Grandstand. I’m angry and angry when they scroll through the media, show their discontent on television, make their voices heard perfectly on the radio, deliver their speech in the newspapers. Always to tell us about a situation of which they are an aggravating factor, always to perish on citizenship, on the risk of recession, on the responsibilities of the inhabitants, political adversaries, foreigners … Never to apologize, implore our sorry, even though they are partly responsible for what we experience.
I am angry and I have rage, because as a psychologist in the most affected hospital, that of Mulhouse, I see all day dozens of people arrive in emergency in our premises, and I know that for a many of them, they will not come out alive, smiling, carefree, as could have been the case two weeks ago.
I am angry and angry because I know that these people, these living beings, these brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, grandfathers and grandmothers, will die alone in an outdated service, despite the courageous efforts of caregivers; alone, without the glance or the hand of those who love them, and whom they love.
I am angry and I have rage in front of this crazy situation which wants us to leave our elders, our elders, those who allowed our present not to be hell, those who hold knowledge and a wisdom that no one else has; so that we let them die in clusters in houses that have nothing but retirement in name, because they cannot save everyone, they say.
Impossible mourning for families
I am angry and angry, thinking of all those families who will live with the terrible pain of impossible mourning, impossible farewell, impossible justice. These families who are not given access to their loved one, these families who constantly call services to get news, and to which no caregiver can answer, too busy trying to intervene at the last chance. These families who are or could be ours …
I am angry and angry when I see my caregivers fighting, every day, every minute, to try to bring help to all people who find themselves in respiratory distress, lose it crazy energy, but going back there, every day, every minute. I am angry and I have rage, in front of the working conditions of my colleagues stretcher bearers, ASH, secretaries, nursing assistants, nurses, doctors, psychologists, social workers, physiotherapists, managers, psychomotor therapists, educators, logisticians, security professionals… because we lack everything, and yet we have to go to coal.
I am angry and angry because, when I go to work and when I leave, I meet three or four emergency vehicles in a few minutes, carrying a person full of hope d to be saved… How can we not trust our hospitals? They are at the forefront, they are in perfect condition to function, protect, heal… and yet, how many of these ambulances take their passengers to their last place? How many of these patients will leave the door unharmed?
I am angry and I have rage, because it has been years that we cry our concern, our incomprehension, our disgust, our dissatisfaction, in front of the health policies carried out by the various governments, which thought that the hospital was a business like any other, that health could be a speculative good, that the economy had to prevail over care, that our lives had a market value.
I am angry and angry when I see that our emergency services have been asking for help for so long, when I think that people who arrive with the Samu look (often the last on the outside ) on these banners saying “EMERGENCIES ON STRIKE”, that they are faced with treating doctors who are retired because of the departure of the emergency workers, these emergency specialists who would be so necessary in these dark days …
Exploitation of nursing students
I am angry and angry at the way in which we exploit our nursing students or nursing assistants, who find themselves doing hard work that I would not wish my worst enemy, who, barely 20 years old, must put the bodies of our dead in body bags, without preparation, without support, without them being able to call themselves volunteers. Why ask? This is part of their training, let’s see! And they should consider themselves happy, they receive a gratuity of a few hundred euros, since they act as interns.
I am angry and angry because the current situation is the result of these policies, these closings of beds as they like to say, forgetting that on these beds, there were humans who needed them, those fucking beds! Of these job cuts, because a nurse is expensive, it takes up space on the estimated budget; of these outsourcing of all care professions, since one less ASH in the figures of the number of civil servants, it is always one less civil servant of which they can be proud.
I am angry and I have rage, because those who are at work every day, despite the fear anchored in the belly, fear of being infected, fear of transmitting the virus to loved ones, fear of passing it on to others patients, afraid of seeing a colleague on the bed in room 10; these and those were spit on for years in political speeches, found themselves deprived of their dignity when asked to chain two professionals all the care of a service in a few minutes, jostled in their professional ethics and deontology by the contradictory and crazy demands of the administration. And today, it is these people who take their car, their bicycle, their feet, every day to work despite the continuous risk of being struck by the virus, while those who have abused them are quietly installed at home or in their official apartment.
