Mike and Sarah share Sunday posts, as they are two widows who are in a new relationship together.
Today’s post is from Mike:
I’ve been absent from writing here for almost a month now. Everyone’s world has been turned upside-down with this virus over the past month or two, including mine. Sundays come and go, and frankly, I just forget…or at least, remember too late.
What else would I be thinking about other than Covid-19? It’s what the world is thinking about. It has taken precedence over entertainment, sports, events, shopping, weather, and every other section of the newspaper you can think of. My over-analytical brain craves numbers, data, and studies. I don’t care about opinions or estimates…I look for cold, unyielding facts.
Every now and again though, I humanize the whole situation. I foresee the unfortunate growth of our community. I envision those 30-something fathers sitting next to their dying spouse, who has hoses, tubes, wires, lines, and machines connected to and from seemingly all points of the body. It is a horrible place to be. To have to tell your child that it’s time to say “goodbye” to their parent. To try to sort out “what’s next” while grieving. We’ve all been there in some way, shape or form. I’VE been there. The end stages of Cystic Fibrosis/ lung transplant rejection are very similar to the response to this virus.
But Covid-19 is so, so much worse. It just…is. In my case, I was able to come and go freely to the ICU…so was Shelby. There was no shortage of ventilators, beds, masks, or gowns. Nurses and doctors weren’t overworked, overwhelmed, nor at risk of developing organ transplant rejection. Sure, decisions had to be made, but at least those decisions were made by me (and preemptively, by Megan). The world didn’t come to a screeching halt because one person died in a hospital bed. MY world did, but not the greater population.
In a sense, I personally am somewhat prepared for all of this. I’ve lived it. I had years to come to terms with the fact that Megan was going to die this way.
We don’t have those years.
We have weeks…if we’re fortunate.
Illness or not…Covid-19 is NOT “long-term”. It’s sudden. It’s unexpected. For the person sitting next to their spouse hooked to a ventilator, it’s never easy or able to be processed fully until the end. As much time as I had to think about Megan’s death, it will always feel sudden to me. Surreal, unexpected, and razor-sharp.
I could care less about the economy right now. Yes, I still have my job (luckily only receiving a pay-cut and working from my home), but even if I was unemployed suddenly, I like to think we as humans are all resourceful enough to survive losing the almighty dollar. This virus though, it doesn’t discriminate. It infects the homeless, and quite literally royalty, equally.
It will infect both “essential” and “non-essential” people, bringing to light what professions are truly essential to the world. I’m not. IT is not essential. Sure, I’m the type of person that makes sure your email works, you can watch those cat videos, or that even this blog continues to function, but in the grand scheme of things, I’m not saving any lives. Our neighbor, across the street from us, SHE is “essential”…she’s a nurse. A former co-worker of mine, who WAS an accountant for the company, is essential…he resigned over a year ago to become a full-time EMT.
A scrap of green paper with a long-dead president’s portrait on it, or a piece of plastic with some secret numbers embossed onto it isn’t going to magically prevent an infection…I don’t care how many masks or bottles of gelled rubbing alcohol you can somehow obtain with it. In fact, at a personal level, I’m of the opinion that specifically NOT buying those may in fact be the better preventative measure. If that nurse across the street has masks and hand sanitizer in performing her own duties, she is less likely to become infected. She’s less likely to transmit it to others, to become another casualty herself, and frankly, less likely to bring it within 25 yards of our home. She needs supplies more than I do.
It’s along the same lines as these idiots hoarding toilet paper. One, they now have less money to buy food, and without food being supplied, there’s a subsequent lack of demand for toilet paper. Two, clearing out the shelves of stuff that you use and dispose of (hopefully), is only hurting others. That eldery lady who has now travelled to six different petri dishes looking for one roll of toilet paper is directly affected by somebody else’s actions.
I could write for hours…venting about my growing lack of faith in humanity and how this is scary. It’s SUPPOSED to be scary. This is also why I am trying to stick to facts and numbers. Dehumanizing this virus makes me respect it, rather than fear it. It lets me take personal responsibility for the decisions that I make. Emotions are less involved.
Exactly as I still do to this day with Megan. I decided to end my wife’s life. I looked at the facts and numbers scrolling across a screen for 48 hours, trying my damndest to stifle emotions, before coming to the conclusion that no matter how much it hurt, facts don’t lie, and that is what Megan wanted.
Unfortunately, many people aren’t going to have that “luxury”.