The Doctor, The Disease, And The Division ➶

Siddhartha Bajracharya, a physician in Brooklyn, writing about his current experiences working in the real world of Covid-19 and its eerie near-future mirror of The Division 2, which he plays with a friend at night:

With the global spread of the coronavirus and the faltering response of the American government, The Division 2 has unavoidably become a mirror to current events and public policy, a game with inherent political messaging despite a few prior, feeble objections from its creators. Of course, video games have always been political. From the already-dated frontier thesis mythology of Oregon Trail, to the delightfully unsubtle Martian analogue of the Iraq insurgency in Red Faction Guerrilla, this is not a challenging concept to comprehend.

Of course, medicine has always been political, too.

Every time I practice medicine I practice politics. Every time I’ve called a pharmacy pleading for my patient’s insulin not to cost as much as their monthly rent. Every time I’ve told someone their kidneys are slowly failing and their life is about to change forever and we have ways to keep them alive and kicking, but I can’t offer them the best and ultimately cheapest treatment—a kidney transplant—due to their immigration status.

If only we could blame this all on something so simple as a conspiracy. In the real world, no one designed the coronavirus, no monologuing villain unleashed it. There’s no Deep State waiting in the wings to save us when all hope is lost. The institutions that were meant to protect us against the biblical threat of plague were instead deliberately and systematically dismantled for reasons of greed and cowardice, experience and expertise thrown out and replaced by obsequious incompetence, in a decades-long project that has now inevitably resulted in avoidable catastrophe.

✶ Sunday, 3 May 2020

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