“Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it. Don’t let it take over your lives. Don’t let that happen.” — President Trump
I rarely use my corner of the Internet to talk about political things, but fighting a pandemic should never have become political. Mr. President, I know of 210,000 people (as of this writing) and their families that would disagree with you. Then again, this is the same president who referred to those who died for their country as “losers.”
I remember back in February, when COVID-19 was exploding here in the Northwest, I had to send a cautionary note to my sister in Arkansas and recommend that they NOT go through with their planned visit to our 91-year-old mom. “They just don’t know a lot about this stuff, but it’s really contagious,” I said. Reluctantly and thankfully, they postponed their visit.
7-million Americans have tested positive so far. So, if you do the math, with 328-million U.S. citizens, that means only 2% of our population has contracted the disease. And what I’ve heard in response from some Trump-supporting friends is the now classic, “Well, do you really know anyone who has had it?”
As a matter of fact I do.
PATIENT 1 is a friend’s wife. She’s in her early 60’s, has those now famous “underlying health conditions” and had to make a trip to the E.R. back in January. The E.R. at Evergreen Hospital, where she contracted the coronavirus. It made her sick enough to send her to the hospital, where she spent 39 days in the hospital, a couple of weeks there on a ventilator. Before she came home, she had to have physical therapy to relearn breathing, swallowing and the basics. She recovered and made it home, but her underlying health conditions have worsened. Somehow, her husband–by following all the rules–never got it.
PATIENT 2 is a 22-year-old medical student who I saw at a doctor’s office a couple of weeks ago. She began by asking me if I knew she had a mild stroke earlier in the year and I actually had heard that from a friend. The M.A. then informed me that the receptionist had contracted coronavirus a couple of weeks ago and then, this past week, had had a mild stroke. Doctors are now theorizing that the M.A. must have had a mild case of the virus and that both strokes were part of the after effects of COVID-19.
For more about the last effects of having experienced the virus click here.
PATIENT 3 is the daughter-in-law of someone Victoria and I have both known for a long time. We’ve gotten together with her son and his wife on several occasions and just yesterday, his wife, Kelli–a real person that I know, not an urban legend–posted this on her Facebook account:
Longest post ever…So, many of you don’t know this: I had COVID-19 back in the beginning of April. We think I may have been exposed at Jury Duty (right!??) during the week prior to lock down. It was at the height of infection rates and limited testing kits in the NYC metro so I did not get tested at the time. After speaking with a tele-doc regarding what we should do, they determined that I had a moderate case and was not critical enough for hospitalization. I was still extremely sick. Horribly sick in fact: a fever that would not break for days. The worst headache I’ve ever had. Massive fatigue that felt like I could collapse from (I slept for 16-20 hours a day) Complete loss of smell and taste. Complete nausea and diarrhea and a sore throat that burned to breathe. Pressure in my chest that felt like someone was squeezing me (but not deemed as “difficulty breathing”) Night sweats that soaked through my mattress pad. Dizziness and vertigo. This all lasted for two weeks. This was considered a moderate case. I never got the cough (eternally thankful for that) It took over a month for my sense of taste and smell to return. I still get fatigued. I have had symptom relapses that come and go since then. I wasn’t “myself” for about 6 weeks. It did not feel like a cold. It did not feel like a bad flu. You do not want this. I am a very healthy 40-year-old and COVID took the wind out of my sails. I can only relate it slightly to when I had h1-n1; and that just felt like a bad flu compared to this COVID experience. I’ve taken steroids for other illnesses and have been given fluids and vitamin cocktails in the past. If I had those during my experience, of course I would have felt “better.” But just like when people take Sudafed for a cold and go to the office, they are still sick (and getting others sick.) You are not just “better”. That’s why medicines are frequently called therapies – not cures. This country (especially it’s leadership) needs to get their heads out of their asses and learn empathy. I’m embarrassed/ashamed/angry we are where we are today. Wear a f@*king mask. Stay away from people if you are sick. For God’s sake.
So, for all of you who take this pandemic as a joke, I’m going to fight fire with fire.
Torrential rains began coming down and the city started to flood. A man fled to the safety of his rooftop. A guy in a boat approached and yelled out, “Hop in!” and the man replied, “No worries–God will save me.”
Next, a helicopter flew over his house and dropped down a rescue line, but the man refused, saying, “God will save me.”
By this time, the water was to his ankles and a guy on a jet ski pulled up and invited him to hop on. The man said, “No, thanks. God will save me.”
The water rose. The man drowned and went to heaven. His first question to God was, “Hey, why did you let me drown?” and God replied, “Let you drown? I sent a boat, a helicopter and a jet ski…”
We’ve got the tools and the science to greatly reduce our chances of getting COVID. Use them, so you can stick around and vote anyway you want on November 3rd. You have that right. But living out the rest of your life with a chronic health condition or flat out losing your life just because you feel you need to ignore the science to take a political side–well, that’s just plain nuts.
Besides, I’m sure by now, God’ getting pretty tired of that joke.