The colors of a pandemic are all muted, the days are covered with a gauzy film of desperation. I guess the part that is most dreadful is knowing hundreds of thousands of people are taking their last breath in colorless rooms where kind cloth covered strangers hold phones to their faces so the family members who would have smoothed their hair and held their hands helplessly speak through gnat sized speakers and the only sound sent is the rhythmic cush-cush of ventilating machines. A small meaningful thing, repeated a hundred more times as this disease drowns their patients from the inside.
And I am guiltily grateful that my parents are already dead, and that I was there within days of their passing. I can’t imagine saying goodbye to them at the hospital entrance, my words muffled by a mask, because only the strong are coming back out.
He saved my letters to him, in a medium Priority Mail box, ten years worth, and as Dad aged and travelled less and less, I would send off some gossipy message at least once a month. Hate to admit it, but it will take me a week to empty that box. And these days, after two months in quarantine, I am finally making time to write more letters to the living, so I’ll be putting that off, again. I am surprised that it took this long to put pen to paper, but the envelopes are going out this week. Here is what I shouldn’t say in these cheery missives, but has been weighing on me – COVID 19 is robbing people of a good death. I probably would have told Dad, he understood me when I had those dark days, but he died in 2017, just two days after I had flown to Florida to arrange his stay in the care facility. As soon as he got better, we were going to move him out with us to Hawaii, so he died knowing he was loved.
It’s hard enough for intubate -tees to communicate, just the eyes, just the hands. How can we calm their night terrors now?
The pandemic is highlighting the cracks in society – I wish this country had a universal health plan. I wish we had a capable leader. The appearance of a deadly virus, though was inevitable. We should have prepared.
I like gin with frozen cucumbers muddled in. I love that term, muddled – like it’s referring to the beverage and not the drinker. I heard a good joke the other day – the good thing about having a glass of wine in each hand is then you can’t touch your face. Like any great story ever started with “Guy comes into a salad bar?” – am I right? Anyway, I’ve got it under control. Most days. I definitely follow the news, but not all day every day. What I really have trouble with is Americans who think the corona virus is a conspiracy. It’s a global pandemic, there are no countries unaffected. So for there to be “media bias” would imply that every country on earth watches the same news Americans do. That is patently untrue and ethnocentric at best. I just don’t listen to the snake oil salesmen, but I do listen to doctors and scientists. News will always focus on the sensational over the optimistic, as the saying goes: “If it bleeds, it leads”, hence the lack of other subjects being discussed, but BBC and Business News lets me see the world’s status, not just Washington DC spin. I follow reports of positive outcomes – like drastically reduced air pollution. Like Oil and Gas no longer being the go-to energy source, and looking forward, fewer people will have to commute as teleconferencing takes hold. Like grocery wholesalers giving the same discounts to the local community. Like the bravery and fortitude of our health care providers. Like CEO’s taking paycuts, and keeping their workers on the payroll. I have to find that company that did that and write a thank you letter – no first I’ll buy stock, then I’ll be a shareholder and they’ll listen. Gotta go, the ice has melted…