Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Medicine and the New York City Transit Strike

I hitchhiked to the office this morning in a van with four strangers. People are nervous, but helpful. It reminded me of the blackout of 2004, when my wife and I walked home across Central Park at night with a flashlight. (Like others, we didn't have much of a choice.) Then as now, the strangers we met were uneasy, but friendly.

I hope the good attitude lasts. The hospitals are running smoothly, but our dialysis shifts are starting at 5 in the morning to minimize commuting problems, and soon, the health care system may start breaking down due to decreased staffing and transportation delays. The news is reporting that hospitals and EMS workers have been preparing for emergencies related to the transit strike and officials are worried about the inevitable decline in quality of care. If this continues, it won't be long until the strike causes patients to die, and the headline will be "Killed by the Transit Strike." Any sympathy people have for the striking transit workers will disappear.

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