMALS, AND OUR MOTHER EARTH–THAT LEVEL OF CORRUPTION IS SO HEINOUS THAT IT IS BEYOND ANYTHING I HAVE EVER IMAGINED COULD EXIST.
THERE ARE SO MANY, MANY PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS TRYING TO CREATE POSITIVE CHANGE LOCALLY AND GLOBALLY–THAT GIVES ME TREMENDOUS HOPE IN HUMANITY.
BUT… UNLESS WE QUICKLY AND PEACEFULLY TRANSFORM SOME OF THE MAJOR STRUCTURES WE ARE TOLERATING AND LIVING UNDER–AND UNLESS WE VOTE OUT SOME OF THE PEOPLE IN OFFICE WHO ARE ACTUALLY HUGE OBSTACLES AND TRULY DO NOT CARE ABOUT HUMAN LIFE, LET ALONE THE ENVIRONMENT–MANY MORE PEOPLE WILL DIE FROM COVID-19 INCLUDING CHILDREN–AND THE PLANET MAY BECOME UNINHABITABLE FOR HUMAN LIFE. IT IS ALREADY UNBEARABLE FOR MANY PEOPLE ON THIS PLANET FOR MANY REASONS–MOST OF WHICH ARE PREVENTABLE.
The Great Depression made people ready for change. People craved change–big changes. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was able to create major change because people demanded it. A group of about ten corporations tried a military couP–they tried to use U.S. veterans to install a “secretary” to run the country instead of the president–but Major General Smedley Butler, (a triple decorated U.S. marine war hero) refused to cooperate and lead veterans against FDR–and he broke the silence about the corporate plan when they tried to recruit him to lead the corporate coup against America. See my YouTube video about this here. The corporations liked FDR’s first New Deal which helped businesses, but they balked and tried to oust him right before his second New Deal which benefitted families and workers and included things like: Social Security, and other benefits for working people, families, and communities. THE SAME THING IS HAPPENING NOW IN THE SENATE. THE SENATE IS REFUSING TO FUND STATES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND IS NOT PROVIDING ENOUGH INCOME TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO STAY HOME AND KEEP THE ECONOMY SHUT DOWN AS LONG AS IT REALLY NEEDS TO BE CLOSED IN MANY PLACES. CALLS FOR EARLY RE-OPENING DEPRIVE PEOPLE AND SMALL BUSINESSES OF MOST OF THE AID THAT RECENT COVID-19 LEGISLATION WOULD HAVE PROVIDED THROUGH UNEMPLOYMENT AND OTHER PROVISIONS–SO IT CUTS OFF PREMATURELY THE AID THAT TOOK TOO LONG TO PASS IN THE FIRST PLACE. $1200 FOR ONE MONTH RECEIVED SLOWLY IS NOT NEARLY ENOUGH FOR ANY FAMILY TO SUBSIST ON–AND EVERYBODY KNOWS IT.
The parable of the king who wished for everything he touched to turn to gold keeps coming to mind. His wish was granted. When he hugged his daughter she turned to gold and he grieved because she became a statue instead of his living child. We now live in a world where we cannot hug, let alone be near or even see people we love–except on Zoom or Facetime or other electronic means–or hear their voices other than mostly by phone. Opening our economics too early likely means we will have to shut them back down again as many countries are now having to do. It also means that many people will die needlessly. Others may have permanent organ damage or lose loved ones or children. Instead of temporarily losing contact–they could be gone forever.
Human life is of ultimate value and worth.
We cannot eat money and money may be able to buy health care, but ultimately it cannot buy or guarantee health. If too many people are sick and dying, the economy and everything we depend on to live will be threatened. We have to have a planet that is livable in order for human life to survive. That means that all human life must be valued and protected–and must matter more than the economy and profit–in a country with rich corporations and many billionaires already not paying their fair share–it is their turn to give so that the average person can be safe. That also means a climate that is stable that is not producing weather catastrophes and pandemic events in which animal diseases mutate and transfer to humans.
There is a saying passed down by many African American women–Make a way out of no way.
That’s what I did to take care of my mother after her stroke. I had no idea how I was going to do it. But every day I made a way out of no way. To fight exhaustion. To see her as the mother I knew and loved all my life–instead of as an invalid as some doctors saw her. To advocate for her. And finally to release her to God and let her die when I was powerless to save her–even though she didn’t want to die. She was 92.
We can make a way out of no way. We need some elected officials to get out of the way and stop blocking aid to families, states, and local communities and governments. We need some structures and old ways of doing things to get out of the way and stop shoving fossil fuels in peoples’ communities. We need to have the guts and the courage and willingness to stand up peacefully and let our legislators know that their behavior is unacceptable. It’s unacceptable for them to fund corporations but not families. It’s unacceptable for them to slap essential workers in the face by refusing to fund state and local governments–WHILE ESSENTIAL WORKERS ARE LITERALLY IN REAL TIME RISKING THEIR LIVES TO SAVE ALL OF OUR LIVES!!!! We need to educate ourselves as citizens, do our OWN research not only on the issues but on WHO IS FUNDING THE “NEWS” ORGANIZATIONS WHO PUT OUT THE RESEARCH WE ARE READING. SOME OF THESE FAKE NEWS ORGANIZATIONS NEED TO LOSE THEIR FCC LICENSES AND WE NEED TO TELL THE FCC THAT AND DEMAND THAT THE FCC TAKE ACTION. I ALREADY HAVE. I ALWAYS LOOKS FOR THE AUTHOR AND THE ORGANIZATION THAT PUTS OUT A NEWS REPORT. I OFTEN LOOK UP WHO FUNDS THE ORGANIZATION BEHIND THE NEWS ARTICLE I AM READING OR WATCHING. IF IT’S MOSTLY FUNDED BY CORPORATE DONORS–THAT MAKES THE “RESEARCH” QUESTIONABLE– And we need to vote some people out and ask and expect more from the people we elect– WE NEED TO MAKE WISE DECISIONS ABOUT OUR SAFETY AND OUR FAMILIES’ SAFETY IN STATES AND AREAS WHERE NEW CASES, HOSPITALIZATIONS, AND DEATHS ARE STILL HIGH OR GOING UP–even if that means sheltering in place LONGER AND using a variety of forms of peaceful advocacy until a LOT of things change–not just COVID-19. WE NEED TO BELIEVE AND ACT AS IF WE DESERVE THE WORLD WE DREAM OF–MEANING THAT EVERY PERSON AND FAMILY DESERVES THE EQUITABLE, FAIR, SAFE, LIVABLE, LIVES THEY ARE ENTITLED TO. POSITIVE CHANGE CAN AND DOES HAPPEN WHEN A MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE PEACEFULLY DEMAND IT!
EVERY HUMAN LIFE IS SACRED AND OF ULTIMATE VALUE AND WORTH. LET’S ACT LIKE IT! LET’S CREATE A WORLD WHERE THAT IS ACTUALLY HOW PEOPLE ARE TREATED. ALL PEOPLE.
THAT’S WHAT JESUS’ PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN MEANS. EVERYTHING STOPS WHILE WE SAVE LIVES–AND SOME RISK THEIR LIVES TO SAVE THOSE LIVES. THE REST OF US NEED TO RESPECT THEIR SACRIFICES AND STAY HOME. AND WEAR A MASK WHEN WE HAVE TO GO OUT.