If you don’t know what HIPAA is you are totally missing out on a very interesting rule of healthcare. Basically, any medical records that you are privy to because of a work reason must stay confidential. If you work in healthcare, more than knowing that a person was in your facility (and even that is iffy) is barred from being revealed. However, in a small town, putting the pieces of someones life together can be very easy.
My encounters this week included several conversations. The UPS guy came in the other day to say that he was thinking about quitting his job because the owner of a food truck had dropped dead and he saw that as an opportunity to get some nice equipment. An EMS worker had a bad weekend because of someone dying in the ambulance. A church lady was needing support because she was in shock over the death of her friend at a birthday party. THEY WERE ALL TALKING ABOUT THE SAME PERSON!
This is life in a small town. One death (even if it’s a homeless person) is noticed by everyone.
It’s hard to die alone and unnoticed in a small town. Your life is like a string in a spiderweb. If it moves, everyone feels it. It’s a little scary but nice all at the same time.