First of all, a belated happy Brexit & Megxit to everyone. Also, I’m sorry to hear about Adele and hope she cranks out a few more generation-defining hits before going the Amy Winehouse way.
Well, Slovenia is between governments again and, different to the last time it happened, there’s barely any excitement about; the guy who got the most votes the first time around, but nobody wanted to form a coalition with him, will now have a crack at governing this thing and that’s about it. Our country is also beginning to tackle the corona scare and it’s a miracle it took this long, considering we have a border with Italy where the zombie apocalypse is already well underway. Needless to say, the media are pissing themselves with excitement and politicians are busy pretending to believe there’s anything they can do to put a damper on this mess. So, here’s a few more Snopes-type bits from the sunny side of the Alps before they shut down the internet.
Typhoid Mario, MD: Did a Slovenian doctor infect god knows how many of his patients and colleagues with corona?
Yes, that indeed happened, and you couldn’t find a more perfect illustration of our general attitude to the virus de jour, i.e. the old and the weak should watch out but it doesn’t concern the rest of us and we’ve got enough pensioners and hospital bed-blockers anyway. Unless you’re blissfully oblivious to dark undertones, you’ve probably noticed this ageism-meets-eugenics undercurrent in your country too. Anyway, a doc returned from his ski trip to Italy, went straight to work in a community health-care centre and a home for the elderly, generously sharing his viral load with the fit and the frail alike. Accounts differ on the details; some say the good doctor never even considered getting tested on his return from the European corona hotbed and others say he offered to get tested but his superior said ‘nah no worries’. It was when he started sweating and shaking while doing his rounds of dementia patients that the penny dropped. He got scooped up into quarantine and his whole health-care centre went into shutdown.
Up to then, our collective approach to the disease was “why worry about the surprise-inheritance bug, it’s just like the flu* and nobody frets about that”. Despites graciously refusing to close our border with northern Italy where all hell already broke loose, Slovenia had been so miraculously clear of the virus that conspiracy theories sprung up, saying our HC workers were using a different assay, which doesn’t show corona virus just to lull us into a false sense of security. Cue doomsday prophets. Now it seems that the game is on (57 confirmed cases at the time of writing; I’m typing fast and still had to update this trice), and we’re about to see the rise of a full-scale nanny-state many have been hoping for ever since the ole Yugoslavia went bang. It should be noted that currently the majority of cases in Slovenia are healthcare workers, doctors in particular (possibly the result of their penchant for Italian holidays). No real plans to close the Italian border yet, in face of the fact that every single case of the disease in our country originated from Italy. No deaths yet either; fingers crossed it stays this way but it’s going to be difficult if the healthcare system collapses due to staff shortages.
As for the current level of precautions in our healthcare. I took the kid to the hospital yesterday for a regular check-up. Nobody had made a pip about anything being out of the ordinary or that maybe we should stay away from hospitals unless we’re squirting blood from a large artery. To be fair, they did tell us not to hold indoors parties with more than 100 attendants so maybe we should have connected the dots, I don’t know. The hospital – I’m talking about a sprawling medical complex at the heart of the third largest Slovenian city** – is undergoing some renovations, with construction machinery blocking a side entrance that normally serves as a quick access to the otorhinolaryngology unit which is where we were headed. The management decided to close down the rest of the auxiliary entrances, which meant that the patients, including me and the kid, were pouring in through the one of the two main entrances where an uneasy-looking medic was sort of trying to direct the traffic and hold off those who had no business strolling about in the hospital. Seems like a neat idea but the side effect is that most folks have no choice but to pass through several wings before getting to where they’re supposed to be. I twice had to walk through the ophthalmology department, which was bursting at the seams with elderly people, the presumed sitting ducks for the virus. As for the staff – most nurses seemed alert and concerned while the doctors appeared calm and focused (possibly just an aftereffect of their Italy vacation). While I was typing this, I got a call from a health centre where the kid was supposed to have another check-up. The lady told me not to come because the resident psychologist fell ill and joked that these days nobody dares to show up for work if they get the slightest cough, so… I don’t know.
To be continued. Well maybe, provided I’m not herded into quarantine and rendered incommunicado.
*As it happens, Slovenia turns into one of the European hotspots for flu every freaking season yet you’re still a weirdo if you get vaxxed. Well something extraordinary happened when I had my child – an otherwise super healthy kid except for the recurring ear infections – vaccinated and I’m telling everybody: the infections stopped before she even got the second dose (in Slovenia, flu shots are given in two doses to first-time vaxxers under nine years of age) and that was after an adenoidectomy which hadn’t done zilch to help. The Mayo Clinic and the NIDCD guidelines cautiously speak in favour of flu shots as a possible measure for preventing otitis media and I’m delighted to report they seem to have gotten this right.
**The city of Celje, recently made famous by the Fox News and its list of the deadliest cities in Europe, which was supposedly based on 2017 data. This one is difficult to explain by anything other than trolling or heavy drug use by the Fox News staff because, in addition to Slovenia being one of the least murderey countries on this planet, there was not even a single murder in Celje in 2017. But if there was, the statistics would have been spectacular because Celje has a mere 38k inhabitants and you can work out the murder rate you get by offing just one of them. I’m not setting this up as a challenge, I’m just saying.
As promised, the girl with the sawn-off hand: Did a beautiful Slovenian woman saw off her own hand for insurance fraud?
A young, blonde, slender woman with a pretty face had in fact taken off her hand with a saw in the hope of a 1.2 mil insurance windfall. And that is the unexciting part of the story. Seriously. Brace yourself, this is about to get wild.
