Remember ER, the wildly popular show created by the late Michael Crichton? I was a super fan of it from day one. I watched it religiously from its premiere in 1994, until I left the United States for Armenia. Then, when I came back in 1997, I went back to watching it. I downloaded all of the episodes and have seen them all at least twice.
One thing I remember about ER is that the writers were always coming up with some new fantastic situation involving the cast. One episode I remember in particular involved quarantine. Everyone in the emergency department was forced to stay isolated due to an epidemic. Seems like all of the medical shows have some storyline like that one. I remember Trapper John, M.D. also had a show about an extremely dangerous and contagious plague.
I just watched this episode again. It’s about a baby with pneumonic plague. I looked it up and I see that it’s a lot like COVID-19, only it’s caused by bacteria rather than a virus. Antibiotics would help, although it seems there isn’t a mild version like there is with COVID-19. Notice that the mom is wearing a gown, hair covering, and a face mask, but no GLOVES! And she takes off the gown while still in the room with the baby. None of the staff is wearing PPE properly. They wear gowns, but no masks or gloves.
Also, this episode is about illegal immigration, which is also oddly timely at this point. I guess we were more humane in 1980, though, because Gonzo promises the illegal alien mom that he’ll do everything he can to keep her from being deported. I shudder to think about what the conditions are like at the southern border of the United States right now.
I’m sure most medical shows have at least one episode’s storyline related to quarantines. They’re exciting and unusual, and they bring out the best– and the worst– in people. A lot of folks are panicking due to the COVID-19 crisis, and some of them are doing incredibly stupid and selfish things, just as they always do in medical dramas. This morning, I read a news article about a couple in Canada who visited a grocery store and bought out the entire meat department– two shopping carts worth of stuff.
Dan Marcotte and his girlfriend, residents of Lake Country in British Colombia, reportedly went to a Sav On Foods and bragged about “cleaning house”, as they also wondered if they could afford to pay for all the meat they’d thrown into their carts. They’d run in front of other customers, blocking them from being able to buy meat as they proceeded to hog all of the pork, beef, and chicken. Now, Marcotte is complaining because he’s getting negative reactions from the public, including death threats.
Here in Germany, people have been “panic buying” as well. Just as it has in the United States, toilet paper has become a hot commodity, as have hand sanitizer and hand soap and, curiously, flour. However, the local powers that be have put a stop to the “Hamsterkaufen” nonsense by placing limits on the numbers of these items people can buy at a time. It seems sad to me that this would be necessary in our so-called era of civilization, but it sounds like meat products are going to have to be rationed too, to stop greedy, selfish people like Dan Marcotte and his ilk from hoarding.
Marcotte explains that he has a “big heart” and used his moving company (which gets one solitary one star review) to help people escape the wildfires in 2017 and 2018. But now he complains that people have forgotten his past kindnesses in the wake of his regrettable decision to buy up all of the meat at a grocery store. I don’t condone people threatening other people’s lives over something like this, but I also don’t blame people for thinking Marcotte is a jerk and for letting him know that he is. What he and his girlfriend did is selfish and unreasonable, and karma can be a massive bitch with big teeth.
Marcotte claims that he felt “anxious” about the virus and had bought the meat entirely for his family. He says he has a mental health problem that causes him to “overreact” in certain situations (I don’t recall ever going through anything like this before in my 47 years, but what do I know?) Well, Dan, what about other people’s families? Have you thought about that? Guess not. In fairness to Dan, I did read that he is eager to “make things right”. He donated $1000 to a local food bank, which theoretically could feed up to 3000 people. However, he reportedly has no plans to return the meat he’s hoarding. I wonder if Dan has considered that money is very nice, but if there’s nothing to buy with it, it’s worthless. He says he’s still getting death threats and negative publicity, which will surely affect his business. I don’t think he deserves to have his livelihood destroyed, but he really should give back some of that meat.
As for Bill… he was finally let off “ROM” (restriction of movement) status yesterday, so he went to the commissary, where his temperature was taken, hands were washed, and he was allowed to shop in a group of about fifteen people at a time. He said it was a pretty relaxed shopping experience, although a lot of the shelves were cleaned out. Although there was plenty of TP available, he couldn’t find any hand soap that wasn’t in a bar form. Naturally, there was also no hand sanitizer, and Bill found three bags of flour– one all purpose and two self rising. He got the last of the all purpose flour.
Meanwhile, my allergies are acting up, and I have a very annoying dry cough. But that’s normal for me at this time of year. I don’t feel sick and don’t have a fever, and I mostly isolate myself even when there isn’t a “plague”. Hopefully, once the pollination is finished, I’ll stop coughing and wheezing. Asthma is not a joke, but it’s probably more humorous than a bout with the COVID-19 virus is.
I know there have also been some good stories about people being kind and generous. I guess this story about the “meat packers” really amazed me. I mean, I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. People can be very selfish and greedy, particularly during a crisis. This is a time when people show their true colors. I just hope it’s not an extended time, because I’m not sure how long people are going to be able to tolerate this “new normal”.