On pain and politics

Donald Trump, pain and politics

I thought I’d settled on my do’s and don’ts for this year’s round of festive events. Do look like you want to be there. Don’t drink too much. And don’t pick up a pre-Christmas bout of COVID.  

But, following our school’s end of year concert, I wish I’d had a fourth rule of engagement. Be more discerning on the canapés. Specifically, don’t bite down hard on a hard nut mix.  

Last week was agonising. Going from damaged to infected tooth, to nerves firing all over the left side of my face, the pain reached 11 quickly.  

Following the 2016 US presidential election, regression analysis showed some of the best predictors of the Trump vote to be poor health and the level of physical pain people reported.

With many of the formerly industrialised US communities that swung to Trump lacking in jobs, and employment the only pathway to decent health care in that country, the pattern made sense. During my pain experience last week, I could understand why those folk thought they had nothing to lose.  

In the bear-like grip of my dentist, I was thankful he was trained in South Africa, where tooth extractions are far more common than here. Thanks to him, I’ll be off the antibiotics in time for the start of the First Test on Thursday. During which, the only hard nuts I want to see are the ones rocketing out of the hands of the Aussie fast bowlers.

This article also appeared in The West Australian newspaper.


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