Online mishegos

So, my friends, flu is striking down the young, Obamacare has rendered a local medical charity obsolete, and I’ve become a lazy blogger unwilling to bother with hyperlinks (to be fair, I’m rarely at my computer and it’s all a pain in the ass on my iPad since I can’t open multiple windows).

I’m comforted by the fact that people are still people. They don’t want flu shots because they don’t want “to take a chance”, meaning they perceive the shot to be riskier than the flu. Bad reasoning, but the media isn’t helping us out much. People make decisions based on how they feel, and we have to help them to feel terrified of flu. A nurse was in tears the other day relating to me another flu death at the hospital. She feels it.

I’ll miss giving free care to the uninsured, but not really. One of the things our medical charity did was give patients cards that resembled insurance cards. This helped preserved their dignity, as will gaining actual insurance. Not only will my patients feel more financially secure, they’ll feel less humiliated. It’s a win-win, really. If you’re one of the people whose premiums went up, sorry. Your former plan was probably shitty, and you were paying that money in other ways as we treat the uninsured in hospitals and spread the cost around.

Meanwhile in illogical douche-baggery, Nature editor Henry Gee, over in Crummy-by-the Sea or something outed a blogger who had preferred her identity remain a bit more mysterious. At ScienceOnline and in many blogs and newspapers, writers have explained over and over why women might choose to remain anonymous or pseudonymous online. If, however, you suffer from the incredulity of privilege, it’s hard to understand what those girls are whining about. How can they sit there behind their Mighty Shield of Anonymity and hurl invectives? How is that fair?

Well, Microphallerati, this requires something called empathy and a bit of lack of whinery. When you choose to say things publicly from a position of privilege, people are going to call you out on it. Tough crumpets. Suck it up. Don’t blame a scientist halfway ’round the globe for your psychological problems. If engagement upsets your constitution, don’t do it. Leave the internets to those of us who are interested in communication, self-reflection, and change. Oh, and helping those who don’t stand on the lighthouse of privilege.

Cheerio, and get your damned flu shot.

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  1. Richard Wahl, M.D.

     /  January 25, 2014

    Hi Pal.

    I just wanted to leave a note saying how much I enjoy your posts, and how much I appreciate your contributions to the discussion of providing care to patients in this somewhat insane medical system that we are all deeply involved with.

    Please keep it up!

    You are a voice of sanity in this insane world.


    Rich Wahl, M.D.
    Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
    University of Arizona

  2. sleddog

     /  January 31, 2014

    Microphallerati is an excellent expression. Also, tough crumpets.

  3. I second the props for ‘Microphallerati’. Brilliant use of the English language (or maybe medicalese/Latin?).

    And I admire your skills in balanced ranting. Reminds me a little of my brother on FaceBook, except he comments mostly on politics & the environment, without the balance.

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