Who Won the Week (26 April 2020)

I do like Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, and liked to join in with some quirky stories from my own newsfeeds. I pulled the last couple of posts because Corona tended to dominate the news, but I have still found a few interesting stories, with the Corona backdrop.

I wasn’t going to post again today, after my last post (Fed Up). But this story has been airing repeatedly through the day, and rather than just making me fed up, this one thoroughly pisses me off. Maybe it is just a story that my ears are tuning in to. So this is a Who Won the Week and a Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday Peeve post, all thrown into one!

So, my winner this week is universal healthcare.

Let me explain. One of the sub-stories to have come out of this crisis is that many fewer heart attacks or strokes are turning up at the Emergency Room. You can read the core of the story here (the Guardian is a reputable British newspaper, this article, though, is a week old), although the story has been picked up by many media outlets since and was broadcasting today.

The BHF – British Heart Foundation -is a UK charity, again very well-respected, is reporting a 50% drop in people seeking treatment for heart attacks and strokes. I’m making sure that I am putting all these references in, so you can go look them up if you don’t believe me.

So, what is happening? Well, fewer people are presenting, because they must figure that their chances are better if they go nowhere near a hospital. This might be because they know that hospitals are where the virus lives, and they don’t trust hospitals’ abilities to keep them out of its way (despite being gravely ill) or it might be because they just think they will not get proper treatment at the moment.

This second case, I have some personal experience. Just before the start of this crisis, my auntie was in hospital. You might remember that I mentioned it at the time. They sent her home, so they could make room for COVID patients. They could not have thought that she was cured, because they gave her some pills as they kicked her out, pills that she had never even taken before. So, they didn’t even wait to see the effect, to see whether the dose was correct.

And, as part of this whole experience, the talk with a paramedic (yes, she was serious enough to call 999) revealed that they had been instructed that any care home residents over the age of 75 would not be admitted to hospital, whatever the reason. This worried my aunt greatly because while she resides in her own home, she is 79.

I’m not sure how much weight I would attach to this hearsay, if it were not for the fact that this “policy” has also been reported in the media. When you start to hear the same thing through several channels, it makes you wonder. And the media is also starting to uncover many, many deaths at care homes, deaths which have not been attributed to the virus.

There are big question marks at the moment about what our world will look like after this virus. Here is one possible change:

In the UK, we pay for our health service through our income tax. The tax is called National Insurance. So, if I am 20, with a lifetime of NI payments ahead of me, I’m looking at this tax, and thinking if, when I need it, this system is going to decide not to treat me, then why the fuck should I pay for it?

So, hurrah for universal healthcare, and… wouldn’t it be a good idea? I say, let’s have some of that!

Do tell me, please, if your country has seen similar drops in the reporting of life-threatening illnesses.

Who (almost) won the week – 29 March 2020

I do like Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, and liked to join in with some quirky stories from my own newsfeeds. I pulled the last couple of posts because Corona tended to dominate the news, but I have still found a few interesting stories, with the Corona backdrop.

I know a lot of you guys don’t like Vladimir Putin, but which of us cannot look at this story and just think, what a good idea?

Such a shame it is fake.

Who Won the Week (15 March 2020)

I have Fandango to thank for this title – he has been posting regularly on this subject from his west-coast-USA vantage point. I am interested in current affairs too, and normally have some nonsense or other to spout about one of the UK’s topical news stories. So, I like to join in. Maybe there’s something in your world that you’d like to post about?

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Another week where I didn’t really have a winner. The media everywhere is dominated by Corona, and I posted on it both last week and yesterday. We had a budget in the UK, but I can’t possibly imagine anybody anywhere else being interested – bottom line is our government expects our economy to tank because of this virus, so they are handing out various breaks. Whether they will make any difference is unlikely. Under our right-wing government, the state is now spending more, proportionally, than the last left-wing government. Unusual times…

I did, however, take a look on Wikipedia to see what had happened on this day in history.

  • Would you believe it was a year ago that almost 1½ million young people went “on strike” for the day to protest about our inaction over Climate Change? Judge for yoursewlf how much has changed, even of people’s outlook. I think when we kept electing people who thought it was all hokus pocus, there was only ever going to be one outcome.
  • In 2011, that’s nine years ago, the first shots were fired today in the Syrian Civil War. Syria is probably a long way away for many of us, but it is a conflict which has drawn in both the USA and Russia, and has spawned a wave refugees, and a wave of nationalism, in both the UK and Europe. It is still ongoing, and I am left wondering exactly what kind of country Assad thinks he will ultimately govern.
  • Oh, and on this day in 1888, the Anglo-Tibetan war began. Isn’t it amazing, what you find out on Wikipedia? I never knew there even was an Anglo-Tibetan War. Boy, we sure knew how to pick our enemies back then!
  • Even further back, in 1672, British king Charles II issues the Royal Declaration of Indulgence. That sounds ominous, since this guy’s indulgence caused a civil war! Although this proclamation seems to be geared toward religious tolerance.

You think that the news is too depressing already? Just keep reading my posts!