Everybody’s Gonna Need a Ventilator

by wjw on April 12, 2020

When your spine is cracking and your hands, they shake,

Heart is bursting and you butt’s gonna break.

Your woman’s cussing, you can hear her scream,

You feel like murder in the first degree.

Ain’t nobody slowing down no way,

Ev’rybody’s stepping on their accelerator,

Don’t matter where you are,

Ev’rybody’s gonna need a ventilator.

Remarkably prescient lyrics, don’t you think?  “Ventilator Blues,” from Exile on Main Street.  The Stones shown here amid a cross-section of Seventies decadence.  (And, wonder of wonders, Mick Taylor actually got co-writing credit.)

pixlaw April 13, 2020 at 8:18 am

Thanks, Walter. An underappreciated song from their best album. And of course, all the footage is from Robert Frank’s Cocksucker Blues, which I finally got to watch at Film Forum down in Soho in the late 80s. Did you notice Terry Southern in there about halfway through?

Etaoin Shrdlu April 13, 2020 at 12:24 pm

I’m hoping that your post was merely made in fun, rather than in worry.

So far, the mass hospitalizations and deaths have not appeared, it appears that we’re at the peak, and there is credible research from multiple sources indicating that far more people are showing antibodies to this than were expected — in other words, it was much MORE infectious and much LESS dangerous than believed.

As was the case with SARS, the only people who went to the hospitals were those who were half dead — so the great mass of “I had a sniffle for a few hours” folks never got counted.

On the bright side, at least you were spared the daily bloviations of the governor of Illinois, whose pomposity is only exceeded by his girth (and I’m referring to his waistline, not any other part of his anatomy).

Stay well, WJW. We need you to finish at least three different series (Quillifer, Praxis, Metropolitan) before you report to the Hale-Bopp mothership.

wjw April 13, 2020 at 11:31 pm

Etaoin, I’m not as sanguine as all that. The number of deaths in my state jumped by 55% in the last 48 hours. We’re a poor state here, with a public health system that was overstrained before the epidemic even started, and the infection rate hasn’t even started to slow down.

Etaoin Shrdlu April 14, 2020 at 9:19 am

You’re also a dry, sunshiney state,headed into the period of highest UV flux.

Look, if Taiwan can manage it, with some of the highest population densities on the planet and a culture among the old farts of spitting on the sidewalks “for health”, you guys should be golden. Take heart (or at least leave behind some solid outlines 🙂 ).

Ralf T. Dog. April 14, 2020 at 5:36 pm

Unlike the United States, Taiwan had a great testing system with very effective contact tracing.

wjw April 14, 2020 at 11:38 pm

Etaoin, I’m not particularly worried about me. I can isolate, I haven’t lost my job, and I’ve got access to health care. But there are pockets of real poverty in this state, where the only health care professional might be the local chiropractor, and they’re going to be devastated.

Etaoin Shrdlu April 16, 2020 at 3:49 pm

Hell, WJW, you’re probably seeing increased sales since everyone has to stay at home and may as well catch up on some reading! Ka-ching!!! 🙂


Do keep in mind that most of the time I live there. Taiwan’s healthcare system is a very bad joke*. I am nothing short of amazed that the entire island isn’t dead.

* Taiwanese give it high ratings in surveys because when they have a headache, they can immediately get in to see a quack to get a prescription for a bag of Tylenol. No, I’m not joking, they really do exactly that, even though it’s sold OTC there just like here. They’re terrified of taking anything without a doctor’s approval. My company’s CTO looked at me like I was some sort of axe murderer for offering him an ibuprofen out of my desk drawer when he had some leg cramps. In contrast, when someone I know had a stroke last year, they told him at the ER that he didn’t qualify for an MRI, sent him home with a bag of (you guessed it) Tylenol, made him wait ten days for a neurology appointment, told him again that he didn’t qualify for an MRI, and told him he could wait three months to get one if he paid for it himself. Said person was on a flight to Thailand the next day and had an MRI six hours after scheduling it, for less than Taiwan wanted to charge for the three-month waitlist. This is not a unique experience, it is the norm.

And you think those idiots can handle a virus outbreak when 400,000 Taiwanese flew home for Lunar New Year in the middle of an epidemic back in January/February?

Ralf T. Dog. April 16, 2020 at 9:23 pm

You just gave the guy an ibuprofen? No consultation with a doctor? Did you even bother to do a lab test for liver function? I am shocked that is legal.

On a totally unrelated note, I think the gentlemen in the above video might have been indulging in illicit substances. There may have even been tobacco usage. (Some might have been drinking.) The music was quite good. Do they have any other songs?

wjw April 17, 2020 at 1:56 am

Etaoin, if I were you, I’d get on the plane for Thailand NOW.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

Contact Us | Terms of User | Trademarks | Privacy Statement

Copyright © 2010 WJW. All Rights Reserved.