This Is Real Life

I belong to a neighborhood “chat” group and today one of the members shared that two of his best friends — a former president (1986-2000) of the local community college and his wife — had both been admitted to the ER on Tuesday (12/8) with COVID-19.

A little over a week later (12/18), the couple’s son was also admitted to the hospital suffering from pneumonia and COVID-19 symptoms.

Later that day, the mother passed–dying alone because both son and husband were confined to their own hospital beds.

The father is now fighting for his own life and the son is being treated in hopes his condition doesn’t worsen. Neither can visit the other.

The writer made the comment how this event has put things into sharp perspective for him. When the virus hits this close to home, you suddenly recognize the very real danger it carries. He added that although he had planned to be with his sons over the holiday, he now felt it would be better for all to celebrate from a distance.

******************

Another COVID-19 case was included in our local newspaper. A woman who lives in a small Oregon community (2000 +/-) was not all that concerned about the virus. She did take some precautions (wearing a mask in public), but overall, lived life as usual — as did most others in the area.

In early November, she drove about 75 miles to visit her son (who has cystic fibrosis) and daughter-in-law. They all went shopping, had lunch, and just hung out at the house. Later in the evening as they were having dinner, the daughter-in-law got a call that her parents has gone to urgent care with flu-like symptoms … and it turned out to be COVID-19.

Just days before, the parents had driven to Idaho to pick up the girl’s grandparents, who had been there visiting a sick relative. I’m sure you can guess what comes next. The sick relative had COVID-19.

Now reality sets in. 

Without sharing a number of details, suffice it to say the woman, the son, and the daughter-in-law all ended up testing positive for the virus. The woman had the worst case with what she described as a severe head cold and breathing problems, but all the family members suffered the common symptoms. Fortunately, no one was hospitalized.

*******************

What each of us needs to keep in mind is this virus is insidious. It can move undetected and be spread by people with no symptoms at all.

Once it manifests, it can make you feverish, tired, nauseous, out of breath, and may be accompanied by excessive coughing. Just a bad cold, you say? Perhaps. But that “bad cold” can land you in the hospital.

And it can kill you.

Along with the ones you love.

COVID-19 is Deadly Serious.

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Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

40 thoughts on “This Is Real Life

  1. What a good reminder of the care we need to take if we’re anywhere outside the house and if we have any visitors. I hadn’t seen my brother since about February but he came today and stood outside wearing a mask to chat to me.
    Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is a good reminder that the virus is just as dangerous – if not more so with variant strains – as when it first appeared… except there are greater numbers getting infected every day than receive vaccinations against it. This is such a shame, considering we are approaching the finish line, that every single one of us can get vaccinated (relatively) soon if – and this is the point – we remain as vigilant as we can now and protect ourselves to whatever extent we can manage. Contact with others is the risk and the more people we come into contact with and spend time sharing air, the greater the risk. Masks and distancing merely mitigate the increased risk and do not reduce it. Reducing contacts reduces the risk, still mitigated by masks and distancing. So now is the time to put forth our greatest effort and do our utmost to avoid heightening the risk and perhaps experiencing these tragic events personally for some reason that a year from now we would see as unnecessary or highly risky for a trivial payout. My spouse continues to say we must treat all others as if they were contagious and do our best to mitigate the transmission when we have to come into contact. I think that’s wise.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I live in a building with close to 200 other senior citizens. Our manager, who remains unseen and unheard from, has posted signs suggesting that everyone wear masks and stay at home if they feel ill. Can you guess how many people read the signs? NADA! In this high rise with 200 people we have three elevators. One large freight elevator, currently broken down, one mid sized elevator , broken down for the past month or so, and one small elevator with a 2 person capacity, still running for now, but usually overcrowded with people in a big hurry to get nowhere! Some wear masks, some don’t. I make the masks and give them to anyone who wants or need one and am treated like a ghoul for offering them, completely free of charge. We have had numerous people contracting the virus, at least six people who have died of it, and yet one of the last ones to die was still running around the place without a mask, not observing the quarantine. Now his wife is still doing the same, complaining to all about how bad she feels and how sick she was during the night. I’m not sure if I will ever see the outside of the building again during daylight. Looking for a safe place to live, anyone have suggestions?

    Liked by 3 people

      • I’ve been looking for large boxes to use in one of the underpass areas. It’s just plain too cold for that though. Tried to talk my son into turning a corner of one of the barns into an apartment but he wasn’t interested. Maybe I could construct a sod cabin like the early settlers did before they had time to cut down trees for log cabins.

