Thursday, June 25, 2009

You might wind up with salmonella or typhus...

...but by golly, you'll have a nice, shiny new museum to visit.

Over the last several years, I've tried really hard not to blog about work. I happen to love what I do and would hate to think that something as trivial as a blog post would cause me to lose my job.

However, now that's more than likely a moot point.

I mentioned in an
  • earlier post
  • that the possibility exists that I'll soon be on the dole. That possibility is becoming more like a probability.

    The PJStar mentioned it
  • here
  • , too.

    As our administrator said the other day in a meeting, there's a "perfect storm" happening right now. Many of the programs that are administered by the Peoria City/County Health Department are funded by grants. Those grants will just...go away...if the State of Illinois isn't able to reach an agreement on a budget. In addition, the county, which also partially funds the HD, is in some pretty dire financial straits as well.

    Just one of those issues might be manageable. Put the two together and it paints a pretty bleak picture for the Health Department.

    "So what?", you say. "It won't affect me. The state and county budget is bloated and ineffective, anyway."

    I agree with that. To a point.

    But are you sure it won't affect you?

    Do you have well water that needs tested? Sorry. You'll have to send the sample to Springfield and wait...and wait. In the meantime, feel free to drink the water. A little typhus never hurt anybody.

    Wanna eat out? Are you sure the food is safe to eat? Aww, go ahead. Live dangerously. The Health Department doesn't have the funds to hire restaurant inspectors anymore. Make sure you follow your server into the bathroom...just to make sure he/she washes her hands. After all...the Health Department doesn't provide signs anymore...and they might forget. Salmonella really isn't too bad. Botulism or Hepatitis? Ewww...good luck.

    How about flu season? Sorry. No more $30 (or free if you can't afford to pay for it) flu shots at the Health Department. You'll have to see your own physician...and pay $100. Oh...and thinking about traveling abroad? Nope. We can't do foreign travel immunizations anymore, either. And good luck getting them from your own doc...most of them don't normally stock cholera vaccine.

    Think you might have an STD, don't have insurance and are too embarrassed to see a regular doc? Too bad, so sad. You'll have to go to the emergency room. After all...if you don't have the money for it, the state'll pick up the tab, right? And you know the ER will teach you how to not get infected again. /sarcasm.

    Are you young, pregnant and have virtually no family support. Tough. You're on your own, sister. You won't have a helpful case manager to call anymore to encourage you to get an education, to teach you how to become self-sufficient, to teach you how to care for your baby, to offer moral support.

    Are you an infant with multiple medical problems? Remember that nice nurse that used to come and see you every couple of months and do a complete physical to make sure you're still doing ok? Sorry. You won't see her anymore. Your young, inexperienced mom is on her own. Good luck! I hope you don't grow up to have a severe learning disability, which requires you to suck even more funds from that bloated state government.

    Worried about West Nile Virus? Awww...put on some OFF and shaddup. I hear living on a vent isn't really that bad. Oh! And then you can go on disability...and probably get just all kinds of public aid.

    What if...just what if this H1N1 virus decides to get really nasty this fall? Oh, the Health Department has plenty of vaccine. Just no employees to administer the shots.

    What if some other nasty bug rears it's ugly head? Same deal. The HD might have a vaccine...but no employees to administer it.

    What if there's a natural a tornado? Again, the HD might have much-needed supplies. But you'll have to come and get 'em yourself. And, gawd forbid...what if some whackjob like Ahmadinnerjacket decides to douse the good, old USA with some kinda biological agent? Best to breathe deep and just get it over with quick. Again, the HD has supplies...but no employees to get 'em to the people.

    Need free condoms? Sorry. You'll just have to get pregnant so you and your baby can go on welfare. That's waaaay cheaper than free condoms, right?

    I could go on and on. But I think you get the picture.

    I'll be ok without my job. I'll miss it like hell...but I'll be ok. And I'll just keep telling all my co-workers that won't be ok that "It's better here". Yea. That's what I'll say.

    As for the State of Illinois...well...what can I say? It's always been this way, and I don't see politicians developing any kind of compassion for their constituents any time soon. It's always been a buncha lip service and tryin to prove who has the biggest balls.

    And Peoria County obviously thinks that building a gazillion dollar, white elephant of a museum is far more important than maybe saving a life or two. Or a thousand.

    I'm just so...disappointed.


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