The store had a color poster. A young blond Aryan-Looking woman in an apron raises her hand to take a pledge. “Food Fights for Freedom”. “Produce and Conserve” “Share and Play Square”. The older couple had survived the First World War with their victory garden. Now, with rationing, and their modest savings, it was hard to make end met. They were too old and too frail to put in a garden that they’d need to survive. Their Church provided some. Their family some. But eventually it was just too hard. They weren’t listed as casualties of war, but they were. The poverty of war. If all the young men weren’t off dying in some far flung part of the world, they’d have been to home and tending to the communities’ needs. The local guard. Contributing to churches, fraternities, and civil society in general. But, they were off dying. Just like the old couple, casualties of war.
The recently retired fat old white guy brought his equally old wife into the hospital’s emergency room. Heart failure was an easy diagnosis. Then the “fun” began. No more evil insurance companies to do battle with. No more hospital bills at all. Couldn’t pay if you wanted to. Couldn’t buy drugs anywhere at any price. Everything was “free”. Doctor Phil came into the old girl’s room. She wasn’t that old 60 something. But the “guidelines” were very clear. Palliative care. Hospice care. Informed of their “final options”. Those drugs were cheap! The “doctor” explained that they had nothing to offer them. The old gent was pretty funny. To the doc’s standard “just be a minute”, he’d replied “take two, we have lots”. The doc confided that there were drugs, operations, and therapies available “off-shore”. If she could survive the trip. If they could afford the trip. If they could keep it secret. (The Healthy Homeland Bureaucracy didn’t take kindly to their regulations being evaded.) In the end, there wasn’t much anyone could do. The old lady was a casualty of the war. Whatever the current war was that prevented society from treating its young and old humanely. Everyone was dying. Just like the old couple, casualties of war.
The hospital had a color poster. A multicultural group had their collective hands raised to take a pledge. “Health is a village responsibility” “One for all; all for the common good” “Play fair; do your part”
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