Here’s a weird thought that sometimes strikes me – I’m not worth anything to society.
I’m worth quite a lot to my husband and my kids and my bunnies. But society? Doesn’t care if I live or die.
To society I’m just a bit of statistics. Someone who doesn’t qualify for work benefits, doesn’t qualify as a carer (or only does that after the need for care is over). Who uses up other people’s taxes (because I don’t seem to earn enough myself to pay them personally). Who is a burden to our health care system (as little as I possibly can! I prefer fixing broken toes at home than going to hospital).
In the large scheme of things, I’m one of those 0,9% that might potentially die in, say, a pandemic. I’m definitely one of those 1 in 5 who might end up in hospital taking up hospital beds if they’re not really careful and really lucky!
Which makes me feel really not taken care of at times. Like where is the empathy for the people who are above 70 years old (70?! It’s not old people! It’s just a number, a random number at that, that just happens to be a even number.)
Or the empathy for people nearing 70 for that matter, like someone we personally knew who recently died after spending 5 weeks on a respirator.
Most of us expect to live far beyond 80, but all of a sudden a bunch of people are willing to sacrifice everyone older than them just so they can go on pretending everything is normal, go on their cruises and whatnot.
Where is the empathy for all the children with debilitating diseases, who were even before this happened struggling with having a normal childhood.
Where is the empathy for all those anonymous numbers who are walking around, looking for all the world like their happy and healthy, but who might have underlying conditions that might make them susceptible to say, for example a new pandemic. Who knows – that person might even be you. I know it’s me. And I know I don’t want to risk dying before my time, if I can prevent that.
The problem is – I alone can’t prevent myself from getting sick. I need everyone. All of you. I need everyone to keep their distance, to think about their choices. To not go shopping with all their kids and all their family. To be extra careful about hygiene. To not let their children play with whomever they want unsupervised (because if you don’t know it – kids do transmit disease! No matter what headlines some newspaper choose to run with, children do transmit and do contract disease.). Also newsflash: your kids aren’t just sitting around with 2 m distance talking about schoolwork or ticktock or whatever – they’re actually running around in packs of 15 or more, making pranks and posting on my kids social media.
We can all see you! We know you’re not following the guidelines. And who knows? Maybe you or your friend might be the one who infected the people here in my hometown? Nobody knows, since not enough people are getting tested. And that is the whole point! We don’t know who is going around with a mild case of the disease, so we must all act as if we might be! Not to protect ourselves, if we’re confident enough we’re not in the risk group, but to protect everyone else.
The older people.
The people working in health care.
The kids with preexisting conditions (and there are much more of them than you’d think!)
The grownups with preexisting conditions.
That’s about a fifth of the population right there. A million people in Finland, who could potentially all become sick and end up in hospital, which nobody wants – not even those who are willing to sacrifice old people. A million people of which some are worth something (those who have an important work for example), enough so that society shuts down and thinks of alternate solutions. But when push comes to shove- there is only so much money society is prepared to spend on people.
That’s the hard truth.
Me – I’m practically worthless.
P.S. What I actually do in my everyday life is:
– take care of my whole family including kids with lots of diagnosis – I was being a full time caretaker for 12 years, without getting paid.
– take care of our house, including chopping wood, heating it, cleaning
– supervise our whole family, so that we’re all helping with the cleaning of the house, gardening etc
– recovering from a physical birth trauma and having stopped the meds for that cold turkey because the factory stopped producing it. Which means doing yoga and meditating twice, plus trying to lower my stress levels (*maniacal laughter* 🙂 ) plus doing lymph drainage manually, plus other things to try to become as well as I can
-recovering from lots of stress related issues, including a bout of shingles and shingles pain that doesn’t seem to want to go away
– and lots and lots of more things. I’m also trying to find time to do the things I enjoy most, which is write (at the moment, I’m writing 2 sentences a day!)
None of that of value to society. But it is of value to me and to my family. And I hope that other people would see it as valuable also.