Pre-existing conditions, let us count the ways our deaths would be ‘splained away

How good are distractions like the child forklift drivers or the tennis, or Sam Kerr? How good is it not to have to think about the ways the government is happy to put us in danger to maintain their relationships with their donors (how IS Gerry Harvey anyway?) or their so-called principles. I say so-called, because they WILL change on a donors whim (oh who’s laughing now about Djokovic? Certainly not Rio Tinto!)

We sit here looking on in wonder, while Daddy Domicron tells us he’ll have a plan for back to school in the coming days, Labor refuses to call for a suspension on Mutual Obligations (except a lone voice from the ACT, don’t tell me having the Greens sharing the power doesn’t help Labor fulfil their progressive promise!), and I wonder if it’s worth asking my chemist to send me the RATs I get under a concession card out with my Webster Pak’ed mads, even though technically I’m supposed to go in in person to collect them, wouldn’t want us welfare recipients getting something without jumping through unnecessarily dangerous hoops!

Back to those pre-existing conditions, though. The ones that get listed alongside the ages of the dead and whether they’ve had first, second, third or more vaccinations, in order to make the voters feel safe to go about their day, to keep the economy ticking along, because she’s the most important creature in the room and we must be willing to pay tribute to her.

Personally, if I die of Covid, they’ll take one look at my weight and that’ll be the first things listed, more important than my young age (39) or the fact that I’m 2x AZ vaccinated, and can’t get a booster til the 10th Feb, though that will also play a role in their one-sentence obituary. Surely, my mental health will get a line. “Severe mental illness” is not a well-defined term, but data from the last two years is repeatedly showing that people with mental illnesses that have led to hospitalisation are much more susceptible to Covid, even when other factors like a higher smoking rate and socio economics are taken into account. Just be thankful you don’t have schizophrenia and thus be at higher risk of infection at home or in the hospital, but also readily triaged as a lower priority for high level care if I do many to access it.

Doctors and ethicists consider the role of triage and the roll of the Do Not Resuscitate order in a health system in crisis here and abroad (Fury at ‘do not resuscitate’ notices given to Covid patients with learning disabilities), while I see friends on Twitter getting their affairs in order as Omicron circles around them, worried that their disability will not be the thing that led them to getting covid, but the detail that means they are second in line for the ICU bed.

Myself? I’m doing all I can to stay Covid-free. I do my groceries at the quiet times, I see my therapists on Telehealth, I count down the days til my booster is available. I live in my small little world, coddling my mental health, knowing that an admission due to suicidal behaviours would be more dangerous than just letting my attempts to push myself to having a more interesting and varied life sit back for another few months while the world sorts itself out and we hopefully don’t create yet another variant just as I’m wanting to step out to play.

So, for those of you reassured that only those with pre-existing conditions are dying, take a moment to think about why they have been allowed to catch Covid in the first place, and why, in a highly stressed system, their ambulance might be ramped longer or they’ve been prioritised lower for a call from healthcare in the home.

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