Schrödinger’s cat. A thought experiment used in the study of Quantum Mechanics. And I couldn't help thinking about it - when Pat's phone kept dialing me and no one was answering me from the other end of the call.
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Pat is in her late 70's, and is dealing with a chronic disease. She could die at any time, and no one would think much of it, save that she lived her allotted 3 score and 10 years and a few more for good measure. Yes, she would be missed. But no one would think twice about her age at death.
When I received her calls, I tried to answer her - but there was no response. She called several times while I was having lunch with a friend. And after a couple of calls, I was starting to get a little concerned. Could she be among those who "have fallen and can't get up?" Or, could things be worse? There was no way for me to know. I couldn't contact her to find out. Later in the evening, I found out that she was trying to enter my phone number into her phone's contact list. And she was likely dialing me each time she thought she was saving my contact information.
In a way, I was dealing with something similar to the Schrödinger’s cat question - is the cat alive or dead? There is no way to tell without observation, so the cat is both alive and dead until it is observed. In the case of Pat, she was both healthy and ill at the same time until I was able to reach her. Luckily, she was healthy, and confused about how to use her new, low end, "smartphone".
PS: Pat's new cell phone is a piece of garbage. She gets public assistance, and the "lifeline" cell phone service she gets is not worth the price she pays for it. The phones they allow her to use on the plan are third rate and have been obsolete for years. I just wonder who was paid off to set up such a service for poor people....