So, a lot is going on here in Happy Meadows, and elsewhere in Atlanta, in Georgia, and around the world. Here is a sampling.
Yesterday was Juneteenth, which I suppose now everybody knows about, thanks to our fearless leader who said it is he who made it famous. He said that until he scheduled his rally in Tulsa for that date, nobody know about it. The nobody he referred to, specifically, was the few people he has left in the white House who advise him or assist him in his leaderly activities. But maybe he thinks this group is representative of the larger group of nobodies we have in this country, you and I included. Remarkably, he says that he has done more for black people (not to mention black cats) than any other president, I suppose, excluding Abe Lincoln.
And speaking of Donald, John Bolton’s book has been reviewed by the press, and will be released next week. In the book he tells what are alleged to be more dirty secrets about life in the White House. And he criticized the Dems for not expanding their charges in the impeachment proceeding. Of course, he refused to testify, saying the Dems would have to subpoena him, which would have rendered the whole process moot due to the length of time it would have taken to get him to testify. What it seems he was doing was protecting the 2 million dollar income he will get for his book, a better deal for him than giving it to Congress for nothing. But maybe I am too cynical.
And speaking of Tulsa, where Trump’s rally occurs today, what a lot of people will learn about that was never taught in their US History classes is the massacre that occurred there in 1921, during which an entire black community was destroyed in a fire set by a white mob, and 300 people were murdered. Thank you Donald for exposing this ugly bit of real history. This event is not entirely unrelated to the remarkable revival of the Black Lives Matter movement, in that it addresses the failure of black people to experience protection of persons and property by local police. Hopefully, there will be enough momentum generated that real change will take place in achieving equality for all Americans. Michelle had some good exposure this week, both in an interview on Fox News, and her being quoted in an article published in Facing South written by Rolando Zenteno about monuments to Confederate leaders. Go you Michelle!
Mike ran across some figures that I will share. COVID-19 isn’t the only health problem people should be concerned about. People are avoiding going to the ER when they are ill, so that by the time they or a loved one call for help, it can be too late. In New York City between March 1 and April 25, 2020, there were 3989 instances in which a patient needed rescussitation from the EMTs on a 911 call. The number of cases for the same period the prior year, 2019, was 1336. This is an almost 300% increase. Furthermore, of the 3989 people only 10.6% were successfully revived, as opposed to 25.7% of the cases from the previous year. The logical conclusion to reach from this is that people are waiting too long to ask for help when they are sick, because they are afraid to go to the hospital. Actually a hospital is one of the safer places to go because of the infectious disease precautions they have put in place. Compare a hospital to a large public gathering, such as a protest march or a Trump rally, in which people are jammed together, and many or most people are not wearing masks. Mike thinks we are in for an increase in COVID-19 cases, not a decrease as many predicted and all have wished for.
And, do you remember all the talk about the opioid epidemic? Well, it seems to not have gone away. You may not know that heroin is rapidly being supplanted on the streets in many cities by fentanyl, which is cheaper to make and more potent and deadly. Well, look out fentanyl, you have competition. Those clever chemists from China have synthesized a new drug, isotonitazene (“iso”), which is now causing 40-50 overdose deaths per month in this country, as opposed to about 6 per month last summer. Since it is a new drug, it has yet to be listed by the DEA as illegal. It is a derivative of etionitazene, which is illegal. As long as there is no way of banning entire classes of drugs the government will never catch up with the chemists. And here is another disturbing fact about opioid overdoses. Of all the patients who come to an emergency department with an accidental opioid overdose, and who are revived, 5 per cent will die within the following year. Most of the deaths are from another opioid overdose; and many occur within the next 2-3 days. Unfortunately, the treatment offered upon leaving the emergency department is often nothing more than a recommendation to seek help at a community health clinic, and to attend 12-step meetings. Without a direct and immediate institution of intensive treatment, including what is referred to as Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), relapse is almost inevitable.
In the schizophrenic world in which we live two events have occurred within the past week. First, the US Supreme Court has ruled that an employer can’t fire a person solely on the basis of being gay or transgender. At almost the same time, the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights issued a rule that removed protections that had banned health care providers and health plans from discriminating against LGBTQ patients, women, and others. The American Medical Association’s new president, Dr. Susan Bailey, issued the following statement: “The federal government should never make it more difficult for individuals to access health care—during a pandemic or any other time.”
And, on another topic that nobody has ever heard of, did you know that esports is rapidly growing in popularity? Esports is watching other people play video games via a streaming platform, such as Twitch. The estimated worldwide audience in 2018 was 380 million people. Betting on esports is expected to reach 10 billion dollars this year. What?
So, I know I am a broken record, but it is another beautiful day here in Happy Meadows. I hope it is equally lovely wherever you are as well. Tomorrow is another Hallmark holiday, Father’s Day. Happy F.D., y’all. Michelle is coming over, and Judy is making chili and cornbread. The cats will get our usual kibble, and a wet food treat in the evening. It will be some kind of fish, no doubt. We were offered some beef and chicken pate this past week, which Shayna Maidel lapped up like mad, only to throw it up all over everything a few minutes later. The rest of us were only too glad to let her have it all, and after cleaning up after her, Mike put the rest of the can down the grinder. Luckily, Judy only bought the one can. We hope you are well, happy, and at peace. Stay safe, love your neighbor, and pray for world peace, por favor. We love you all.