Probably the most distress-inducing thing I’ve read about Venezuela in the last few months is stuck away between parenthesis in this MUD press release: Venezuela is now experiencing a shortage of bronchodilators – the key ingredient in inhalers for managing sudden asthma attacks.
Now, if you’ve never suffered a serious asthma attack, or dealt closely with someone who has, I don’t know if I can convey to you the sheer terror of facing such a thing without your inhaler. It can very easily kill you, in extreme cases, you literally cannot breathe without it.
I cannot imagine being the parent of a child with asthma and going from pharmacy to pharmacy being turned away because these just didn’t come through.
When you think about it, it’s a closed loop: there are no dollars left over to import bronchodilators. Why? Because we spent them. On what? On diesel and gasoline that we used to produce locally but now import and sell on basically for free to power an aging vehicle fleet that, in combusting them, produces the particulate pollution that gives people…asthma.