Snow Panic and My New, Imaginary BFF (An Angry Rant for the Ages)



I have not written here in a long time.  Sometimes the words just dry up before I can even say them out loud.  Sorry.

I live in New England, where every weekend this year a storm system has moved in and caused some havoc. We’ve had a series of minor-inconvenience storms and two real badduns, which is no big deal, really, considering that it’s WINTER in NEW ENGLAND. It’s kind of how it rolls around here. I don’t mind as, apart from shoveling and roof-raking, I love the snow. It’s sort of my favorite thing. What pisses me off about it all is this new trend of storm panic: People flocking to stores to stock up for Armageddon; practically looting, being no end of rude and self-serving, even going so far as to invest in giant ridonculous generators and machines of mass destruction; acting like this kind of weather is a complete shock. What the frak people? This happens EVERY YEAR. Remember the Pilgrims? Didn’t their diaries, letters and the like all go something like “The snow. MY GOD THE SNOW.”?

When I was a kid, and mind you –this was not that long ago and AFTER the blizzard of ’78 – there was none of this. Sure you went out shopping if you had to, but it was none of this insane rush for milk and bread with checkout lines wrapped around the building. It is infuriating. And embarrassing. Surely we are made of stronger stuff…

It infuriates me because I know the cause of this panic and it is so stupid that people fall for it. It’s the fucking local media. (Now look at me, I’m swearing for reals). The last decade or so has seen all of the local news stations amp up the noise over EVERYTHING. Every little thing (of no real consequence) that they can grab hold of. It’s pathetic and sad. They are so desperate for ratings that instead of covering things in the world that we ought to be upset about – like billionaires getting caught diverting funds into fraudulent educational charities and using the money to spread anti-climate change propaganda, or congress cutting money from education because the U.S. is so broke we can’t afford to properly educate (or feed) our children yet we can afford to raise their already six figure salaries – the local news  jumps on things like storms and blow them up to monumental proportions. 24-Hour snow coverage. Seriously. They spend the entire week leading up to a storm panicking the people, the time during the storm ‘covering’ the events (watching snow fall), and the following days ‘covering’ the cleanup and criticizing the local government’s response to the situation (which, depending upon which station you are watching, they did a very good job or a very bad one – there is no such thing as unbiased reporting any more). It’s insane. They get everyone into a good frothy lather and then they sit back and revel in the ratings.

And what pisses me off the most is that everyone falls for it. People who have lived here all their lives. People who should know better.

Then suddenly it’s every man for himself with utter disregard for other people. Everyone gets extraordinarily rude to each other. It’s unbelievable. And the traffic! People are so insane over the traffic that might be that they actually make that bad traffic happen by jumping the gun and driving like douchebags all at once. So yes, worry about your commute because you are about to frell yourselves with it.

This is not to say that there isn’t real danger and tragedies don’t actually happen. Lots of power outages, sure, and some really devastating things like trees falling on houses. These things happen and should be prepared for. I worry about people who can’t afford to heat their homes properly, or who end up with boiler explosions or frozen pipes from faulty plumbing. It’s just the other 99.9 percent of the folks out there with nothing to worry about who are the ones really panicking. (Fankly, I even have limited sympathy for people who keep homes in the coastal areas and then lose houses or experience damage from the sea. First off, you live on the sea. That is your first clue that catastrophe will strike you during a storm. Secondly, you cannot ask for public assistance for damages and damage prevention and then, come sunny beach weather, kick everyone off the beach and call it private property. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.)

Right now the sun is out and the sky is blue, but the deluge from melting snow on my roof is making it look like it’s pouring. Am kind of stuck here, ill today (hence the bitchy snow patrol report). Health wise things are not too good, but at this point, what’s new.

I spent the morning trying to locate a doctor who is in my health plan. I have a new health problem (that I won’t get into), and my doctor referred me to someone who doesn’t take my insurance. So instead of her office remedying the situation, I had to contact my insurance carrier, get the numbers of local specialists on their plan, find one, report back to the insurance carrier, and then back to my doctor so she will give me a new referral for the new specialist. Sounds like fun, huh? It’s especially fun when you go through the list, call dozens of offices only to find out that they no longer take my insurance or they no longer have a practice. Sufficed to say, after some frustrating phone time, I finally find a doctor who does. They immediately transfer my call to their registration office, and after some time exchanging information I was transferred back to the specialist’s office, where I spent an enjoyable fifteen or twenty minutes talking to his receptionist… who sounds exactly like Ne Ne Leakes (‘Rocky’ on The New Normal). I was in heaven. So now I imagine that Ne Ne is my new BFF and we’re going to go shopping or summat. A girl can dream.

I hate this phone game I have to play when it comes to my health. I don’t get why my GP can’t just order tests, I mean, what does she do? In everything I have a specialist: A gastroenterologist, a rheumatologist, a neurologist, a haematological oncologist and now someone else. And every time I need an appointment with one of them, I have to make an appointment with my GP so she can check me out, pass the buck, make me a referral. So it’s all this waiting. I wait to see her so I can wait to see someone else so that one can schedule tests before they can fix the issue. And by the time I get things sorted the issue has escalated and the specialist usually comments about my not seeing them sooner about the problem. I did try to see you sooner, it’s just your buck passing process is shyte. Not to mention when something goes wrong, like it did today, I have to straighten it out. I don’t mind being so hands on when it comes to sorting my health, I actually prefer it; it’s just on days like today, when I am on the phone for half a day trying to work things out, and I have no access to things like NPI numbers and account information, knowing full well that all of this could be avoided by someone in my GP’s office just looking at her computer and clicking a button. Literally. Then I don’t have to worry about messing up or contacting the wrong person or having my information garbled. You can only imagine the backlash from having someone superimpose the digits in one of your statements. Ridiculous bureaucratic nonsense.

So that’s today’s gripe. Very soon I shall regale the world with new tales of books and maybe some amusing anecdotes or what not. Who knows?


2 thoughts on “Snow Panic and My New, Imaginary BFF (An Angry Rant for the Ages)

  1. I have a 3-minute clip saved on DVR called “Winter Storm Nemo”. I saved it because it was a clip, first of the Weather Channel panic squad, then a live remote from some Square in Boston. The reporter in his LLBean Weather Channel gear, talking about “white out conditions” and gusts of 50MPH – and the teens in back of him waving their arms and sliding around in the snow. There was a half-built snow man waiting nearby.

    • It was kind of great, that Saturday morning. The night before they declared a state emergency and enforced a driving ban – and for good reason; it was pretty rough out there and the snow removal process was overwhelming. The state was asking it’s citizens for patience and safety. The next morning was magical. People spent the day outside, (especially in the cities where most folks don’t have backyards) playing in the streets like kids. There were films of neighbors walking up and down their streets handing out hot chocolate and coffee to complete strangers. So most of the local stations showed this and commented on how despite the terrible weather and all of the bad things that happened as a result of the storm, good things were happening too. Renewed senses of community, and the like. There, of course, was the one local channel that only dealt with the driving ban, interviewing the one person in the state who got ticketed for it (he was driving to prove a point, that no one could strip him of his driving rights – then he crashed his car) and declaring MA a fascist regime. Gotta love that unbiased reporting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s