I am angry and angry because today my hospital is facing an unprecedented crisis, while those who have emptied it are far away. Because my hospital was taken for a fucking springboard for short-lived and incompetent directors who only aimed at the management of a teaching hospital and who went through Mulhouse just to prove that they knew how to lead a stupid austerity policy and nasty… Because my hospital has been the target of insane injunctions in the name of an obscure certification, for which it seemed much more important to show flawless traceability rather than a quality of human care.
Because, by and large, my hospital was nothing more than a guinea pig for administrators whose importance was only selfish self-worth. Because beyond my hospital, it is the people who are welcomed there who were considered as negligible values, figures among others, variables on the line income / expenditure. Because in the stupidly accounting spirit of the general direction of the organization of care, patients and caregivers are all in the same basket of a lean management most disgusting…
The first of the rope and their respirator
I am angry and I have rage when I remember the first ropers supposed to hold our country, supposed to be the spearhead of our country, supposed to bring us, little people, to heights; and that it is these little people, these supermarket cashiers, these garbage collectors in our streets, these ASH in our hospitals, these farmers in the fields, these Amazon handlers, these truckers in their trucks, these secretaries at the reception of the institutions, and many others, which allow the inhabitants to continue to live, to eat, to be informed, to avoid other epidemics… While the first of the team are eyeing their personal artificial respirator, the prospectus of the hi clinic – state-of-the-art technology that will save them in case, look at the stock market fluctuations as others count the corpses in their service.
I am angry and I have rage towards these men and these politicians who did not stop ceaselessly destroying our social and health system, who did not cease ceaselessly explaining to us that it was necessary to make an effort collective to achieve the sacrosanct budgetary balance (at what price?); than “Care professions are sacrifice, vocation”… These politicians who today dare to tell us that this is not the time for recriminations and accusations, but the time for sacred union and appeasement … Serious? Do you really think we’re going to forget who put us in this situation? That we are going to forget who emptied the stocks of masks, tests, safety glasses, hydroalcoholic solutions, overshoes, gowns, gloves, charlottes, respirators (damn respirators so essential today)? That we will forget who told us not to worry, that it was just a flu, that it would never happen in France, that there was no point in protecting ourselves, that even for professionals, masks, it was too much ?
That we will forget the indifference and contempt for what was happening in our Chinese sisters and brothers, in our Iranian sisters and brothers, in our Italian sisters and brothers, and what will happen shortly in our sisters and our brothers from the African continent and from our Latin American sisters and brothers? We will not forget! Take it for granted …
I am angry and I have rage, because I live for a week with this damn lump in the throat, this desire to prostrate myself, to cry all the tears of my body, when I listen to the distress and the suffering of my colleagues, when they talk to me about not being able to kiss their children because no one can be sure not to bring the virus, when the cracking moments in the car are expressed before and after the work day , when I think of the devastation to come, psychically speaking, when all of this will be behind us, and there will be time to think …
I am angry and I have rage, but above all a deep despair, an infinite sadness …
I’m angry and I have rage, and I can’t let them out right now. They crouch at the bottom of my soul, consuming me slowly. But shortly, once it is calm, I will let them flow, this anger and this rage, like all those who buried them. And believe me, that moment will come. They will flare up, and we will demand justice, we will hold all those who led us into this terrible wall to account. Without violence. What’s the point ? No, with a humanity and a wisdom which they lack. Do you hear this little music? The one who whispers quietly but who is gaining strength? This refrain from the Fugees: “Ready or not, here I come!” You can hide! Gonna find you and take it slowly! “ We arrive…
Claude Baniam (pseudonym) psychologist at the Mulhouse hospital