Eduardo Franco has lost count of the number of funerals he’s been to this year. The last one was just a month ago in his home state of Carabobo in Venezuela. His friend Roberto, 25, died after succumbing to the effects of HIV.
“It was hard watching him in so much pain,” Franco told NBC News. “He suffered a lot psychologically and physically,” he recalled, struggling to get his words out. “I felt powerless, because there was no medicine for him.”
Roberto was bisexual and contracted HIV after having unprotected sex with a man. He is one casualty out of thousands of HIV/AIDS patients in Venezuela who are dying every year because of a major shortage of antiretroviral HIV medications that can help treat and slow down the virus and fight infection.
Since 2015, there have been sporadic shortages of these vital medicines all over Venezuela. But deliveries that were slow to arrive two years ago have now ground to a halt. Public hospitals have given up testing for HIV, and condom supplies have run out. Venezuela’s health system appears to be on the brink of collapse.
“Over the past week in Carabobo there’s no medicines arriving at all. If you have cancer or are recovering from an operation or have an infection you can’t get any antibiotics. There’s empty shelves in every clinic and pharmacy,” Franco, who serves as a spokesperson for the HIV/AIDS foundation MAVID in Carabobo, explained…
“They hadn’t been seen by any doctors and died because of a lack of medicine, infections and starvation,” Maurico Gutierrez, an LGBTQ advocate and social worker based in Caracas, told NBC News…
According to the charity, 85 percent of pharmacies in the capital have run out of medication. The organization claims between 95 and 100 percent of hospitals in the city have no medicines at all in stock.
“If you’re sick and go to a hospital in Caracas, all you’ll get — if you’re lucky — is a bed and some saline solution,” Gutierrez said following one of his regular visits to a hospital. “There’s no hope left in Venezuela; it’s getting harder and harder every day.”
It says a lot, that this is unimaginable to us. How could a hospital just say, “We have no medicine, so make yourself comfortable and wait for the end.“? It is almost beyond our imagination.
And yet, that is the natural state of the world. We have only short-circuited that nature through massive debt spending – debt spending that cannot go on forever. Without debt spending, we are back in the Carter years, where you can only try to get gas on a day determined by whether your car license plate is odd or even numbered, and even then you will wait on a line that is fifty or seventy cars long.
The thing is, all the free resources have allowed us to keep millions of people alive who cannot survive once the economic collapse goes down. There is no way normal citizens are going to want to spend $60,000 per year to keep alive human disease spreaders who will infect more people, and increase costs even more. Even regular people, with random diseases will be having trouble getting their medicines once the free money train comes to a halt. Helping those who brought their diseases on themselves will bebeyond imagination.
You think healthcare is expensive today? Wait until congress can’t funnel hundreds of billions to the industry – and you have no money yourself.
Nobody grasps why we have the K-selected urges we have in our species. Sex is fun, and there are no ways it can kill you. So why not have it all the time with everyone? Why not freely associate with gays, and foreigners, and third-worlders who just arrived? Why not eat strange foods that appear disgusting? Why try to keep your children chaste, until marriage?
People will find out why those urges were burned into our species so deeply, the moment the economic collapse finally hits. Those urges will be the only thing keeping people alive.