        Liked by 1 person

    • My mother lives in a large senior complex in Northern VA with about 2000 other seniors. When the virus hit, they cancelled all the community activities, forbade outside visitors, required masks of residents and staff, closed the dining rooms and started delivering meals to the residents in their apartments. Anybody sick is required to quarantine, as is anybody with a known exposure.

      The complex was already pretty good at this sort of thing already, because they would go into a partial shutdown anytime there was a flu outbreak.

      As a result, they’ve had very very few cases, and the virus hasn’t spread out of control as it has in other senior residences.

      Liked by 2 people

        • It does make me feel a lot better, but it’s also not cheap to live there. I expect it’s out of the price range of a lot of seniors. Which is a shame, because it’s very well thought out. Residents have a small apartment with a kitchenette. The entire facility is connected by hallways and bridges, so you can walk anywhere on campus without going outside. There’s also a circulator bus, if you don’t want to walk. The dining room serves one restaurant-quality meal per day, and there is valet parking for your walker while you eat. Under normal circumstances there is a constant round of concerts and movies and activities and field trips, so there is no excuse for being bored. There’s a bank and a convenience store and a salon and a van to go shopping, so residents can give up their car if they want. And there’s an assisted living section, so residents never need to find a separate nursing home if they need one.

          This is how retirement ought to be, and in a wealthy country like the US, we ought to be able to provide a lot more of these facilities.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I totally agree with your last statement! But unfortunately, seniors often have the same ranking as others that a certain political party doesn’t support … even though many (most?) of them fall into the senior category. But then, the people of the U.S. pay them a hefty salary so they don’t need to worry about their senior years.

            Liked by 1 person

      • Everything here has been cancelled also. Unfortunately we don’t have good management so they don’t know what to do or how to do it. Our manager was promoted to that job from her position as receptionist. Not exactly the qualifications needed to manage a building full of senior citizens with all of the problems that go with them. The public rest rooms were closed and locked as was the kitchen, cutting off our access to soap and water when doing our laundry, unless of course we want to wash our hands in the machines. If we need the facilities we have to leave the laundry room and return to our apartments and then hope our laundry hasn’t been stolen in the time we were gone. One of the first things the management did was fire the security personnel. It saves money according to them. This place has gone so far down from what it was when I moved in 20 years ago that most people don’t realize it was ever a place to be proud of. The manager refuses to get the college degrees she needs to do the job even though she knows she is not qualified. It’s a sad situation forced on us by greed

        Liked by 2 people

    • Is this a common problem in the US, that the elevators are broken down for over a long period of time? Here in Finland we get the repair workers within an hour to any elevator that is broken or jammed. You propably have a faster response time from the elevator repair group, than from the police 😉 . It may have something to do with this small country having one of the leading elevator manufactures in the world here, but still a broken elevator for months seems long even for Russia. It sounds more like some Third World country.

      My mother was recently moved from a care house for the elderly along with other residents to a new better location, because the officials thought that the former house was not safe enough in case of fire. It was a four storey house with only one elevator and a staircase. I have not been visiting her yet, because she lives in a nother town and we have this COVID-19 going on, but my sisters and their adult children, who live around there visit her often.

      Liked by 2 people

      • This is a result of unqualified people being in management positions and not know what to do or how to do it. It’s partly greed on the part of the owners of the building, wanting more and more rent but not wanting to part with any of the money to maintain the building. This building is one of the safest in the US, or it was at one time with the former managers, because it is built with reinforced concrete and steel, with each apartment fire proof from the adjoining ones. That was a plus a few years ago when the person in the adjoining apartment caused an explosion in his kitchen (cooking some illegal substance). His apartment was destroyed completely, but mine only had smoke and water damage. Of course I also inhaled some of the smoke and became very inebriated from whatever drug he was cooking, but my things were saved and nothing was seriously damaged. The building was beginning to decline by then because of the new owners and it has gone steadily downward ever since. Everything is breaking down but they will only do emergency repair work due to the COVID 19 virus. I’m not sure what constitutes an emergency though because we have had almost two dozen people die in their apartments in the past two years and no one finds them for several days. One would think that management would be concerned when they don’t show up for mail call,, but no one in management seems to notice.

        I have tried to get someone in to check the building out and try to locate safety hazards, but they all tell me they aren’t allowed in even to do welfare checks when we notice someone hasn’t been around for a few days .Life here is getting worse by the day. I came home from therapy after breaking my leg last March to find my lights had burned out and was told that wasn’t an emergency so they wouldn’t change them for me, and that is one of the things in the lease that they will do. I had to threaten to climb up on a chair and change them myself before the manager said they would do it but it might be several days before they could get to it. So, I want to find another place to live where people are treated more humanely.

