I volunteer at a local hospital every Thursday (prior to Covid) so my friends who volunteer on the same day decided that we would meet once a month at an open air restaurant to touch base with one another. After our last lunch together, we all got a text that informed us that one individual (who sat next to me) has a daughter who had been diagnosed with Covid. Since she is with her daughter often, she would have to get tested. After a nervous week waiting for her results, she texted all of us to let us know her test was negative. This was the first time I felt that the virus is closing in on all of us. So we have discontinued our lunches together..more isolation for me and my friends.
The worst call I received came the following week. My son Jeremy, who most of you know from listening to my podcast, had a positive test for Covid. The good news is he has no symptoms. Needless to say, I was in shock when I was told. I promised him, many years ago, that I would always be with him during any health crisis or upheaval in his life. I shed tears, not being able to see him, to explain what all of this means. I know the staff would do this but, as his mom and protector after all these years, I felt helpless to do anything. My husband and I did do facetime with him (thank God for technology) so it was a relief to see him laugh when he saw us.
I realized, as so many who have been effected by these perilous times, that Covid is closing in on me and my family. Until this past week, Jeremy and his housemates had been locked down at home since mid October. Previously he had been locked down March-June. Everyone in the house wears a mask, everyone cleans constantly, everyone sprays disinfectant on any packages that come to house. This insidious virus still made its way into my son’s life.
I have great respect for all those who are caretakers for those who live in group homes. The sad fact is that they work, go home, and come in contact with family members who do the same thing, unless they are working from home. In other words, we cannot live in a bubble. Many essential workers take risks every day….I hear this on the news every night, but it did not hit me until my own son was diagnosed. Now, I cannot imagine what it has been like for all those who heard this news and then watched their loved ones suffer through the virus and yes, even lost a loved one to this unending disease.
So, what is there to do? Like many of you, I pray that I will be able to handle whatever comes my way during these unpredictable times. I have to trust that those who have worked hard to develop the vaccines have done due diligence along their journey in this task. I also have to remember, that Jeremy, throughout his adult life, has shown patience with those of us who often do not understand him or his ways of dealing with life. Also, as difficult as it is to admit, I will not be there at some point in his life, to soften the blows. Perhaps he has learned this lesson already….during a pandemic that forced him to rely on himself and others and less on me, his mom.