Caught in a Deep-Freeze Polar Vortex Moment: Feeling Pensive about the Health of our Nation

In this deep-freeze polar vortex moment, I’m pensive about the health of our nation

 Daily Challenge: Write here, write now -Being in the Moment

The train is rolling and whistling away. My head is fuzzy and out of nowhere my body just keeps sneezing. The sneezes are interrupting my thoughts which I must admit are all over the place.  The train stops for its next set of passengers. I look over to the side out the window. I see a billboard exhorting me to go to sunny Ft. Lauderdale.  Soon enough. Although, I am reading the Huffington Post’s article on how hundreds of motorists remain stranded in the Atlanta highway due to two inches of snow. I wonder if the B-52’s can update their Love Shack song to reflect the current dire snow situation down in the Deep South.

The train door closes and now we are rolling again. We are passing a field of relatively untouched snow, with only pawprints on the surface. Now I catch a sight of the dogs who are flying through the air in pure snow ecstasy. I am smiling as that is truly one of the happiest things one can experience.  I relish this momentary delight before the work day begins.

As I keep rolling in to work on my New York morning commute. I start to think about the President’s State of the Union Address. Sitting here as the scenery outside my window is beginning to blur due to increased train speed, I wonder about the purported “Year of Action” that is to come ahead. Outside my window, I currently see poverty, hunger, and coldness. It is 15 degrees out right now in New York city and those that I see at the moment pushing about a shopping cart may be feeling as grey as our current skies. I sit here hoping that they find shelter and food in our safety net system.  As I am reflecting, I hope that the promised initiatives including the promised targeted research funds in this coming year of action will have an impact on the disparities-both economical and health- that I am witnessing right at the moment.

The train is now stalled right in front of the post office where the Son of Sam used to work. That post office’s history serves to always remind of where we are currently at in terms of mental health services. I am hoping that this year of action will entail real fruitful acts to address the broken, all too often fractured, mental health system we currently face in this country. We are now in the dark tunnel, somewhat akin to where we are at in terms of reaching an AIDS-free generation.

In this moment, I am thus pensive, apprehensive for action, determined to make an impact and hopeful we will reach a point where health disparities have been severely lessened.

Right here, right now, I am ready and willing to take on the challenge to make this a year of action. Right here, right now, I am also dream of a warm getaway.

Written By: Miriam Vega
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