Denial, Acceptance, Reality

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Photo by William Warby on Unsplash

I have been reading a book written by a doctor who worked with the notorious Dr. Mengele during the Holocaust, in Auschwitz.

Auschwitz – A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account by Miklos Nyiszle and Richard Seaver

Information about the Holocaust:

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-holocaust

In the forward to the book, Bruno Bettelheim presents a suggestion, that the idea of the death camps was so horrendous that no one, either those victims, Jewish, gypsies, physically or mentally handicapped, aged or ill, gays, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or those on the ”outside” – those who lived in close proximity to the crematorium within the country, consciously recognized what would be their fate/the fate of the prisoners confined there.

No one could accept the horrors of the reality.

And since the Holocaust, since World War Two ended, there have been the denialists. They claim that ”six million didn’t die” as though numbers are what matter, when it is the loss of lives and the horrible way they were allowed to die that matters.

There have been claims that it never happened.

When I was eleven, in Alberta, Canada, an old man showed me the tattoo on his arm – and told me that he was in a camp.

That memory stayed with me through the years.

I know that our new way of life – of Covid – 19 – has affected all of us, some more than others.

The denialists frighten me. Despite the most knowledgeable experts in the medical and scientific communities around the world telling us what must be done to curb this disaster and loss of life, there are people who refuse to accept the reality.

Their death wish is strong, and they no longer seek life.

”According to Freud, the death-drive manifests in the psyche as a tendency toward self-destruction, or more precisely the elimination of tension, which can also be turned outwards, whereby it becomes aggression.”

https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095704767

And so we have, on social media, in the group protests, and the violence towards store clerks who try to enforce the store policies of mask wearing, self destructive behaviour on the part of those who refuse to accept the reality – the threat to our lives – that Covid 19 represents.

Instead, it is easy to deny the reality.

”Covid is just a flu”

”Nobody has died except for a few old people”

”It’s the government (pick your country). They’re trying to take away our rights and freedoms”

”It’s my right to not wear a mask”

Misplaced anger, aggression and fear.

Let’s face the reality.

A child died just today, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Under the age of ten.

Do we still want to deny that Covid is dangerous?

That we – all of us – are vulnerable?

The Covid denialists remind me of those who have denied the Holocaust all these years.

The same refusal to accept the reality that horrible things can happen. That we can all be vulnerable to sickness and to death.

That’s right. It isn’t just the ”old” that die from Covid. Not to mention that the medical community now has identified a long term and lingering effect on the health of those who do survive. We still don’t know what will happen to those people. What will be their condition in a few months, or years?

Let’s live – not in fear, as some of the anti-masker denialists say – but in hope – let us wear our masks, to protect others – let us wash our hands, because we know basic science – and let us care even more about others, not just about ourselves.

Maybe, just maybe, that is something we can all take away from this time.

Let us begin to see ourselves as part of the community, part of our locality, part of our state or province, part of our country! Part of the world.

Maybe this is the one time in history that we can all make a difference and save someone else.

Let’s try.

Well, That Was Unexpected

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ambulance

Yesterday I came close to falling off my chair. Really. I’d gone to the family doctor and was sitting in the waiting room with my husband (he had an appointment). After about 20 minutes, I looked around and saw a sort of bright colored netting across my field of vision. I told my husband I thought I was going to faint. I guess at that moment I did faint though I leaned backward to the wall rather than forward to the floor.

As I came to, I was surrounded by concerned people. A young pregnant Asian girl had come over right away and another woman dialed 911. (My husband told me this later).

The family doctor came into the room as I regained consciousness. He took my pulse and asked some questions like “Do you know where you are?” which I answered correctly.

I was taken in a wheel chair to an examination room and the doctor said he’d be in in a few minutes. He gave me a glass of water. At the same time he returned, two EMS workers arrived and introduced themselves. They asked some questions and then took me out to the ambulance where I was hooked up to a heart monitor, pulse and blood pressure as well.

They joked and kept me amused as they went about their work. The worker who took my blood test for sugar told me that when he poked my finger, it didn’t hurt him a bit.

The other fellow suggested that I must have thought if I fainted, I’d get my husband into the exam room sooner, for the appointment.

During the testing, they discovered that I was very dehydrated and I was given an IV for that. I asked if I had a choice between cream soda and Pepsi, which made them laugh.

 

They asked a lot of questions while the IV was running, about my health issues and so on. I was offered a ride to the hospital to be checked further or I could go home.

As my low blood pressure stabilized, the IV got me hydrated and my heart, which had slowed, increased in rate to normal, I said that I would go home and drink water.

I have been drinking a *lot* of water and other fluids since this happened, and I sure don’t want it to ever happen again. Barring some other cause, I suspect I hadn’t been drinking enough the last few days. I feel so much better today that I must have been tending towards dehydration for a while.

It happens in older people and I will be 64 in June. The workers said that they see a lot of people dehydrated in the summer, especially during marathons and so on.

I wish that I could remember some of the other jokes that the two attendants told, but I was too out of it for a while to remember them now.

It was a life experience. I had never been inside an ambulance before. So there’s something off my bucket list!

This post was totally off topic regarding writing, although it may help some writer to come up with a wise cracking EMS worker and his/her job.

Of course, with the sort of work these people do a good sense of humor is likely imperative.

I was touched when I found out how the strangers in the waiting room responded to my plight. And how quickly help arrived, and how nice my family doctor was through the worst part of it all.

There are good people in this world, aren’t there?