Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The Flesh-Eating Superbug and the "Gay Disease"
As I lay on my comfy hospital bed this morning watching my blood drain away...with the nurses coming in and out of my little room and spoiling me rotten as usual ... I couldn't help but think of how different it must have been for gay men like me during the Plague Years.
When our poor brothers with AIDS were often left to lie in soiled sheets for hours or go hungry...because people were too frightened to go near them. Or even go near HEALTHY gay people because they thought AIDS was a gay disease.
And then as I dozed off .....I remembered a picture I saw during the SARS crisis of an Asian restaurant owner alone in his usually packed dining room.... after all his regular customers had deserted him. Because in their ignorance and fear they thought SARS was an ASIAN disease.
And how I wished I was in Toronto so I could go to his restaurant ..... sit by the window so everyone in the street could see me...and order EVERYTHING on the menu. Because that kind of irrational fear is SCARY. And I wanted to show that poor man that I wasn't afraid.
Well guess what? Now I AM afraid. Because it's our turn again.
A deadly strain of the superbug MRSA which can lead to a flesh-eating form of pneumonia has emerged. Research suggests it may be more prevalent among the gay community - the gay San Francisco district of Castro appears to have been hardest hit
The new strain is resistant to treatment by many front-line antibiotics.
It causes large boils on the skin, and in severe cases can lead to fatal blood poisoning or necrotising pneumonia, which eats away at the lungs.
Never mind that a bug doesn't discriminate. That it'll jump any human it can. Just ask Columbus.
Never mind that we don't know how many people got it from sex....or how many got it from working out in a gym.... or from handling a supermarket cart. Or that MRSA illnesses are a growing problem everywhere.
Or that they can strike any group of people first.
This one will be seen as another GAY disease. And because it can DISFIGURE people as well as kill them .... and unlike AIDS you CAN pick it up from casual contact, the panic could be even worse.
So just like the right-wingers and religious fanatics used AIDS to attack us ALL during the Plague Years.
Like this group of Young Republicans picketing a Democratic Party convention.
I'm not surprised that their modern counterparts are already calling for gays to be quarantined or killed.
I thought AIDS was bad enough. I guess they will get us all killed through their “choice” of lifestyle and spread their misery to one and all. Misery loves company.
Quarantine. Learn the lesson of AIDS.
They can have sex with each other in quarantine until they die from the bacterial infection
It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people. Every one of them who is transported to the great bath house in the sky...is one who cannot pass on any of the viruses connected with the community.
In Iran these sickos would’ve been executed and this would have a quick end put to it
Just like I'm afraid many people in Canada will think ....even if they won't say it aloud.
I woke up with a start to find one of my favourite nurses bending over me and laughing.
"Simon how could you fall asleep and not call me?" she said. " The bag is so full it's ready to explode. And what WERE you dreaming about ? "
Since she needs more grief like I need a hole in my head.... I just smiled, winked and said:
"It was a yummy dream....mmmm." And she laughed.
But actually it was a nightmare.
Here we go again...
P.S. In case you wondered why I have to get my blood drained six or seven times a year... it's to keep my hemochromatosis.
Or my Celtic Curse in check.
And my public service announcement is the same one. If you have any of the symptoms. Check with your doctor and get yourself tested.
Because they may call it the Celtic Curse.
But in Canada it could be ANYONE...