On 4 January 2019, a 63-year-old bloke brought a 21-year old woman (Julija Adlešič) minus her left hand to a hospital. She supposedly had a little home-improvement mishap involving a table saw and an unruly German shepherd and the odd couple, in their rush to get medical attention, like totally forgot to take the severed appendage with them. The healthcare workers found them creepy as hell and the police were informed. The coppers were already a little suspicious of this particular household for all the right reasons and didn’t need to be told twice. They raced to retrieve the abandoned hand and delivered it to the hospital where the surgeons reattached it, ostensibly against the girl’s protests. Well it turned out she had recently taken out disability insurance policies with five different providers and, inconveniently, the hospital replantology team was standing between her and a lovely sum of over 1.2 million Euro. She cut her hospital stay short and went home, only to return not much later with severe frostbite on the unwanted hand. It transpired that she had held it in a freezer so that it would die off. That time, the hospital and the police kept her in custody because this was getting just too weird.
It became known that Julija’s boyfriend was the son of the said 63‑year‑old, a certain Sebastien Abramov (not his birth name; he changed it after killing his previous girlfriend). Now he is a colourful character if there ever was one. He got together with Julia years ago when she was still a kid and he was dating a lovely young woman named Sara Veber. It is believed he got the young Julia to sever her ties with her family and friends while he continued to suck up to his main chick’s parents who came to view him as their own, e.g. they took out a sizeable loan and handed him the cash because he asked nicely.
And then tragedy struck. According to the hapless Sebastien, he was innocently cleaning his semi-automatic rifle in Sara’s house, blissfully unaware that the gun was in fact loaded. As it always happens, at least judging from police reports from all over the world involving dead girlfriends, the gun suddenly went off all on its own and it hit Sara, killing her in her parents’ living room. I for one totally believe him, I mean how else are you supposed to clean your gun if not in an occupied house, locked and loaded, barrel pointed at your girlfriend and suddenly pulling the trigger to make sure it is working correctly, I mean what’s so hard to believe. Luckily Sebastien knows how to prioritize and, according to Sara’s parents, he continued to fiddle with the rifle instead of checking on Sara while they were falling over each other trying to help her; I mean once you know the gun is dangerous and prone to going off you can’t just leave it like that and go tend to the woman you’ve just shot. Duh-uh. An only child, Sara was 24 when she died.
But at the time that happened the police didn’t have enough proof to charge Sebastien with murder because – take note! – if you say it was a gun-cleaning accident it’s negligent manslaughter at most. It was only when his second chick turned up hand-less that the authorities began looking a bit more closely at the gun-discharge case. Oh, Sebastien was allowed to have a shitload of guns because he had convinced the authorities that the Albanian mafia was after him and I’d bet it didn’t hurt that he was besties with certain members of the police force.
No, I’m not making this up in case you’re wondering. It’s an on-going case. With Julia, Sebastien and his parents on trial for insurance fraud while the prosecution is trying to put together enough evidence to go after him for Sara’s murder, this is bound to get even weirder. During his current trial, he claimed there was no way he could be after insurance money because he was more loaded than that freaking gun despites being habitually unemployed, and then he offered one million Euro to the court so that they would release him. A little later he offered another million or so for a little kid to get his Zolgensma therapy in the USA. It’s impossible to tell when he’s lying and when he’s acting crazy to help his defence. All in all, there seems to be very little they can actually prove against him and his lawyers have gotten most of the evidence thrown out, including a statement by Sebastien’s father plainly admitting how this lovely bunch planned the maiming of Julija together and the footage taken by poor Sara when she started to doubt her boyfriend. So technically, neither him nor anybody else in this story has been found guilty of anything yet.
Here’s a picture of Julija. She’s at least a solid 8, possibly a 9 even in Slovenia where pretty faces are abundant and she has single-handedly proven that you can be cute as a button and still end up under some unsightly dude’s thumb. And everybody here is going on about young women being easy to manipulate while totally overlooking the fact this same guy had both his police friends and the parents of the girl he shot under his spell. It took Sara’s parents two years after her death and a loan unreturned to start doubting him, while the police needed closer to four years and a severed hand to grow seriously suspicious. So no, it’s not just young girls who are dangerously oblivious. Also, could someone please offer her a modelling contract? She needs to get as far away from her former life as possible.
I won’t post a picture of Sara but she was a pretty young blonde too. In difference to Julija who seems to have taken the wrong turn quite early in her life, Sara had so much going for her it’s just too heart‑breaking trying to take this all in.
Here are two pictures of Sebastian, both taken in his twenties, because it takes two pics to prove he’s in fact a reptile, a chameleon to be exact. He can make himself look like whatever he wants to, gotta hand it to him. On the lookism scale, he’s 3 to 5 grades below Julija so there goes your Chad theory – which might well be exactly what he’s going for; you know the too-ugly-to-have-done-it defence. Take note r/Men_of_the_Wall/, if you’re open to applications from shapeshifters you’ve found your poster boy. The bad news is that there is no Wall anymore because this guy smashed it so hard it he pulverised it. Jeeezeschrist, he’s barely 30.
Now excuse me while I go throw up. I might post an update to this story when the hysteria dies down. At the moment, the police are claiming they always knew Sara was murdered but pretended they didn’t because they didn’t want to spook the perp before they’d gathered all the evidence. Thus far, the severed-hand affair has expanded to involve an international drug smuggling ring, a mysterious Khawaja from Bosnia and black magic, so yeah I guess I’d better wait and see what this boils down to.