Up until now, Covid has felt dangerous and real, but also distant.
Yesterday, a healthy father of four — a man that my husband has worked with and whose family lives just a few miles from us — died from Covid. Just down the road, there is now a wife without a husband and four children without a father, and an entire community is stunned, reeling with heartbreak and rage. The collective grief hangs heavy.
Over the last year, it’s seemed that the people who got Covid were hush-hush about it. I figured their secretiveness had to do with confidentiality, but then a friend who tested positive posted an article about the stigma of Covid.
Apparently, there’s a shame component to getting the virus — people who get it are often viewed as having done something wrong and are therefore blamed for their illness. Which is ridiculous: some of the most careful, responsible people have contracted the virus while others who’ve blatantly disregarded every precaution have been just fine.
Bottom line: toss the shame and share the symptoms, says the article. Covid is real — and it’s random (five members of our friend’s family tested positive, and he was the only one who had a cough, and he didn’t develop a fever until after he was in the hospital) — and the more we talk about it, frankly and openly, the better we can care for ourselves and each other.
What with the sky-high numbers, cold weather, over-crowded hospitals, slow vaccine rollout, this new, highly-contagious strain of the virus, and now this devastating death in our community, it feels like we’re fast approaching a whole new level of the pandemic. Almost daily, I learn about another friend, or friend of a friend, who has tested positive. It’s sobering.
No, scratch that. It’s terrifying.
Choices we’ve made that have, up until now, felt like reasonable risk may soon cross the line to dangerous. As a family, we’re beginning to talk about these next few months and the changes we may need to make to stay safe.
One small ray of hope: my older son — because he’s a volunteer for the rescue squad — qualified for the Covid vaccine. One down, one to go. I am so grateful.
photo credits: my younger daughter
This same time, years previous: the quotidian (1.13.20), full house, scandinavian sweet buns, homemade lard, the quotidian (1.11.16), cranberry bread, the quotidian (1.13.13), roll and twist, vanilla cream cheese braids, rum raisin shortbread, cranberry relish.