Look This is a bit from a recent episode of Reveal podcast. [reveal]@50:00You have to hear it in your mind as coming through tears of sadness and deep frustration, with a great deal of passion. Or go listen to her, in audio.
[Narrator: explains that Paloma was uncomfortable with being called a “hero.” How does she think about this idea of heroism, now?]
Uhh (disgusted sound) This pandemic was a catastrophic failure and there’s almost 400,000 people who are dead (crying) in this country. Because – because we expect that the job of taking care of others might only land on those who are paid to do so, and by calling other people “heroes” we are separating ourselves from that job. Like, what if every single person had seen themselves as a hero, and had said ‘no’ to traveling during the holidays? Or had said ‘no’ to throwing a wedding during a pandemic? Or had said ‘no’ to having a party or to have a get-together? Or to give something up? What if everyone had thought of themselves that way, and had said, “it’s also my job to take care of others” and we’re all doing what we can as physicians, as nurses, as social workers, as custodians, as everyone who works in a hospital? Well, what the fuck is everyone else doing?
I remember a bad joke about a couple who ascended a tall hill on a tandem bicycle. When they got to the top, one of them said, “that was terrifying and intense! I thought my heart was going to burst! I was afraid we were going to roll down backwards!” And the other replied, “Yeah, I hear you. I think if I hadn’t been on the brakes the whole way, we would have!”
If we call healthcare workers, “heroes” we let everyone else off the hook. Imagine if there were arsonists setting fires, and then firefighters were risking their lives to put out the flames. Well, duh, the obvious thing to do is to stop the people who are setting the fires. I despise the media for not taking a firmer stand against the bullshit purveyors, who initially engaged in foolish “both sides-ism” – they should have learned a bit of virology and been able to come down hard on the bullshit purveyors, from a standpoint of someone knowledgeable enough to say “that is wrong and either you are ignorant or lying, which is it?” I’m not a scientific genius, but it only took me reading about the 1918 flu pandemic and listening to a couple episodes of TWIV to be able to dissect any anti-vaxxer who wants to argue with me. Why can’t journalists do that?
Not enough media figures stuck up for Tony Fauci; they should have been shouting at the liars. “Those are bogus studies!” or “” or “I know you made that up.” That would have been heroic. I am so sick of the media members who make a big deal about the dangers that they run – ooh, I heard Artillery in Iraq once – but what about someone like Paloma who saw 6 or 7 patients die every day for months at a time. What kind of PTSD has she got? And what must it have felt like to be working that shift, while a useless mountebank talked about hydroxychloroquine? Why aren’t the people who are pushing anti-vaxx lies being taken to court for the deaths that they are causing? They are practicing medicine without a license, and the entire medical regulatory system was created to keep people from selling nostrums and giving bad advice.
Nobody seems to be asking Tucker Carlson, “have you been vaccinated?” and holding him to an answer. Why not, media heroes?