In these days of SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19, we all wonder whether anyone looks after us, arm amputees.
My guess, no.
Like with prosthetic arms [link], it is the "survival of the fittest".
Now, with COVID-19 and a disability, it is anything but guaranteed to get a place in an intensive-care unit. Once I may ever start failing to oxygenate properly, they may decide my life was never worth living anyway, and throw me out. Luckily, we now had some Swiss specialists1 issue an official check-list on how to "best" suffocate from COVID-19 - one of the most informative reads in a long time, by the way[link]2; most notably one is advised to wear wide clothing, while staying in, to peacefully suffocate, while outside, the "survival of the fittest" law rages on. "Life is one continuous rage", they said.
As things happen to coincide, we now ran out of household paper (Haushaltspapier), just when the shelves in the supermarkets were licked empty.
After all, also a significant rest of our society thrives on the "survival of the fittest" rule, life being said continuous rage, and this is visual proof of it. And as previous shoppers had bought that all up, I was shit out of luck, or so it seemed.
Being an arm amputee that is well used to social distancing, and that is well used to using my own perspective, the "survival of the fittest" works in wicked ways, even though no one here tried to "survive". I was just after a few freaking rolls of paper towel, just how more profane could you get, the "paper snatching of the fittest". And yet: there are some things I may just do better than others, precisely because I do not. Think about it - and what else there might be that you might have felt to ask me right now.
And with that perspective, I will put to you, that I immediately saw, that they had some old, dried-up yellowy household paper packages, stashed up high, far above the reach of anyone.
That be the advertising, I figured, their "product exhibit" of sorts, within that supermarket barn. A "product exhibit" that turned product, might I add ; )
A closer look revealed that there were many more left, before that shop should be considered "empty of household paper".
Also, some other people had gone after the lower shelves already, but no trampolins nearby.
While official recommendations on "how to best make it through COVID-19 agony" - also with a disability - recommended wide clothing (not white clothing! OH, HELL NO!!), they did not say "do not borrow a broomstick".
Given the Damocles sword of the predicament of our current times, I figured it was fine, to just shortly borrow a broomstick.
They had these just an aisle further down.
And with that broomstick, I aimed high at these shelves, where the household paper was, out of reach, or so it seemed, then I poked, and I pushed two packages of household paper from that elevated shelf, in order so they could fall down, for me to properly purchase them.
And so that morning, this proud arm amputee was the only one to waltz out that supermarket with household paper rolls in the basket.
So, yeah, I guess you want to wear wide clothes, while "survival of the fittest" turns our raging lives into more rage. With wide clothes, also, you could try to reach up just so much higher!
From my experience, we need to look out for ourselves - the non-disabled people may not provide us with too many role models to set really good examples.
So, play your experience cards. Play your observation ability. Ask people. Read up on how to stay fit, as that is what "survival of fittest" really means - like, consider examples such as (but not restricted to) eating well, sleeping well, and living life, too, because who knows, if we all will be here next year.
And, yeah, "we all should go for a drink" some day, at least once we got all the paper rolls and face masks sorted out. Cough, cough ; )
- Tanja Krones, Barbara Loupatatzis, Isabelle Karzig, Dorle Otto, Esther Liem
- So, once the dyspnea sets in, the death rattle, maybe, they recommend to wear comfortable wide clothing, to open windows or use small table fans to move the air in front of the face, to consider that certain body positions that make breathing easier (e.g. coach seat or the high position of the upper body), to support the upper body on a table, they recommend distraction through music, books, television, they suggest relaxation exercises and massages, as well as acupuncture, utilization of active plant ingredients, trace elements and vitamins, hypnosis, homeopathy, scent therapy, wraps, and rubs. Of course, this is disturbing in a number of ways. For one, why they recommend television, is absolutely beyond me. And I do have a few experiences with that regard. Once I had an epiglottitis, and my spit would drivel out of my mouth but could not swallow it, I could still breathe at least a bit, and so I decided to sit that one out, at home, by eating ice cream, to reduce epiglottis swelling, rather than admitting myself to hospital, simply because I figured, that I was in no way after a tracheotomy. Another time, two years ago, during another serious viral pneumonia that I had, I almost fainted every time I had a cough attack, a "death rattle" type gargling sound when "breathing" that went on for maybe a total of three weeks, and severe vertigo in the weeks after that then subsided. It was a tough call. Don't get me started on television: just because I had trouble breathing never meant I became accepting of that true rubbish that keep being distributed there.