Friday, November 6, 2009

Survival of the Richest

They got our money. Now they want to cut the line to get our vaccines. I don't think so.

In a public relations no-no, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs are among those companies to whom New York City health officials recently distributed doses of the swine flu vaccine. While we wait to protect those of us in high priority groups who may be most vulnerable, and hope there is enough vaccine available soon, some of the big boys don't have that problem.

We are told by Goldman that "like other responsible employers" they will "supply it (the vaccine) only to those employees who qualify". I don't know, but I have some nagging suspicion that not everything those at Goldman say is absolutely accurate. Beyond that, even if it is a true statement, don't you think that maybe these companies don't deserve a priority dose of anything else from us?

Why don't we do this in reverse order of size and power? Why don't we say that everyone who is homeless, who is on welfare, who is living in a shelter, who has felt nothing except the distress of being forgotten and ignored, steps to the front? Why aren't their children, or their elderly parents, or those who have been the most vulnerable and the most overwhelmed, for once deemed to be the most worthy of our attention? These people who have not had access to medical care, who are most at risk of not getting the needed attention, should be the ones who are now permitted to step forward.

We have all suffered what we see as a continuous wrong in catering and giving a helping hand to those at the top of the food chain. We have felt that they have stepped on those below them in their climb to the top and are willing to ignore the pain and suffering below. To make them or their loved ones appear to be important and more worthy of our care is not the message that we should be sending. Let them call their doctors and wait, like the rest of us, for their shot. That would be a dose of reality.