COVID even strikes without a positive diagnosis

The following is another piece I wrote in my Zoom writing group meeting. The prompt was: “Who did I meet this year who surprised or delighted us? I decided to change the “who” to a “what” and this is what I came up with. Needless to say the recent death of my husband after his long stay in hospital and rehab care was on my mind.

COVID was the huge surprise this year. After a slow and quiet beginning it came upon us like gangbusters – so much so that we didn’t know how to behave in its presence. First we were told wearing masks didn’t help. Later on masks were mandated. And though staying six feet from others was recommended it wasn’t enforced very much. How does one stay six feet apart at the grocery store or even on the street. Another rule was to wash our hands for twenty seconds many times a day. But how does one monitor that. We washed using the honor system

I did stay inside especially when the numbers of victims and deaths started to rise and the science doctors – and not out president – told us this disease was very real and dangerous.

But what surprised me the most was how COVID affected my life when my husband became very sick with another deadly disease called sepsis, which eventually led to his death. During his first two hospitalizations no visitors were allowed at all. We could talk on the phone and thankfully he came home both times after five days. The third hospitalization didn’t go as well. I was allowed to visit him in the hospital which I did every day until he was moved to a rehab facility. He had to be quarantined there for two weeks and then tested negative for COVID twice before I could visit. Unfortunately he had to go back in hospital during that time and when he went back to rehab they started counting the two-week quarantine all over again.

He had just been given the all clear status the day before he died. COVID didn’t even allow me to see him on his last day – I had been promised I could get a visitor appointment the day following his death.

His dying during this COVID pandemic is another sad story that had a huge effect on me. To adhere to the local crowd rules, we had a Zoom memorial, we had Zoom family get togethers, we had FaceTime chats but no face-to -face and no real hugs and kisses – something this person needs and wants. The aftermath of my husband’s death has left me alone and very lonely. Quieter and lonelier than I’ve ever been before.

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