(The cartoon is to get your attention…this ain’t funny!)
I try not to get upset. I really do. However, in today’s world it becomes more and more difficult.
Remember when the whole HIV/AIDS epidemic hit the news? There was much talk about the fact that people were bringing it upon themselves, due to lifestyle. Nonetheless, once it was learned that the disease could be transmitted to people of both sexes, the publicity about it somehow caught fire, and everyone literally threw money at AIDS research.
(We have nothing against HIV/AIDS patients! We are using that disease as an example only because of the vast disparity in research funding, because of the huge differences in publicity about AIDS and COPD. If we were dealing with AIDS, it would be comforting to know that so many people, so many organizations and institutions cared about us and were willing to fund research to find a cure.)
Then, it was revealed that some big names like Rock Hudson and Liberace were afflicted with the disease, Tom Hanks starred in “Philadelphia”, about a dying AIDS, and more money was thrown at the problem. Apparently, publicity works!
The latest chart to which I have access shows that the money spent for HIV/AIDS research by the National Institute of Health in 2015 was roughly 3 BILLION DOLLARS! The deaths from the disease totaled 6,465. That’s over $464,000 per death!
By comparison, in the same year, 97 MILLION was spent on COPD research. Number of deaths from COPD? 150,350. Money spent per death? $645!
What the hell? The number of deaths from HIV/AIDS has been decreasing dramatically, while the deaths from COPD are steadily increasing, especially among women. Yet, we hide our heads in shame that most of us smoked in our earlier years. We fear the “stigma”, the attitude that we brought it upon ourselves! Well, how about HIV/AIDS? Obviously most cases of the disease were brought on by the actions of the patients! Why the difference? Why is Aids research drowning in money, while those of us with COPD are still treated like the ugly step-child?
Well, brace yourself. You cannot turn on a news program without hearing about the terrible epidemic of opioid addiction. It has been coming upon us for several years, but now it has hit the news! For God’s sake, it is said to be killing 175 Americans per day!! Sorry for yelling, but COPD IS NOW KILLING 330 PEOPLE PER DAY! Yet, everyone, including the President, is vowing that we will throw bazillions of dollars at this new crisis. They are promising that they will spend whatever is necessary to fight this new terror! We will build a wall on our southern border to stop the pills from coming into the U.S.! (Never mind that almost all of the opioids come into the United States through established ports of entry, hidden in vehicles, or by mail!) We are by God going to build a wall!!
Meanwhile, of course, the tobacco industry is doing just fine. Even though about 4 out of 5 COPD patients acquired the disease from smoking, notwithstanding that COPD is the second leading cause of disability and the third leading cause of death in the U.S., there is no talk of outlawing cigarettes.
Will you help me to spread the word about this pathetic situation? If you cannot share this post from the page that you are reading, please go to our Jim AndMary Nelson Facebook page, and share it from there. Share it with friends and family. Send a copy to your Congressperson. Print it and nail it to a post! Just please help to spread awareness about our situation. If we don’t, no one else will. That has been proven. If we don’t, then we have no hope of ever finding new treatments, or, God willing, a cure.
Uncle Jim & Aunt Mary