You Have To Die From Something

I found this post in my drafts box from 2019. I decided it was still worth posting if for no other reason than to remind me and others what the early days of COVID-19 were like.

This morning was a feel good time. The Frankfort Lions, both masked, and socially distanced met at a member’s house to pick up food and gifts to distribute to the less fortunate of our community. I confirmed a very important point at the same time. COVID-19 affects hearing. I found myself moving closer to anyone speaking to me so I could hear what they were saying. Nine times out of ten the speaker would automatically lower his/her mask to talk. I appreciated the effort, but feared the outcome. The virus count in our Township is still above three hundred confirmed cases a day. That is a scary number as far as I am concerned, although it is not as scary as the 14,000 plus confirmed cases reported in Los Angeles County. That sounds like a guarantee for transmission among people.

We Can Always Use a Couple More Hands To Help

While standing around waiting for the members to disperse I spoke with a man who had recently had COVID-19. He is sixty-one years old, generally healthy, and very physically fit. His description of his virus encounter was by far scarier than the numbers I cited above. He had invited his family (he has six kids) to his home to meet his newest grandchild. His daughter who had the baby flew in from England to introduce her child to her grand-parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. It was a big joyous family gathering. The daughter and grandchild left to return, taking the grandmother with them. In his wife’s absence my friend came down with the virus. His caring wife was now three thousand miles away. All alone, he had to fend for himself. He described his symptoms as mainly fever, aches and pains and a general lack of energy. “I existed on soup,” he said, ” and lost thirty pounds in two weeks.” My mental acuity was down, and he explained that he now understands why people in nursing homes and the elderly succumb to the symptoms. “They don’t have the energy to fight the damn thing off, and are very tired so they let go.” He explained that there were days when he too was mentally very low and had little resistance to fight.

Yesterday, I met on Zoom with a couple of Lions, a Kiwanis members and members of AMAN (American Muslims Assisting Neighbors). The AMAN group is proposing that the Lions and Kiwanis facilitate a COVID-19 testing day in the Frankfort area. They promote a traveling team of licensed technicians who would come to Frankfort to test as many people as they can during eight hours. The service would be free to the people, (free as in insurance pays if you have insurance, or State assisted if you don’t.)

My first inclination was to frown upon the venture, but after hearing My Lion friend describe his experience with COVID-19 I am inclined to run with the program. The question I still have is what do we accomplish with testing? If you test negative you know that on the day you were tested you were virus free, but the moment after the test you can still contract the virus and succumb. If you test positive, it means you had better run to a health facility and get help. Many people with whom I have spoken have called their doctor after being exposed and were told “if your symptoms get worse go to a clinic.” In my friends case, the only help he could have gotten was from his wife and she was gone. He was too weak to drive by himself, and probably didn’t have the mental sharpness to call 911. A few people I know who have developed symptoms went to a doctor and were given a medication which helped them quickly and effectively.

I guess the one thing you get from testing is knowledge. Knowing you are a carrier means you must self quarantine and distance yourself from others. Knowing you are negative could mean you are very lucky, or you have been doing a good job of staying clear, and that you can still get it.

Every day I become more and more leery of taking chances, the odds of my getting the virus become greater, especially now that our community has an out break. Each time I get into this mindset I remember what my mother once told me, “you have to die from something.” None of us lives forever, (darn it) and again the odds in favor of my leaving Mother Earth are pretty good every day even if there was no COVID.

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