Sally Ride (1951 – 2012), reached for the stars for women, becoming the first American woman in Space. In 1983, twenty-three years after the first man in space, she brought women as close to equality in space as possible at the time.
In 1973, she received a physics degree. And continued to receive her masters and doctorate in the same subjects.
Her work for NASA didn’t end when she finished her space missions. She created a company to encourage other women to follow in her footsteps, into science and space.
Women like Sally Ride give us a glimpse of the future, when women will have opportunities to be equal to men. It isn’t easy. It’s a fight every day. When women only receive $0.70 for every $1.00 a man is paid for the same job, there is a long way to go. With so many pioneers behind us, we only have to reach for the stars to find equality. It’s out there, if enough are able to fight for it.
Today’s topic is the importance of science in our lives.
Without science, we wouldn’t know so many things. We wouldn’t understand the basics of food safety for one thing. Hundreds die each year from improperly handled food. If we didn’t follow common sense, scientifically proven food handling methods, millions would die each year from food poisoning.
Are all of the regulations correct? Um. Some may actually be backwards, or ineffective, if used incorrectly.
How did our ancestors manage? They cooked and ate the food then. Also, they had a naturally developed immune system. It could work on its own. It didn’t need the pharmaceutical companies to be activated.
Those pharmacy companies are the number one offender when it comes to blending science fact with money making. They are out to make money. No doubt. It’s more expensive to treat a symptom continually, than find the root cause of a disease, and cure it.
Pharmacy companies are the only ones who have too much self-regulation. They run tiny sample sizes, ignore symptoms, and don’t test for the long term. Too many drugs are put out that we find have deadly consequences, that sometimes don’t appear for decades, or until the next generation is born. If they are born.
Part of the scientific process, is independent scientists running the same tests with the same results. That almost never happens within the drug care industry.
True, people want cures. However, often, instead of a cure, they end up with long term side effects, that may damage any offspring for an unknown number of generations.
Another aspect, I value my hearing aids. They shouldn’t cost a year’s income. To the individual, or insurance.
It’s a case of, if they lowered the price, they wouldn’t be able to keep up with demand. As it is, they claim the price is so high, because demand is so low. And yet, they are only expected to last a few years before being replaced.
Oh, and hearing aids should not need disposable batteries. Our landfills simply don’t need more batteries. No places recycle them.
Today’s post is about healthcare.
There was an interesting infographic about Britain’s healthcare system versus the US healthcare system.
The first part covered the percentage of people covered and uncovered.
We have almost as 8.6% of people not covered by healthcare in the US. Of those covered, a large percent have been without healthcare, and preventative medicine for years, decades, possibly their entire lives.
In other words, they have not had the necessary healthcare to become, or remain healthy.
The average yearly cost for health care in Britain is $2,008 per person.
In the US it is over $5,000 per person per year.
If we switched to universal healthcare today – it would still take 80 years to have a healthy population.
First – we would have punish abusive employers. Employers who force employees to work more hours than is healthwise safe. If you work more than five hours a day, you aren’t getting healthy meals, or a healthy amount of sleep. It isn’t possible.
Also, days off. Employers are known for forcing employees to work ten day shifts without a day off. Or overtime pay.
No amount of overtime pay is worth what working more than four to five days a week will do to your body.
We know what we need to do to be healthier.
We need to be able to do those life saving activities. Sleep, eat, exercise, interact with family and friends.
As it is – it will take four full generations before those who are alive will have had access to preventative healthcare, proper diagnosis, and a chance to live a healthy lifestyle. If we fixed the laws today.
Of course, without enough medical staff, it still won’t work. Most medical staff work double shifts. And burn out too fast.
There is also another serious issue. One some people mention when they hear about universal healthcare. The time it takes to get an appointment.
If you talk to people that live in those countries – if someone is sick, they have instant care. Just like we do.
However, in only a few instances do they have the access as unbalanced as we do.
A boy child will be seen instantly by a doctor if he even has sniffle.
A girl child – in a day or two.
An adult male – same day, or next day.
A woman with children – within a week.
A woman without children – doctor’s offices don’t even know when the next available appointment is for someone as unwanted as that.
Our healthcare system is seriously broken.
It needs fixing. For the people who will be born in 60 years. Those who are alive today will continue to bear the costs of the last 80 years without adequate access to healthcare.
Before that, if there was a doctor, they took care of any patients that came to them, if it was possible.
We’ve seen what 80 years of healthcare for only the rich, and those with high paying jobs can do to the health of our nation.
