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In an ER in the South Bronx. This is an America that is never reported on; surreal levels of suffering. A wing of the hospital is opened up to people who have nowhere to sleep this Feb night. A homeless man had legs, feet swollen from infection; the dr wanted to cut his socks..
2/off to treat him and the man asked him not to as socks are expensive. The Dr managed to remove the socks and now his bandaged feet have to go out in the cold with no socks on. The nurse told me that they’ve treated people who come in with maggots on their untreated wounds. They
3/use a solution and the maggots drop off. The nurse who helped me had been working for 14 hours and will start again tomorrow at 630 am. The level of pure poverty and needless suffering in a rich country is hard to describe. Through it all, people who all deserve so much better
4/ are patient, stoic and often kind. How split off our nation is from itself; how invisible it makes some of its citizens. What lies we tell ourselves.
So much is different as poverty changes institutional assumptions. I wasn’t asked ‘phone?’ ‘Email’? As I would be in Manhattan: I was asked when checkin in, ‘Do you have a phone?’ ‘Do you have email?’
So many details of life in the South Bronx speak to the incredible suffering and endless indignities of how low income people are treated in America. There is a black market in diabetes strips; you can buy diapers one at a time and they are kept locked away In some stores.Imagine
2/ being a mom with a baby or toddler and only being able to afford to buy one diaper at a time. Imagine the mess and misery of that restriction for baby and mother. What if the baby uses a diaper before you can afford the next? How is this America?
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