Double Lock

The flimsy front door of their hut stood open. On Flade Street, they’d had a double lock. Here, they had double protection too. No burglars, and nothing to steal.

Surviving Minimized by Andrea White

Safety Changes

Cettie’s room at Fog Willows was above the kitchen, and it overlooked the entire manor. It had belonged to her tormentor, Mrs. Pullman, years ago, and she’d worried bad memories would assail her. But Mrs. Harding, who had fulfilled the duties of keeper after Mrs. Pullman and before Cettie, had worked some sort of magic on the place. She had completely redecorated it and even turned the drafty, dusty garret above the room into a pleasant space with windows and rugs and end tables and small bookshelves. The space that had once belonged to Cettie’s enemy, the woman who’d attempted to control and quiet her, was now her safe haven.

Iron Garland (Harbinger Book 3), by Jeff Wheeler

Temporary Safety

Quote

Amazon.com

He knew they had to go and face whatever may be waiting for them outside. He had just been enjoying feeling safe for a while. But he knew it couldn’t last.

Septimus Heap, Book One: Magyk by Angie Sage

People Don’t Die of AIDs or Poverty

During a discussion on Quora a comment was made in response to my answer to the question Does feminism exist on the street? Does it exist for women who are homeless or living in poverty? That response was: “Poverty doesn’t kill people.”

The comment has been deleted. At the time it was posted I chose to simply allow it to stand without response.

However, it stuck in my head for several days, rattling around and making connection with another statement I have heard many times over the years: “AIDs doesn’t kill,  complications from contracting the AIDs virus kills.”

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AIDs vs Opportunistic Infections

From a scientific or medical perspective HIV (the AIDs virus), in and of itself, does not kill. AIDs attacks the immune system, which makes the patient vulnerable to other diseases (opportunistic infections) and those diseases are what ultimately kill the patient. For additional scientific data see:

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Poverty vs Social Determinants

It is also true that poverty, in and of itself, does not kill. Humans do not need cash to live, they need the things cash can buy. In that respect, poverty is just like the AIDs virus – potentially lethal problems are introduced as a direct result of being poor (Social Determinants or Social Factors) but the cause of death is never identified as ‘poverty.’ For example:

  • A homeless person without winter shelter dies of exposure or hypothermia.
  • A lifetime of poor nutrition or malnutrition, causes medical problems that can become lethal.
  • A child who does not survive the first two years of life has succumbed to infant mortality.
  • A teenager who is shot on the way to school is a murder victim who dies from a gunshot wound.
  • A poor person ensnared by human trafficking is a victim of criminal activity.
  • Living in close proximity to other people, under highly unsanitary conditions, causes a poor person to contract a lethal respiratory disease – the cause of death is tuberculosis.

For more information on the Social Determinants that contribute to the death of poor people, see the following (sadly incomplete) list of references and links:

Cascading Effect

‘Poverty does not kill’ is a legitimate statement but a failed argument. Neither poverty nor AIDs are directly and immediately lethal, but there is a clearly identified connection:

  • If the AIDs virus could be destroyed or removed, the immune system would return to normal and a reasonably healthy life could be resumed.
  • If poverty were eliminated, the resources necessary to establishing and leading a safe and healthy life could be achieved.

Please Respond

I welcome all comments on this topic. In particular, I would like to invite people to post articles illustrating all of the Social Determinants that result in the deaths of people trying to survive poverty.