My cousin, who I know well because she lived with my family when I was young, phoned me up out of the blue from the US a few days ago. I missed her call because I was out. She phoned twice more over the next day or so, and again, very unusually, I was out. But it seemed a little panicked/urgent (given that she seldom calls), so I made sure I called her back when I got in. We had a somewhat strange ranting conversation…she was going to have a knee operation but her company’s insurance wouldn’t be paying for it because they’d laid her off her airport job because the airport was all but closed. Her private insurance would cover most of it, but, in further ranting tone, she complained that Biden was reversing all the Trump policies; taxing her and other better-off folks so that people who never worked a day in their lives could get free healthcare; handing out thousands of dollars of tax-payers money to everyone in a stimulus package she would have to pay for…. and hadn’t I seen on the telly that there were billions of immigrants at the border with their pregnant wives being ushered in and given free healthcare and housing. It was so bad, she was thinking of coming back to the UK to live because Biden was bringing in socialism.The ranting tone made it feel like I wasn’t actually talking to her at all. And I had to tell her that Europe invented socialism..so she wasn’t going to get much of a break here….
I also suggested that perhaps these ‘immigrants’ that Biden was ‘letting in for free’ were perhaps legitimate refugees, maybe? (I have no idea). And that perhaps it might benefit her to stop watching the news. I also jokingly mentioned to her that most immigrants would hesitate at putting themselves through US customs….which, in my experience, is mightily hostile to all ‘aliens’. I suggested she remember that she lives in the richest country in the world, has access to arguably the best healthcare in the world, as well as covid jabs and all the food she could possibly need. I don’t know exactly what her job is at the airport, but she looks after international passengers so she hears directly what it’s like to go through US customs….she remembers how grateful international passengers feel when they see a friendly face like hers…how she enjoys helping them feel comfortable….she misses her job…she is such a people person. At this point I hear her voice change and my real cousin returns…
I trust the superb surgeons who will have operated on her will have done a great job and that she will be up and running once she has completed her physio…I pray also that she focuses steadfastly on the vast positives that come from living in a rich western country, that she reduces and monitors her news intake judiciously, and looks forward to a future where she has a healthier body and a life where she does what she really likes doing…which is serving others. She’s in control of that.