My dear Mom just died of Coronavirus. She was one month shy of 94. Don’t let her age fool you. She’d pulled off a number of health care miracles in the past, bouncing back from devastating illnesses despite all odds. Until Covid-19. Toni, as she liked to be called, was so generous, she’d give you the shirt off her back and the shoes besides. Imperfect as we all are, she had her toxic moments. Yet Toni was effervescent, warm and protective of others, watching everyone around her like a hawk. And if she were still here, she wouldn’t want you to get sick.
So, here is some sage advice I’m sure my intuitive-to-the-point-of-uncanny mom would give us all if she still could:
Don’t trust anyone who dares you to do
something reckless when they do the opposite.
When I see Trump pushing “reopen” rallies—even though those most in danger of contracting Covid-19 are those who stand in close proximity to each other—I have to speak out. This disease is passed most often by person-to-person contact—like standing in crowds, being in nursing homes, at restaurants, grocery stores, meat packing plants, athletic events.
When I see people raging at the inconvenience of wearing a mask, even though doing so would help ensure they don’t give a front line worker a horrible disease, I have to speak out.
When Trump’s son Eric claims on national television that this pandemic is merely a hoax designed to make his father look bad, I have to speak out. 93,500 dead in the U.S. in a couple of months is not a hoax.
A Florida man in his mid-40s believed Covid-19 was a “fake virus,” until he and his wife contracted it. They are both in isolation at a local hospital and he now says, “I have come to accept that my wife may pass away.”
When men like Chris Christie say we’ve got to re-open the country and be willing to sacrifice countless (nameless) persons to the bargain—please note that he’s not willing to throw himself or his family onto the pyre.
Coronavirus affects people of all ages. Surely the elderly are in greater danger, yet doctors with whom I’ve spoken made it clear this “sneaky” disease has also taken the lives of 40 year olds—even those with no underlying health conditions.
The people I trust to tell me about the horrors of Covid-19 are medical professionals on the front lines. Not politicians trying to shore up their poll numbers by sweeping their inadequate response to a pandemic under the rug.
One of the most horrible aspects of Covid-19, and a sorrow my family and I now share with over 319,000 families around the world, was being robbed of the ability to hold my mother during the last two months of her life.
I was one of the lucky ones who actually got to see my mom for 15 minutes alone to say goodbye. Outfitted in head-to-toe PPE garb, including mask and clear plastic face visor, I stroked her hair with my gloved hand. I don’t wish that kind of “goodbye” on anyone.
Despite my concerns, one of her doctors put her on Plaquenil (aka Hydroxychloroquine) saying it “was shown to help in milder cases.” She died three weeks later.
I understand the devastation to millions during this economic shutdown. I want society to reopen, and quickly. I want us to be able to be social with each other and work and play together and have a thriving economy. And if it’s going to take everybody washing their hands with soap and water constantly and wearing a mask, for now, until we get a vaccine, then do it. Don’t complain.
So you’re inconvenienced. You’re alive.
Keep it that way. Don’t allow hypocrites (on any “news” network), who now work from the safety of their own homes, tell you to go out and do the opposite.
Their agendas have nothing to do with your well-being.
By the way, our country would likely be able to re-open faster if everyone respected social distancing parameters, sheltering in place if instructed. And, no, don’t say it’s “slavery” or “taking your freedom”. Stop it. You insult every person who has actually experienced those horrors.
Those who know me know how much I treasure my privacy. The bits of my life that are mine, I guard carefully. Yet this affects too many for me not to talk about my mother’s death.
We can do this, together. We can open the economy back up sooner than later if we’re willing to uniformly take precautions that not only protect us, but protect all of the angels on the front lines risking their lives for us.
Make no mistake, the danger of Coronavirus is real.
Please share this with as many people as you can and thanks for reading, because I know in my heart, mom wouldn’t want you to get sick.