High paying jobs are mostly gone.
So is our health.
The Greatest Generation. The first generation to name themselves.
They raped the land, the air, the seas. Much as they did the women of this planet.
It was hidden. Deep inside. Pain. Deep pain. The Earth, and women, do not forget.
The Greatest Generation. They used this planet’s resources. Sure to take every bit of them with them.
They took the oil. That kills marine wildlife when they rise to the surface to breath.
They made plastics. That fill our woods, rivers, ponds, oceans, and is eaten by starving wildlife.
They filled the air with toxic fumes, so thick no one could see the house across the street.
Their children and grandchildren arrived. Slowly. Birth rates lowered. Sickness spread. Cancer grew rampant.
Their children became adults and fought to make the planet produce food again. To make the air breathable. Make the water drinkable. Lower health risks.
We made slow progress. As so many did not want to give up the comforts of the current generations. Things. Only things. Things that had not existed in the tens of thousands of years of human history.
Once again, our air, water, land, and lives are threatened.
I remember the Trinity River. It flowed rather like a mud pie sliding down hill. Millions drank from that mud pie. What toxins caused permanent damage for them, and all future generations?
I remember when Hospice nurses were told to flush un-used drugs when a patient died, so they wouldn’t fall into the wrong hands. Now, we know, as I did then, they end up in our drinking water. As does RoundUp, and every other chemical we pour into the soil.
Even know, the water is so dangerous, it comes to our homes as bleach water. Too many times, I’ve drank it from the tap. Too many times, I’ve suffered mouth burns from the bleach. I’ve lost many teeth to the bleach in the water we are supposed to drink.
This is the first time in my life I am glad I don’t have children. I would not want them, as new adults, to be struggling with survival. Wondering if the air is safe to breathe. Or the water to drink. If they will ever have healthcare. Or a home to live in. Wondering if their children will be born with deadly, or life-altering birth defects, requiring constant care until their deaths.
I don’t wish this questions, or their unlikely answers, on the young adults of today. I wish them hope. I wish them food, clothing, shelter, family. All things they may lose as the Greatest Generation struggles to return us to a time when there were no regulations.
The Greatest Generation. The Generation that had to build landfills. They throw more away in one week, than our ancestors did in an entire lifetime.
They have ensured that those few humans who survive will be able to mine there garbage pits for over a thousand years.
The Greatest Generation. The ones who left their children and grandchildren behind. A mess to clean up. Little food. Little safe water. Floods of epic proportions.
An endangered species list, that grows to include us.
Towering garbage piles, swarmed by birds, rats, and wild dogs.
Mother Nature has a way of responding to threats.
She has earthquakes. They are increasing due to drilling.
She has volcanoes. Many are being wakened by drilling, and other human activities. Plugging them with our garbage would only complicate matters.
She has hurricanes. They devastate the coasts. Where people congregate.
She is tossing and turning in her sleep.
Will the Greatest Generation waken her full fury?
Or will their children and grandchildren, manage to calm her restless spirit?
What has our current work environment done to our population?
First, it separates families. People have to move hundreds, or thousands, of miles from their families to find a job. Especially if they want a job that pays above minimum wage. For every job that does pay a living wage, there are over 10,000 that do not.
Second, the number of hours worked (including transportation time). 10+ hours a day, five to six days a week. Basically, they crawl out bed, stumble to work, stumble home, and back to bed. Not much of a home, mostly a sleeping place.
This should leave a person with 8 days a month to live.
They have any repair work. Grocery chopping, cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, baths, laundry, taxes, and any other vital chores. Males use two days for this. Women are expected to do the majority of the work. Still. So they use up six of those days on keeping the house running.
That leaves about 16 hours a month to live. Not much time broken up over three to four days.
Especially if they have any other obligations.
From the time a person starts working, until they retire, they have 16 hours a month of actual living time. Mostly spent resting and recuperating from the over stresses of the week before.
People wonder why parents miss their kids growing up. They may see them five minutes a day. Parents claim their kid is small child, when in reality, they are eighteen.
Something is wrong when people spend so much time away from those who should matter most.
Something is wrong when people have no time to do the things that matter in life – cooking, building and repairing their homes, sewing clothes, the things that make life live-able. The pieces that make life really alive.
We’ve known this for generations. TV, books, radio, and songs. Remember the song “Cat’s In The Cradle?”
We need clean air, clean water, and an opportunity for equality for all. Life for all.