Back in winter of 2021, my son ended up with back-to-back strep throat infections…. That weren’t treated as quickly or as well as they could have been.
To my mind? Back then and still today?
Because of the running mass hysteria of COVID-19.
Yes, I was mad at the time and it still frustrates me…. for ever so long, it’s felt like ‘if it ain’t COVID, no one cares, and no slack is cut for you, other than, test, test, test, and pressure to get vaccine, a booster, etc., and if you can’t or haven’t yet?
Who cares? You deserve whatever you get.
Now, lest you believe me to be totally cynical or delusional, let me share my personal take on the COVID topic:
- I do not believe it is a hoax – I have no doubt it’s real
- Been reading concerns from little known researchers & historians for YEARS that we are, and have been, for some time, overdue for a pandemic
- Warmer winters & drier conditions in my neck of the woods means ‘more bad stuff that affects humans and animals is lurking all around us – it’s not getting killed off as it does in the ‘winter cold/snowpack’ lower soil temps for more days in a row, as in the past….
- Healthcare professionals have dealt with low wages, long shifts and crazy responsibilities for one person, short staff, for the better part of 15 years to my observations over time – OF course our healthcare system and its workers are overwhelmed – they were on the verge of being overwhelmed BEFORE this hit – why is anyone surprised (and yes, perhaps I will blog the hospital staff story for that 2007 Easter Weekend I spent staying by my mother’s hospital bed, and what I observed of the staff and their struggles – or what I observed of staff in 2008 when my son was in ICU before he died….wasn’t pretty for them back then, and nothing in my world indicates their working conditions improved before 2020…if anything, their wages and conditions worsened….EVEN BEFORE COVID!!
- I’ve watched for nearly 3 decades ’employee benefits’ via ‘sick time/paid time off’ be slashed – given and taken away at a whim – touted as a benefit but one is punished if they dare actually use the benefit – so COVID just stretched the crap one must deal with in employee/work force realms….
- EVERY season, there will be colds, flu, strep throat, viral pneumonia (RSV?), etc. And a portion of the population dies from those things, too…. and/or they get very ill and it takes a long time to recover – I know – I had swine flu in 2009, which quickly moved into pneumonia, and then moved into pleurisy and I spent a good 2-3 years fully recovering from lung damage, cracked ribs and a torn sternum area ligaments, ripped apart by uncontrollable coughing while I tried to ‘solider on’.
So, while I GET it, on many fronts, I also DON’T get it on other fronts….
Last winter of cold, flu and other nasties, including COVID, season??
My son was going on nearly a full year of working weekly overtime – because he works in the ‘package delivery’ industry – which means – he became ‘essential’ in early 2020 so many, many others, could survive lockdown/stay at home orders/needs.
If he wasn’t feeling well, and/or running a temp, he was sent home and couldn’t return to work until COVID test results were delivered to his boss – on the other hand, if he was SICK, but not COVID? His time off was taken out of paid time off account – even if test sites were overwhelmed and dropped the ball and his boss didn’t get the results until nearly 10 working days later –
No one cared he had strep last winter – not Covid? He needed to return to work, even though he only had a day or two of antibiotics in him when the negative COVID results arrived…
Coughing up blood on the warehouse floor from raw throat?? OMG! Haz mat team needed! Get your COVID test….not covid? Get back to work and we need to discuss you taking so much sick time….” was their take on the matter.
Him? Scared the bajeezus out of him and he called 911 cuz he freaked and he paid out-of-network/pocket for the place they referred him to – even though THAT place did the strep test and sent him home with stuff for treatment, AND did a better job of relaying COVID test results….
So…um….all ya gotta do is pay $800+ and you actually get treated/get test results in a timely manner?
Well, then… If only we had known such things exist – now to just earn the funds to pay for that kind of quality healthcare…. (yes, that’s my cynicism showing up)
The Hypocrisy Shown in such things, just kept adding up, to my mind…
One week, he had 2 sick days on the ‘time sheet’ and yet, the 4 days he did work, covered his 40 hours needed for full week, plus overtime –
Payroll logged it all as:
- ‘Unpaid time off/in the hole (2 days/15 hours) because PTO exhausted…and then
- Paid him OT over the 40 hours he worked (memory serves he did 56 hours in those 4 days)
Why do I have a problem with that?
Because it was logged as “16 hours unpaid sick time- break time” and then “40 hours regular” and then 16 hours OT, on his payroll records – and his bosses up the line?
All they looked at is “someone has depleted their paid time off (PTO) and is taking more – problem employee and we must talk to/discipline, threaten”
Over which, I got so damn mad, this Mama Bear was ready to go into the place of business herself and have a CTJ meeting with top management/leadership…
“CTJ” (aka ‘Comin’ Ta Jesus’ meeting – in other words? All Fire and Passion via a Hell’s Fire is waiting for you” arse-chewing out from Mama Bear…. 😀
Only my adult son, laughing at me when laughing made his throat hurt, stopped me from going on about what I wanted to do, was going to do, and had me stepping back and telling myself, “sick or not, he’s an adult and you need to butt out….”
I just got mad over and over on many fronts, the hysteria and subsequent increasing failure of many systems that seemed to ignore everything except things as they related to COVID.
Finally, in a small way, a return to ‘oh, there are other things in the world except COVID – what else is going around this year?’ article.
You can read it here at CPR: https://www.cpr.org/2021/12/22/colorado-covid-cold-flu-symptoms/
Which I still need to read the included RSV link – and research on it if I can find it-
Because I remember, back in August, some medical/research folks were concerned over the fact we are ‘overdue’ of a total failure of ‘guessing the dominant strain of seasonal flu’ for the flu vaccine this year, too – happens about every 10 years – so they say –
Last one that was bad?
2009 – the same year I managed to get that damn Swine flu from being within talking distance contact with a customer, who had traveled abroad, while I was still floundering through deep grieving and, myself, had been working 14 hour days 5-6 days a week – at the the time…. 😀
Thus? He wasn’t at his best and neither was I – and Ta-Da! I got a vacation from work via being sick.
A LONG one – a vacation that extended into finally going on Retreat – the following summer – during which, I healed in many things, but mostly? Healed my grieving heart. For the first time in nearly 3 years –
The past many months remind me of that time, over and over
Since Winter of 2020, many in my circle have had major surgery, or minor illnesses, or diagnosed with chronic illness, or chronic illnesses are trucking on to worse, have gotten older, are hit by their own losses, their own griefs, their own stresses, the demands others put on them, through bullying and fear….
And so, for just this coming winter season, including the holidays?
- I hope, if you are grieving, you find healing –
- If you’ve been working your arse off for way too long, you get some down time
- If you’ve been running off stress and adrenaline for longer time than you can remember? You get some moments of joy, grace and respite, to recover.
And for the love of all that is holy, do not let the care professional ONLY test for COVID!
Don’t wait for 3 test visits before you finally draw from the ‘available pool’ someone who says, “oh, maybe we should test for strep….too….”
And if it’s strep? Stay home and heal – don’t go rushing back just because those you work for say, “not covid? no excuse to be out sick…”
Because you know – that Strep can kill ya too…