I’ve built a new site at AltPPE.net for information on adaptive and alternative personal protection equipment and pandemic survival in plain language. I noticed that the needs of people with disabilities and special issues were getting left out of the design decisions, production, and policy discussions except to say we’re exempt. Just because we’re different doesn’t mean we’re okay with exchanging deadly germs, and some of us have need for more protection than others. So I built a site that will help anybody with special needs in PPE to get what they need.
Additionally there I’ll be posting about making hygiene and PPE a normal part of life. Pandemics come by every few years, and every year people have to cope with colds and flu that can lead to pneumonia. Then we have the situation of sick buildings, not the best maintenance for air conditioners, etc. We should have been on top of these things many years ago.
In the 80’s I was in Italy during the outbreak of MERS. I got an unknown illness for which I was never tested, but it knocked me unconscious for two days. I woke up, I suppose just before I was about to die of dehydration, and had a really bad “cold” for another two weeks. I’m told that others got gravely ill as well. We weren’t told anything but to treat it like any other cold or flu, but go to the emergency if we had trouble breathing.
12 years ago, there was an outbreak of SARS (of which Covid 19 is a type, but this was a previous one) in Israel. I got extremely sick as did many others. When I got to the emergency room because my chest hurt and I was having serious trouble breathing, it was packed. I was treated with respiratory therapy. I was given a prescription and some meds to deal with the chest congestion and the tonsillitis I’d developed along with it. I wasn’t however tested for jack. Nobody told us that the widespread “flu” that killed many in Israel and in the U.S. during that time was likely in many cases, SARS.
This time, they couldn’t hide what is going on because China busted out the news early on. Yes, they may have done it grudgingly, but it was smart of them to do the right thing and inform people. So this time, nations all over the world had the chance to get ahead of this thing. Unfortunately, the U.S. for reasons I won’t go deeply into but we all know, did not.
What makes it worse is that most of the information that’s out there is focusing on Covid 19 as if it is the first deadly pandemic people have had to cope with in our lifetimes. It is not, if you were born before 2006. It’s on the higher end of the deadliness spectrum, but it is by no means the first that should have been extremely worrisome, especially for the elderly, the immuno compromised (which is every person who menstruates plus people with various medical conditions), and the pregnant and people with young children.
We should have been wearing masks since 1990 or sooner. Nobody who can operate a damp cloth should have been unemployed since 1950. We should have had universal healthcare everywhere in the world, and a health and medical education program similar to Cuba’s that takes the professions out of the realm of the elite and those who can afford thousands of dollars of student debt. Everybody you know with a reasonable interest in biology and a caring soul should be a doctor or nurse.
…and yeah I’m experiencing a little guilt in this. I was one of those people who didn’t have the ass to sit in class more than a few semesters. I had issues I was coping with that didn’t leave my mind much room for study. By the time I solved that, it was just too expensive. So I study on my own, and still suck at math, but still visit tutorials to break through that, but I do think about what could have been. I have no regrets though. Were I a doctor or nurse during this time, I wouldn’t have time to think about how to parse and then present information to the people in a way that cuts through the political bull.
As things are, I am still committed to doing my part as a webmaster and science hobbyist, and make it clear that this is not about politics or freedom. This is about survival. I hope I do a decent job. If you want to help, please support the new site.
Blessings and Ashé!