How is the COVID-19 coronavirus affecting you?
OFF TOPIC discussions
After not leaving the house in the past 6 weeks, except for medical issues that couldn't wait, my "errands list" had really grown! My husband, Craig, does the runs to the grocery store and hardware store; most everything else is handled online. Today, with the sun shining and temps in the mid-50's, it was so great to take an hour, drive through streets with flowers and trees in bloom, take take of business at the bank and pharmacy, use curbside pick-ups at a store and a restaurant.
I went inside at the pharmacy and was glad to see there were only 3 people inside, so it was easy to practice social distancing. I was there to select a birthday card for someone I love very much who is very sick at home, totally dependent on the goodness of the few people she knows who have any extra funds to help her and her child survive this. This is someone who has fallen through the cracks of our society, been wrapped in miles of red tape, and left to fend for herself. She and her daughter have both tested negative for COVID-19, but are ill with other conditions. The mother, herself, is on-hold for 3 operations that are greatly needed, but cannot be done at this time. She's battling cancer--and not for the first time. She's had severe back injuries from both car accidents and other bodily trauma. She's working on her third appeal to be declared disabled; so far, she's gotten nowhere with that. No food stamps. No unemployment payments. No government help with rent or bills. The list of rejections goes on and on. And she's one of the nicest persons I know.
So how do you find a birthday card for that? Nothing sexy or off-color--or just plain wacky or stupid. Nothing for a "wonderful daughter" or niece or sister. No point in wishing her a day full of friends, family, food, and fun. She's not going to have a "fun day"...if she keeps down some food and gets some sleep it will be a "good day". There are no wonderful bright days in her immediate future; survival is about the best she can hope for; she has a deep faith that is helping her with that.
I was finally able to find a very pretty card that did not refer to any relational connection. A card that expressed love, asked God to bless her, and said how pleased I was with the person she had grown up to be--words that I echoed in my own handwriting along with the hearts, X's and O's I placed near the bottom where I signed my name. There will be no visitors, nothing special to mark her birthday on Sunday--unless my card gets there by Saturday! I have not been well enough to travel the 100 miles to her home, although I finally tested negative for COVID-19 this week, as well!
So this is my reality. And hers. And although neither of us is actively ill with the coronavirus, it has impacted our lives. I am grateful to not be needed on the front lines with healthcare providers, funeral directors, ambulance drivers, truckers, grocery store employees and all the many others who are working so hard to keep us healthy and alive. But my heart aches for a mother celebrating her 42nd birthday so close to death, knowing she can't provide for herself or her child, and wondering what these next few years will bring, if she manages to survive these present crises.