Demolishing Hospitals during a Pandemic and a Housing Crisis

Martin Bishop
2 min readJun 12, 2021
Sacred Heartless, Hilyard Street, Eugene OR, 2021

Morning.
Hospital.
My masks are in the other car.
Box of masks by the door empty.
Same story at all the doors.
No humans at the front desk.
No receptionist in the office.
Dozens of people wait.
Just an iPad on a pole to check in.
AI is your only, but not really, friend.
Finally, the ER in the next building has a mask.
Most of the buildings are
being torn down on schedule.
Glassless windows stare blankly
up at the comfortless sky.
Because, of course,
we are demolishing hospitals
during a pandemic and a housing crisis.
It makes sense because only things
that don’t make sense
are allowed to happen anymore.
Don’t like it? Tell it to the AI online if you still
have an account and can remember
your password.
No humans were consulted in the making
of this decision to destroy one hundred and four
rooms with beds.
A woman across the street washes her hands
in a rain puddle in the buckled sidewalk.
How long has she lived there?
A man sits on a planter edge, bandaged.
In the gone years we’d have said he was killing time,
but today it’s the other way round.
Certainly, they were not asked.
Starbucks is boarded up, closed.
Half the other storefronts too.
My Alma Mater — The University of Oregon
is no longer the shining pantheon for
the God of victory with this
foul sacrifice on its doorstep.
I leave a sample of my blood.
Not even a dramatic explosion
in the rear view mirror as
I leave.
It is fitting — it is this way with people now, also
No one notices. There is no memorial.
Nobody marks the end of this place
where so many lives were saved
and lost.
We just turn around and they’re
###

Sacred Heartless, Hilyard Street, Eugene OR, 2021

--

--

Martin Bishop

Tirelessly advocating the apparently contrarian view that human extinction is worth avoiding.