        Liked by 1 person

        • As if you don’t have enough to worry about with the virus, you have all this to deal with as well. My sympathies are with you — although what you really need is real-life assistance in keeping your home livable. Above and beyond the virus restrictions.

          Hang in there. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks. Nan. I’m looking for a new place that has better management. Eventually I’ll find one and I can hang in until I do. One thing I’ve learned in my life is patience, so I;m keeping my door locked and just waiting for the holidays to be over so I can look for something safer and with more reliable management .
            Angela

            Liked by 1 person

  4. COVID-19 is Deadly Serious. Yes. That is hardcore reality.

    This is a video interview I’ve shared more times than I’d like to people around me—including family—who do not show the profound cautiousness (fear?) to this lethal virus. And now there is apparently a new 7th mutated strand coming out of the U.K.!!! Let’s hope these latest generational mutated strands don’t out pace the new emergency-rushed vaccines… making them antiquated:

    Liked by 5 people

    • The wonderous advantage of the RNA vaccines is that they can be modified as necessary for the mutations in the spike proteins. This modification can be done and into full production in about a 6 week timeframe. This means all corona viruses are susceptible to this designed treatment and it is a truly magnificent human achievement that can be shared by all humanity through simple vaccinations that over time and evolving corona viruses will save millions of lives and protect billions from permanent organ damage. But, of course, some people will continue to have more confidence in their accepted opinions of quacks abut the ‘dangers’ of vaccinations and not take them when offered. This misplaced confidence will outweigh this outstanding medical breakthrough and provide the only means possible for this family of viruses to survive.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, when my “new” Chinese friends informed me that there are currently six (6) mutation-strands of coronavirus I was stunned. News to me, but then… I remembered my biology classes in high school and under-grad, recalling that cells, if they have sufficient time to adapt, will “learn” survival tactics, so to speak, passing on those evolutionary skills if you will. 😉

        It is indeed Tildeb “a truly magnificent human achievement” what medical science has afforded humanity over the last 3-5 centuries! It could be easily argued that while human science and brilliance as well as persistence to understand the Quantum, sub-atomic, micro, macro, and cosmic systems has profoundly changed our lives on Earth, theologically speaking (if one thinks that way) we have also CORRECTED many of God’s/Yaweh’s/Allah’s f*ck-ups and oversights in His creation, haven’t we? 😈😁

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, and that’s why the god of the gaps argumentative tactic is shrinking the number of incoming believers in such a short time; there’s almost no place such a god can remain hidden versus not where it should be found yet is not… over and over and over again. We have been the crest generation of non belief that is washing away superstitious nonsense and replacing it with Marvel movies and vampire epics to get our fix rather than the local church.

          Funny story: the palliative healthcare hospice organization where my spouse works became an arm of the Catholic diocese lately – the Church trying to undermine and adversely affect availability for legislated MAID (Medical Assistance In Dying). The Church and its willing agents try in every way to stop people from having both the right to and the means for making any such decisions. In fact, to counter the stranglehold the Church and its agents had on and over those who were dying prior to this legislation, a pair of nurses started a program a mere half century ago between the dying and community volunteers to help them and their families navigate through it all as best they could. (Since then, the program has been widely adopted throughout the West.) Funding has always been by private donation and through charity aid. But when MAID came along and became a Supreme Court decision, the Catholic Church who funded the fight against it and lost, now wants to claim ownership of this access to palliative care outside of the Catholic hospitals. So it has been offering stable financing to Boards of these small community based organizations that agree to a hostile takeover by the Church. I know, not funny yet… hang in there…

          As a long time atheist, my spouse has never cared one way or the other what religion people want to claim (and really knows almost nothing about any of it, other than hearing me bitch and moan about it) and the organization has always been proudly secular. So when the takeover occurred, there was a big ceremony led by the Bishop, a Grand Poohbah in the eyes of Catholics. My spouse was in attendance, of course, held in the facility’s large tiled hall and the audience made up of about 200 mostly elderly people. She grew alarmed because, as she described, some “idiot” was walking all the way from the back of the large hall leading some kind of weird cross-dressing procession to the front dais, scattering water that was CLEARLY a slipping hazard. So my spouse grabbed some paper towels and followed him – during the ceremonial procession – all the way to the front busily wiping up all the “spilled” water. When the Bishop turned and asked, “Do you mind?” my spouse said, “Yes, I very much do mind. It’s a slipping hazard, you moron, and I didn’t have enough time to get the janitor to clean up after you.”

