In the past few days I learned of two families I personally know who were affected by the COVID-19 virus. One is fighting it in here in Virginia. In another more tragic situation they lost their grandfather and they can’t have a funeral as they would like due to the social distancing issues going on. The coronavirus became very real to me these past few days.
“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”
The Bay Bridge in San Francisco
I am a person who spends a lot of time reading and informing myself. In order for a democracy to function the population needs to be civically engaged and informed. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded I paid attention in some of the news sources I consume. But in the last few days the COVID-19 pandemic became real and it shocked me. I have been adjusting to news that I have heard and I am journaling this here.
A Pandemic Becomes Real When it Becomes Personal
In the last several days two families I know have been affected by COVID-19. I have been isolated and that is good for me. Its also important to state that I am going to withhold a lot of details as this is the internet. Late last week I was speaking with someone and I learned that someone’s wife is infected with the COVID-19 virus. It has been a struggle and hard and this individual is in quarantine. According to the Virginia Department of Health there are 3,645 people with the COVID-19 infection. And I know one family affected. As I was processing that news I heard something even more disturbing. I took a phone-call from a friend I am close to and he shared with me that he lost his grandfather to the COVID-19 virus. He was in a nursing home in Chicago and in good health. And then they had an outbreak in the nursing home and a number of people got infected. He was one of them, his health declined quickly and in a couple of days he passed away. It has been a shock for me friend. Because of the pandemic they can’t have a funeral like they want to, and because of the challenges in travel they can’t travel to that part of the country as its risky right now. My friend was telling me that as his grandfather’s health declined the family could not be at the bedside to hold his hand, put their hand through his hair and express their love for him. He died alone. When I heard that I was horrified and troubled. Both situations made this COVID-19 pandemic very much real. In both situations it placed a name with a face.
Some People Are Going to Have Their Bubble Popped and Reality Will Hit Hard
While this was happening I also noticed others on social media claiming that the COVID-19 is a hoax and no different than the flu. I wanted to shake my head at the cognitive dissonance. Some people are going to be in for a rude awakening when this pandemic hits home. I fear that this will penetrate rural America and become a major problem. Couple that with those who don’t believe social distancing should be practiced and some are going to be in for a world of hurt. What is truly sad about this is that some of these deaths that will occur could have been prevented if they follow science and listen to the health experts who are medically trained and knowledgeable. That is who I am following and listening to these days. But I can’t believe that I know tow families affected by this virus situation. It still has me reeling with shock.