Certainty

Is there even such a thing as being absolutely certain? Some will argue the issue, and of course, we are all entitled to our own opinions based on whatever we believe in. There is an old line about the only things in life that we can be certain of are “death and taxes”. This seems a little too fatalistic to me and is shaded with cynicism on the edges.

Getting back to some things I think are certain

Here are a few I believe are as sound as anyone’s:

  1. We are born. We cannot live if we are never born, can we? Let’s count this one as one we can all agree on.
  2. We live. Whether it is for 5 days or one hundred years, if we are here and we have been born to get here, we do live.
  3. Our life ends. As true as we are born and live, it will end one day.
  4. This is a very dark subject for many of us I know. My own experience with death is with the loss of loved ones and friends. This part of life can be the hardest for those of us who survive, and how we look at our own mortality depends on our faith or other belief systems if we have any at all.

    How we live is up to us

    Those are the certainties I believe in. How we live is in part up to us, but for a large number (most people on the planet) their life is already laid out by culture, beliefs, poverty, and geography. Just look at places where a rainfall decides whether people live or die. These things can be reality and in some aspects certain. This is not so much the case for those of us in wealthier countries.

    You may be wondering what any of this has to do with hepatitis C? But, where I see the nexus or intersection is in that despite the certainties I believe in there are other things that are not so certain at all. The chance of being infected with HCV varies from place to place and has nothing to do with choice. Access to safe medical care is not certain everywhere and wasn’t always as safe here in our country. Choices are often used to shift the narrative away from the real issues with hep C in my opinion, and assumptions about what are the causes of infection take on weight that should never be in the narrative when it comes to disease.

    This is not to say that practicing safe use of drugs will not prevent transmission with people who use drugs. This makes sense and if we can educate people and provide them with the tools they need to implement safe drug use we should. The same is true for any other way a person can be infected or infect others. Whether it is medical care or any other way it needs the same attention. When we seek to identify how people were infected so that we can prioritize resources for prevention that does make sense; however, let’s not let it divide people by their differences, their own life certainties, and uncertainties.

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