          Later, my spouse found out that orders had been issued to dismiss her… but she was essential for the organization to receive government accreditation and, with that designation, government funding. She then argued with the HR Communications Department that had been told to re-write history to give credit to a bunch of nuns for starting the program and took it upon herself to alter the publication to the correct version prior to being sent out to tens of thousands of donors, explaining that it was founded BECAUSE of Catholic interference in the healthcare of the dying. That’s how you make so many friends!

          I’m pretty sure the Bishop was even less impressed than before. In any event, my spouse has since resigned, saying “I’m too damned old to have to deal with this kind of religious bullshit.” And that is exactly what it is.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Pffffffttt. Doesn’t that show by the Church tremendous “faith” in their omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent God… that people, the Church must do everything? 🙄🤭

            Like

            • 😬🤭 Sorry Nan. We/I did get a bit off topic. I guess to answer your good question, much/most of the “Ain’t-no-virus-gonna-kill-me-cuz-of-my-Christ/God-protects-me” sector of our defiant/rebel no face-mask-wearing population are too often the anti-vax population as well. Those bogus religious faiths greatly contribute to these widespread problems of too many Americans NOT taking this lethal virus serious.

              Perhaps if I said it this way, “God is showing you religious morons that when you do not take my lethal viral creations serious, you pay with your own life and/or your family’s lives!” Would that connect Tildeb and my comments to your post? 😁❤️

              Like

            • Did I mention anything about “god” or religion in the post? I understand the desire to speak out against those who would prefer to trust god over science, but geez! The topic is discussed ad nauseum.

              My primary goal was to, once again, bring home the fact that this virus is nothing to mess with. It’s everywhere and we need to keep that in mind. Had I wanted to point out the fallacies of trusting some unseen entity, I would have done so … and the floor would have been open.

              Sorry, but if I’m going to spend the time and energy to write a post on a particular topic, I would prefer it not get hi-jacked.

              Like

  5. And yet an estimated 85 million people in the US are traveling for the holidays, millions of them by plane, the perfect environment to spread infection.

    If your posting this makes even one person reconsider traveling, you may well have saved a life.

    No matter how clear the warnings or who delivers them, there will always be those who listen and those who do not. It’s a classic case of natural selection in action.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Actually, because of designed ventilation, planes are about the safest possible environment if people must gather together. Of course, going to a busy terminal and lining up with thousands of people and sharing all that air is about the riskiest behaviour one can take. The risk remains human contact ; the more contact, the higher the risk. Pretty simple.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Yeah…but…but…we have a space force now!!!! And…and….well…we’re “rounding that corner” where covid will only affect 15 people…and….and…well…THE ELECTION WAS RIGGED!!! And…and….well…WHY AREN’T YOU WRITING ABOUT THAT??!! 85 million idiots are traveling for Christmas!! What a-holes!!! Good Thor!!! WTF is wrong with people>??!!

    Liked by 2 people

        • Yes, because it would be exactly like Trump to create a military service where the brains of the operation is a talking raccoon. Also, “rounding the corner” is Trumpspeak for “circling the drain”.

          I’m just glad we’re finally starting to vaccinate our healthcare workers. They’ll be the innocent victims two or three weeks from now when all the idiots who get infected due to Christmas traveling start to inundate the hospitals.

          Liked by 2 people

          • YES! The vaccination came just in time for the healthcare workers. There’s no doubt they’re still dealing with the Thanksgiving idjits, but as you say, the C’mas dorks will be following shortly.

            Like

  7. I am really, really concerned that the anti-vaxers will mean the virus will be around for awhile. The Trumpalos trust their leader’s rants and tweets more than recommendations to get vaccinated. Even though their Maximum Leader himself got vaccinated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think all we can hope for is enough of the “pro-vax” people get vaccinated to curb the spread. Thing is, a lot of them are somewhat skeptical and being overly-cautious. There’s little doubt we’re going to be dealing with this virus into a goodly portion of next year as well.

      Like

  8. UPDATE: I just read that the husband (the former college president) also died as a result of COVID-19. Apparently he died two days after his wife passed.

    No word on the son so hopefully he’s either still fighting or has won the battle.

    Like

    • And yet so many still refuse to acknowledge the seriousness of it.

      As an addendum — the former president also died from the virus a week or so after I posted this. I haven’t seen anything on the son so hopefully, he’s made it through.

      Thank you for stopping by — and for joining our group.

      Like

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