Johnny is an Opposer, Part IX

Johnny has her monkey voices and her brilliance battles with her mania, a.k.a. ADHD on the spectrum, somewhere. I.Q. Score is 141 (thanks Stanford-Binet).

If I cared I could be a doctor, like you.

Could be or would be? asks Bennie. Her E.Q. was low, self esteem in the tank. Running an Aroma Johnny’s instead of….
Stock broker
Oral surgeon
Artisanal baker
Stay at home mother of three; Ebay seller netting 123K/another time story

Her mother thinks it was a reaction to the MMR vaccines.
Johnny could be one of the 13%
So we’ll follow her too; she’s a Jet.

Oh, let’s not forget the virus. The question was, what do Johnny and the virus have in common?

Stefanie’s employee went to Florida and was sprayed with droplets by a barista who covered her face into her elbow a half second after she sneezed. The virus joined his family on the flight back to New Hampshire. Anatomy of an Outbreak on the web site is one of many installments now- his story is Part I.

Or this could all be wrong (thanks, maybe, to Kurt Vonnegut).

Johnny is a barista and manager and maybe she’s Typhoid Mary 2.0. The outbreak science is so poor, Salk and Sabine’s ghosts are embarrassed.

Tracking got traction during the HIV outbreak when public health trumped patient privacy and clinicians were mandated to report infections and, to the extent possible, have patients identify partners. The science was well-developed in infectious disease management world-wide for many years but the stigma around HIV and outbreaks in New York City and San Francisco and bias toward the counter-culture communities delayed a better public health effort.

19 had to happen but not so dramatically. Psychological denial and socio/political manipulation of truths that makes us look bad or don’t fit our personal or group identities and beliefs are often ignored, at great cost and peril.

Of course the stonewalling by President Reagan and his homophobia put the science three years behind HIV and, like the horse race analogy, only now it’s the Belmont Stakes, in this longest race, the virus broke out to a big lead and the mortality was pervasive. Twelve thousand Americans died before the president spoke the term “AIDS.” (Thanks, NBC).

Ok, enough intrigue. Stefanie and Johnny do a double shot: they get tested for the virus and tested for antibodies and they go drink tequila and eat oysters on Bennie’s credit card.

Ok ok
Both test negative and both have antibodies.

“There’s a killer on the road.” Jim Morrison

What do you think is going to happen?

Benny awakes from a nightmare, covered in sweat, about his infant grandson getting immunizations.

He enjoys and sometimes fears experiences in the collective unconscious (Jung) during which he can sense the whole human experience – I know what I think but I get what the others thinks and feels at the same time – appreciation of life stuff.

The Jets awake with hangovers.

Stefanie has to see Jericho at 10am She’s 22 and excels in resident care and as a bartender although that gig is curtailed. We think she’s a jet. She calls out only for incapacitating hangovers. Her rapport with people with dementia is remarkable. Benny calls her a Buddhist behaviorist.

Stefanie appreciates insight and fatalism in a Jet. To her offer for her to be tested, Jericho replies, “seriously, S.? Not a chance.”

She remembers Eddie and Brenda: large house special, two large margaritas. ?The same as last time, she asks and they’re amazed at her recall. MENSA and never been Tested but coded for conduct in 5th grade. Released for good behavior in 6th grade. Stuffed four toilets on the forth floor of the school building in a plea for help.

Definitely a Jet and as a bartender, clearly another one of Bill’s assassins.

Johnny and Jericho could take out 3% of Northern New England if they Go Positive simultaneously. Four day incubation, easily 300 contacts a day, .. 1500 exposures a week…

Who coughs first?

A troubling case shows up at a teaching hospital E.R. in October. Virus symptoms, positive virus quick test and antibodies are also present. The E.R. doc steps out for a smoke. He grasps the significance immediately. The little jolt of nicotine clears his head. He goes back to the E.R. Laboratory computer and deletes the results and scrubs the patient’s file.

He types in “pneumonia….345.67 Rx doxycycline 1000 mg bid #60” and tells the guy to rest and hydrate and see his pcp in a week.

The guy is homeless. Reprise: there’s a killer on the road.

The E.R. doc gives two weeks notice. He can’t sleep. The noise of the refrigerator trucks being used as temporary morgues on the side of the E.R. wakes him up several times every night although he can’t really hear them.

Other nights he hears his pager although it didn’t go off. He hears the hiss, in and out breathing rhythm of a ventilator.
He helps himself to some benzodiazepine in the E.R. Bad choice. He gets disinhibited as well as being psychotic and pats an E.R. nurse on the derrière. Risperdal would be the drug of choice. He’s one of the 13%.

In a few weeks, while he’s driving to Taos, he’ll take a length of hose from the trunk of his Porsche and attach it to the exhaust pipe and then into the driver’s cabin and go to sleep.

Buddha has a sense of humor: the Porsche runs out of gas and he wakes up to a baton-tapping sherif in Missouri beating cadence on his window.
“Put your hands on the wheel where I can see them.”

He has heard this command before.