Unless There’s Blood
ZooとThoughts is created to motivate your learning of English. A language is not only vocabulary and grammar, it is also grown from culture. By learning about culture, the language becomes even less foreign because you are able to understand the nuances within the vocabulary and grammar. If you are in a conversation with someone and you are discussing a topic it is important to understand the words they are saying, the context in which they are saying them, and the culture that helped shape that opinion. That’s what this page is meant to do – help you understand on a deeper level.
Unless there’s blood, Americans don’t usually go to the doctor.We prefer to grind our teeth and get to it; grin and bear it; bite a nail. Anything, but go see a doctor. We’re practically allergic to the word hospital.
Some might say that Americans are hardy, tough as nails, have that all American spirit for never backing down or never giving up. But really, we get sick just as often as the next person, you just might not know it, because the American you’re standing next to has a cocktail of medicine in their system that they picked up from WalMart last night. Tamiflu, Robitussin, Mucinex, Aleve. Also take an hour or so to watch American TV, you’ll see commercials for all the medicines I just mentioned at least twice.
When I was in middle school I broke my collarbone in Idaho during a long weekend. I never went to the hospital for that. I went to a nearby clinic where they were able to do the usual doctor stuff, but again, there was no blood, so we didn’t go to a hospital. We drove back home to Utah and I sat in the backseat of the car grinding my teeth so hard that I could have cracked a nail. The mind numbing pain was only barely dulled by whatever painkiller the clinic had. Even when I was given the option later to go to the hospital and have surgery on my collarbone to set it straight (the way I broke it means the two pieces overlap) I declined.
Why do Americans decline to go to the doctor/hospital? We’re certainly not full of grit the way western movies would want you to believe.
I can think of a few reasons. One, it’s very easy to self diagnose via the internet. Two, most bugs last a maximum of 72 hours so, just pray that you get sick on the weekend. Three, and this is probably the biggest factor, is the price. I will say that most Americans prefer to spend money on gadgets than health. It is easier to buy a gun in the US than it is to go to the doctor for something serious. Just entering the ER is around $1000 and if you have to stay overnight the price becomes even more exorbitant. Yes, some Americans do have full coverage health insurance which will take care of a portion of your hospital bill, but there have been news articles about a paper pill cup costing $40 on an itemized bill from the hospital. Even if the insurance covers 75%, that still means somebody is paying $10 for a paper pill cup at the end of the day.
So unless there’s blood, Americans prefer to stay home and wait it out. Otherwise, just going to the hospital is enough stress to have a heart attack.
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