What if We Prioritised Free, Universal Health Care and Lifted Everyone Out of Poverty?

A tale of two cities…a little bit o’ fiction

Once upon a time, in the lands of Abunda and Scarcite, people welcomed a brand new day. The sun shone, birds tweeted, and the waves lapped against the shorelines.

In Abunda people woke up and ate breakfast together. They walked, practiced yoga, meditated and enjoyed the beginning of another beautiful day. This was one of their four ‘downdays’. Everyone in Abunda enjoyed a balanced life. They do the work they love doing three days a week. And they have plenty of free time to relax, exercise, cook and indulge in their hobbies and interests.

In Scarcite, people were waking up too. But here, they rushed their breakfast. They would get ready and go to work to dive straight into what they didn’t get finished yesterday. The task which kept them at the office until after 8pm. It was a frantic life that only offered them a two day ‘weekend’. That weekend is usually filled with doing housework or chores that they can’t do any other time as they’re always working.

The two cities were situated a short four hour drive from each other. Yet both villages were so different they might as well be on opposite sides of the galaxy.

The Abundian people decided as a collective how their city would be run. They contributed and redistributed the wealth between everyone fairly, with roles like nursing, teaching, cleaning, care work and serving others given the highest place in their society. The banks were owned as a cooperative group so everyone’s money was safe and secure.

In Abunda, health and wellness was the number one priority. There were more meditation centres than doctor’s surgeries because everyone used meditation centres but not doctor’s surgeries. The hospital was efficient, well equipped and staffed with the most wonderfully caring people. Even though they were a healthy bunch, the Abundish, of course, still succumbed to illness. The hospital was paid for by the city, through a fair tax system that everyone benefited from.

They enjoyed a balanced life that was filled with respect, caring and honesty.

In Scarcite things weren’t quite the same. The city was run by a wealthy Family who owned everything. Generation after generation the Family had taken advantage of their historic wealth and accumulated more and more and more. They didn’t care about anyone except themselves.

Few people even exercised and no one had much money. They worked long hours for little pay and had no real quality of life. Because of this, suicide was not uncommon in the city. Scarcities suffered from depression and serious mental health issues. They worried about most things. Would they earn enough to be able to eat? Or would they need to go without at any point in the week?

GP surgeries were overflowing with people suffering from all manner of illnesses. The hospitals were run for profit by the wealthy Family, and investing in the best equipment or medicines was not high on their list of things to spend their wealth on.

It was a great place to live for the Family. For everyone else, it was hard.

One day, both cities were notified of a new virus that was emerging in another city further along the coast line. It was spreading quickly and they should prepare.

In Abunda, they’d made a plan to deal with this. As the health of everyone was their most important priority, they had prepared. They had bought and stored equipment they might need and the citizens knew what they had to do. They were ready for it.

However they couldn’t help but feel a sense of disappointment that the virus was being allowed to spread. They did everything they could to be fit and healthy in Abunda — both physically and mentally. Yet here they were, being threatened with a potentially deadly virus. They could only hope that their lifestyles, good health and excellent preparation would save them all.

In Scarcite, people were panicking. There was nothing in place to deal with this eventuality. Their hospitals were already struggling to cope with the illnesses that already affected them. The Family didn’t care if people were ill, what people ate, whether they exercised or not. It wasn’t their responsibility to take care of them. Even if they did want to help, their hands were tied by the people above them who they had to pay money to. It was a vicious circle and the people of Scarcite were the victims.

In Abunda, they immediately closed the city off to anyone who didn’t live there. Until they knew that the virus was under control, they would need to pull together to prevent the spread. They had to protect their health — that was the most important thing for them.

They ensured the symptoms of the new virus were communicated to all. Everyone was instructed to download the app so they could easily connect with each other. As soon as they were able to, they spent money on buying kits so that everyone could routinely take a test. Their monitoring system was in place and it wasn’t long before they were able to move around, checking in to places they visited and taking a test before they left home.

In Scarcite, the virus ravaged across the city. The Family had fled, escaping to their bunkers. The people of Scarcite were left to figure out how to cope with it without any effective leadership. It was hopeless.

Until, that is, the people of Abunda heard about their plight. It was their duty to help. They had everything Scarcite needed. Including compassion and togetherness.

Not The End.

Stay conscious,

Jaxx

Dreaming and writing stories and poetry about a truly sustainable and conscious world. Founder of a circular economy startup. Heylo from Scotland!

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