ῳ Format Kindle Download @How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS Ὸ Kindle Author David France ‖ ῳ Format Kindle Download @How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS Ὸ Kindle Author David France ‖ I didnt have serious concerns for my own health What I worried about was Brian Gougeon I checked on him frequently Neither of us brought up AIDS directly or his health specifically, though I sensed he resented my calls as reminders of that scare Like characters in a Saramago novel, we talked about anything else The news was generally good He resumed the physically taxing work of tending the vast vertical jungle of ficus trees and philodendron bushes that filled high rises throughout the city He confided that the East Village gallery scene had been cool to his work, but reported the good news that he was back with his college boyfriend, and had never been happier I dont want to overstate our sense of impending doom The truth was, the storm clouds massed near the horizon, not overhead Unless you were personally admitted into what Susan Sontag called the kingdom of the sick, it was not hard to put the growing epidemic out of mind It took two years and almost six hundred dead before The New York Times put a story on the front page Except in passing, few television news programs made any mention The progressive Village Voice ran a feature that called the danger overblown, and was nearly silent otherwise You would have to read the Native for news on AIDS Brian Gougeon avoided the newspapers I know he saw the first major report in prime time, since we watched it together on my small black and white TV The ABC newsman Geraldo Rivera, flamboyant and hyperbolic though he was, broke the near complete media blackout with the first network broadcast It is the most frightening medical mystery of our time, Rivera said, leaning toward the camera There is an epidemic loose in the land, a so far incurable disease which kills its victims in stages And then appeared the face of a man in grotesque medical distress the first plague sickened man either Brian or I had laid eyes on He was a freelance lighting designer named Ken Ramsauer, age twenty seven In an old photograph, he looked as polished and angular as a shampoo model The difference between then and now was shocking His head appeared swollen nearly to the brink of popping his eyes vanished behind swollen muffins of flesh oblong purple marks covered his skin Confined to a wheelchair, he hung his head weakly A friend handed him a glass of water, which was almost too heavy for his trembling arms I thought I was a pretty good looking guy, he said And now, I actually see myself fading away Ramsauer said he had just returned from the hospital, where they offered him neither medicine nor hope, and least of all pity One night I heard two, I believe, nurses aidesnot the actual nursesstanding outside my door sort of laughing, he said What did they say exactly Rivera asked He blinked his slivered eyes and looked down at the water glass in his scarlet fists, remembering I wonder how long the faggot in 208 is going to last Four days later, I opened the paper to discover that Ramsauer was dead When I read that a public memorial was planned at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, I asked Brian to go with me But he was taking a different strategy Im just staying out of the whole thing, he said, meaning AIDS Worrying isnt good for your health And it does nasty things to your art Instead I went with another friend, a graphic designer named Ian Horst That evening was unusually still and hot As we approached the service from the south, beneath a vaulted canopy of American elms and a row of towering statuary, a macabre scene confronted us The plaza was crowded with 1,500 mourners cupping candles against the darkening sky As our eyes landed on one young man after another, it became obvious that many of them were seriously ill A dozen men were in wheelchairs, so wasted they looked like caricatures of starvation I watched one young man twist in pain that was caused, apparently, by the barest gusts of wind around us In New York there were just 722 cases reported, half the nations total It seemed they were all at the band shell that sweltering evening My friends mouth hung open It looks like a horror flick, he said I was speechless We had found the plague From there, it was an avalanche A Friday or two later, a colleague from work ran out the door for a weekend of social commitments He looked as healthy as a soap opera star, which he aspired to be We never saw him again I heard from a mutual friend that he was found dead by neighbors the following week, shrunken and hollow, in a room washed in his own feces In whispers, we wondered if he had taken his own lifeand debated whether it would be stoic to face the disease or commit suicide As the summer of 1983 opened, The New York Times finally started covering the plague, but often in bizarre ways In May, the paper revealed that prisoners on Rikers Island had declared a hunger strike, unwilling to risk using plates or utensils after an inmate dropped dead from AIDS, and a week later reported on a sanitation worker who might have caught AIDS from handling trash Readers were left frightened than ever We read reports of parents who would not go near their infected sons, not even to bid farewell Many hospital workers felt the same way, abandoning AIDS sick patients in diarrhea soaked sheets out of fear and prejudice Dr Robert Gallo, head of the Laboratory of Tumor and Cell Biology at the National Cancer Institute, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, was disgusted when he first heard the sick joke that pancakes were the only food fit for an AIDS patient, because they could fit under the door In this environment, even doctors felt justified to exempt AIDS sufferers from the Hippocratic Oathin one survey, over half admitted they would refuse them medical attention if given a choice The patients indignities did not end with death Across New York, the global epicenter of this outbreak, almost every undertaker refused to work with the corpses Even in the ancient plagues of Europe there were individuals tasked with collecting remains In The Betrothed, the novelist Alessandro Manzoni called them monatti, those unflappable Samaritans who, for profit or otherwise, braved the rags and corrupted bandages, infected straw, or clothes, or sheets to convey the lifeless flesh to the ditches In New York at the dawn of AIDS, only Reddens Funeral Home, operating continuously since the Spanish influenza epidemic of 191819, would handle the embalming Yet its owners begged the grateful mourners to keep their kindnesses a secret for fear of boycotts by the aging Catholic community in Greenwich Village and Chelsea, the bulk of their business.One of the Best Books of the Year The New York Times San Francisco Chronicle The New Yorker NewsweekBreathtakingly important David France managed to simultaneously break my heart and rekindle my anger Steven Petrow, The Washington PostInspiring We owe so much to those brave activists and to Mr France for writing this vital book Anderson Cooper, The Wall Street Journal France delivers a monumental punch in the gut his book is as moving and involving as a Russian novel An intimate, searing memoir and a vivid, detailed history The Washington PostA riveting, galvanizing account The New Yorker So real to someone who witnessed it that I had to put this volume down and catch my breath Andrew Sullivan, The New York Times Book Review A remarkably written and highly relevant record of what angry, invested citizens can come together to achieve, and a moving and instructive testament to one communitys refusalin the face of ignorance, hatred and deathto be silenced or to give up Chicago Tribune SPENT Urban Ministries of Durham serves over people every year who struggle with poverty and 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