This has nothing whatever to do with the rise of so-called Obamacare, as the condition was present before O-care and persists still.

Maybe this isn’t the case in your locale, but I can tell you that in and around the urban amoeba known as Houston, simply being able to obtain an appointment with a medical doctor requires herculean effort if not divine intervention.

We adore our family physician, and a couple of years ago when our kids’ pediatrician retired, we were pleased that she was willing to bring them in as regular patients.

It hasn’t gone so well since then. Apparently her practice has taken on several hundred new patients besides our kids. It’s become impossible to find an open spot for an appointment for the entire coming week. If it’s a near-emergency (as opposed to an emergency-room emergency), the appointment person relays a message to our doctor’s assistant-nurse, who is supposed to call back to let us know if we can squeeze into a slot. But the nurse never calls until the next day.

That’s pretty unacceptable, and not the way things used to be a few years ago. As a result, we’ve been forced on several occasions to make use of the doc-in-a-box CVS keeps on staff at one of their stores a few miles away. The inability to be able to get in to see our regular doctor caused me to go to Walgreens to get flu shots for myself and my kids last year, with horrible results.

On those occasions when a family member is able to actually book an appointment with our family doctor, that person has to wait what I consider an outlandish length of time – usually two hours or more beyond the time the appointment was made.

Thus, even though we adore our family doctor, we are on the lookout for someone else, for the reasons listed above. Unfortunately, so far no one locally whose opinion I trust has a better family doctor situation than we do.

In other words, apparently the entire Houston area is plagued by such a lack of qualified primary care physicians that you can’t get in to see one without sacrificing pretty much half of a work day, or more, and having to schedule that sacrifice 10 days in advance.

So increasingly, we’re all at the mercy of the anonymous dox in boxes. And that’s just those of us who possess actual medical insurance.

Is this the way it works where you live?

When I gaze into my crystal ball, I think I see the rise of the neighborhood healer.


It’s taken way, way too long, but I am happy to report that the politicians in charge of our medical response to the Ebola crisis have finally begun taking the actions I recommended more than a week ago. (I’m certain my widely quoted blog turned the tide for common sense.)

Initially, the Centers for Disease Control recommended that every hospital across the country be prepared to isolate and treat Ebola patients, should they somehow arrive. Now that Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas so clearly demonstrated the flaws inherent in this CDC plan, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has declared that two newly established centers will handle any future Lone Star Ebola patients – one in Dallas and the other at the University of Texas medical campus in Galveston.

I’d also taken issue with federal government plans to screen passengers arriving from West Africa at five major U.S. airports because, for starters, you could book a flight from Liberia’s capital to Brussels, Belgium; from there to Heathrow Airport in London; and from there to Bush International Airport in Houston. And I’m sure there were a few other airports with flights connecting from Brussels and/or West Africa. Also, it made no sense to me that “screened” passengers exhibiting no Ebola symptoms just got a nod and a wave, when we know now that Ebola’s tell-tale fever symptom doesn’t show up in the afflicted for several days.

But now, the Obama Administration has seen fit to close the loopholes and stop such flights into the U.S., unless they go into one of the five airports with screeners looking for Ebola-like symptoms. And in a final attack of common sense, the CDC now has decided to monitor anyone coming here from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone, for 21 days.

I am glad a few logical precautions are being put in place, but otherwise I am sick of reading about Ebola, writing about it and watching the partisans use it as weapons with which to bludgeon each other. I think I’ll probably write about beets or spinach next time.

{ 1 comment }

Here’s another thing either the government and its Centers for Disease Control don’t yet know about the Ebola virus or aren’t telling us:

According to experts at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy: “We believe there is scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol particles both near and at a distance from infected patients, which means that healthcare workers should be wearing respirators, not facemasks.”

Which also means either that the CDC is ignorant or lying when it repeatedly tells the public to dial down the worry because you supposedly can’t catch Ebola without coming into direct contact with a victim’s bodily fluids.

When the CIDRP uses the term “infectious aerosol particles,” that means Ebola virus dispersed in tiny droplets of moisture in the air, capable of being inhaled. Caused, for instance, by a cough, sneeze or even the flushing of an open toilet.

If you care to, you can find a detailed and scientifically researched explanation here at the CIDRP’s website.

On its own website, the CDC still is maintaining that Ebola can’t be spread through the air. It’s pretty clear this assertion is at best unproven and at worst a lie.

In a national medical emergency, a competent set of government medical officials can create an atmosphere of calm confidence in the citizenry through frank discussion and disclosure of the situation at hand, and through timely, decisive actions.

Unfortunately, the way our government officials have handled this Ebola emergency is nearly the opposite of the above, forcing the public to weigh and question every statement and suggestion that comes from the CDC and state health people, because of the series of missteps and misstatements witnessed to date.

It’s as if the CDC is your fire extinguisher, and you only find out it doesn’t work when your kitchen erupts in flames. It would be great to have another fire extinguisher in another room somewhere.


Bad News With A Small Silver Lining

October 15, 2014 Be Afraid

The bad news is that a second nurse, who had cared for deceased Liberian Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, has herself been diagnosed with the deadly virus. Even worse news is that the woman, who was diagnosed with Ebola on Tuesday, had been on a commercial flight from […]

Read the rest →

Death By Moronic Leadership

October 13, 2014 Be Afraid

I have been forced to think about the Ebola plague more than I want to, now that it’s in Dallas. When it was half a world away in West Africa, you could hope for the best – a new drug and a major concerted world effort to eradicate the virus. When it lands in your […]

Read the rest →

We Don’t Need No Edumacation

October 1, 2014 Education

How a government prioritizes spending of the tax money it collects from its citizenry says a lot about the values of the people controlling that government. Beginning next week in Germany, for instance, all universities will be free of charge, as the last German state charging tuition abandoned those fees. “Tuition fees are socially unjust,” […]

Read the rest →

Take This Cart And Shove It…

September 30, 2014 Grumpy Old Man Does Retail

…I ain’t shopping here no more. Yes, the Grumpy Old Man was out in full force at the aging, dirty Wal-Mart just down from the Richmond post office. I’d pushed my cart through the grocery portion of the store as usual and, as usual, found nothing worth buying in the meat section, mediocre but acceptable […]

Read the rest →