I Won't Survive the Zombie Apocalypse
I’ve always been a big reader of fantasy and science fiction and when I was younger I really enjoyed those books about the earth after some sort of apocalypse. A meteor hits the earth, nuclear war, even alien invasions. I always imagined myself as a survivor. Somehow I escaped the tidal wave that washed across America and I would help rebuild society. I’m an engineer. And a planner. I’ve got some skills. And I wouldn’t be one of those people who would take advantage of the breakdown of society. I wouldn’t try to rob or kill people. I’d fight for truth, justice, and you know, the American way. :-)
But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that it’s all a bit of fantasy. Not the end of the world stuff. That part’s real. Today’s apocalypse will be a pandemic plague, or a dirty bomb, or an EMP that fries all of our electronics and brings us crashing back into the middle ages. I’m fairly certain that it won’t be a zombie apocalypse though.
Having said that, I won’t be the scrappy survivor that I imagined I would be. I won’t be part of that small noble group of survivors sticking to our moral code while we try to rebuild society. No, I’ll be part of the millions and billions of people around the world whose decaying bodies will be strewn across the countryside.
In today’s politically focused language I have what is referred to as a “pre-existing condition”. Several actually. Some are minor (gout) and some are not. I’m can proudly say that I’m a cancer survivor going on 10 years now. But when they removed my thyroid, it made me dependant upon a daily dose of thyroid hormone. Without my daily pill, I’ll start to get tired in about a week. In two weeks I’ll be exhausted. In three weeks I’ll be dead.
So when the pandemic, dirty bomb, or EMP finally happens and the factory that makes my pills doesn’t have power, ingredients, or people to run it, or trucks to bring it to my local CVS, I’ll basically be out of luck. So even if I somehow manage to survive the apocalypse (and living 6 blocks from the White House I should assume means I probably won’t), I won’t survive for much longer.
Okay, so that’s the worst case scenario, right? We can hopefully avoid the apocalypse for while. But the end result is the same if I lose my health insurance, right? Sure I’ve got financial resources that will help me for while. But for how long? Will Medicare and Medicaid be around when I need it? If I need it? Right now one of my pills treats my acid reflux which if untreated can cause esophageal cancer. What do I do then?
It’s true, when you are young you think you are invincible. Nothing can harm you and insurance is for old folks. And now that I’m (*ahem*) older, I do think of insurance. A lot. While the ACA isn’t perfect, it’s better than almost anything else we’ve seen here in America in a long time. I’m hoping people are finally realizing that and figuring out that fixing it is better than any of the alternatives proposed so far. But we shall see.