The legislature was still in session, so the Capitol doctor still had to show up for office hours, though it didn’t seem like he was doing much good. Still, these part time retirement gigs kept his mind in the game, though he felt his heart fading from it a bit.
Doc Hasty shuffled up the steps of the domed building early. He hoped the morning hours would be brief and he’d make his 11AM tee reservation at the club. He unlocked his basement office door and flicked on the computer.
It had been a weird session with all the pandemic brouhaha. He’d done his share of nose swabs. Prior sessions he mostly dealt with the worried well, the bad cold that hung on, the sore shoulder that wasn’t a heart attack. But there was real medicine to do sometimes. He once drained a painful purple fingernail with a red-hot paper clip. And there were nose bleeds and hemorrhoids, but this year had tested him.
First, he couldn’t get anybody to wear a mask except the Democrats, and that made the issue political, not common sense. He winced whenever he thought of it.
Then nobody would agree to get a vaccination, even though some of these guys were prime candidates for a ventilator, should they get the virus. That is, of course, except the Democrats, the dozen of so walking the halls with their “I Got the Shot” buttons. It was like they thought that might convince their counterparts across the aisle. Doc Hasty shook his head at the thought. Common sense ain’t common even here in the “Peoples House”.
But he was most bothered by the secret requests for hydroxychloroquine. Senators would lean in and whisper if he had any “Hydroxy”. The first time this happened last year, when the pandemic was still on the rise, he’d mistaken the request. He’d done enough ER shifts to know folks who wanted “hydros”, the short for hydrocodone, and “oxy” the short for oxycodone, both prescription narcotics with street value and narcotic effect. So, the whispered “hydroxy” request made his eyes bug out at the conservative Senator. With no answer, the Senator had filled in the “hydroxychloroquine”, but still whispering.
Now it was Doc Hasty’s turn to whisper, and he didn’t know quite where to go. He had read the studies, heard the news and knew the politics of the drug.
And he also knew the risks. But he didn’t want to offend anyone for their beliefs either. He whispered back, “Hard to come by.” And shook his head. He hoped that would spread the word. The couple more times he got the ask he handled it the same. It faded and last session ended. Nobody had whispered such requests to him this session.
But there had been a few tough calls this session. Some folks had come in with bad colds, maybe a fever or a cough, so he’d swabbed their nose and told them to go home to await the results. It was awkward when he still saw them in the halls later that day sniffling or coughing. He’d glare at them, but he didn’t have any authority besides his professional advice. And he didn’t want to scare off folks from getting checked.
He shared this with his golf buddy one afternoon on the back nine. “Acting like a bunch of high school kids not wanting to miss the big game, huh?” had been Jack’s response.
Hasty chuckled. “Yeah, kinda, I guess.”
“How do you handle caring for all those prima donnas? It sure would drive me crazy.”
“Oh, they’re just normal people, like you and me.” Hasty offered.
Jack lined up his putt. “Well, if they’re normal, like you and me, I wish they’d act like it. I think getting elected has gone to their heads.”
“You know Doc, what those guys need is a prescription for hydroxycommonsense. You got any of those pills?”