A reader’s perspective on the humor of our personal behaviors.
I’m kind of an ass. Way back in February or March I was actually bemoaning in an email to an acquaintance in another country, a country that, at the time, was much more impacted by COVID, how COVID restrictions were going to ruin the lives of younger generations because they couldn’t go to school and that was going to set them back intellectually. I even went so far as to state that it was targeting 2% of the population AND that the generation that it was targeting with fatalities was at an age where sickness was already a real potential for cause of death. Basically I was being ignorant and stupid and showing myself to be ignorant and stupid. So yeah, if you need to stop reading because this is 1. probably another COVID blog and/or 2. you realized that I’m ignorant and stupid AND attempting to write a blog about COVID, then I understand. If you are still with me, thanks!
My experience with COVID was for lack of a better word, mixed. I had all the classic symptoms: cough, flu like symptoms of aches/pains, massive fatigue, low grade fever, plus I had direct exposure to a COVID positive person with active symptoms. My test results came back negative. But let’s back track two sentences there. Direct exposure to a COVID positive person. My 86 year old Dad (turned 87 while suffering from COVID) was COVID positive and I was his caretaker. It was a string of events where his community started testing positive, and asking a community of individuals with dementia to not go to certain places, to not be close to certain people, to not touch their faces, to wash their hands frequently, etc. is really challenging. So while he still tested negative, we brought him home to be with us. The day his second test results came back negative he started showing symptoms and three days after that he was on hospice and awaiting a third test result. No one with the hospice company would believe me when I became the biggest B!tch regarding his care and trying to convince them his symptoms were 100% COVID and not a 3 day super decline of Alzheimer’s. No, he was not terminal. No, he did not need drugs to keep comfortable as he transitioned. No, I didn’t need to start thinking about his burial plans. But that’s hospice and at the right time, they are a magnificent resource. This was not the “right time” for my Dad though. He’s made it through and his former hospice nurse is still amazed every time he stops by his community for another patient and sees my Dad. I know that I am lucky, that he is one of the lucky one’s who made it when so many his age have not. But relaying this COVID experience isn’t my reason for writing this blog.
Everyone is going to look at extreme situations differently. Time does give perspective and during this experience with COVID-19 I am grateful for the friend who would willingly drive to the store to pick up that one item we needed that day and “oh, here is a dinner I cooked for you and Kim” when she dropped it off. I am grateful for the virtual hugs that popped up on my phone at unexpected times reminding me that there were other beings outside my house and they had me in their thoughts. I am grateful of the friend who willingly accepted all my cat photo’s in an attempt to distract myself from the suffering. I am grateful for the most amazing spouse in the world who held a urinal to her father-in-laws genitals without batting an eye, because, “that’s what you do with family.” And I am grateful for that same spouse who made up a crazy list of our COVID TOP 7 (because we couldn’t think of 3 more!)Learning Experiences that I’m going to share with you now. It is a reflection of our strange experience and trying to find humor in our adjustment to this new world. And if you can add some in the comments below we want to keep finding laughter!
Erin and Kim’s COVID Top 7 Learning Experiences
- Social distancing is a thing, but I’ve started social distancing our car when parking. Do I really need to do that? How would that be phrased- social car parking distancing?
- Wearing a mask 12 hours a day gives excellent feedback on our oral hygiene regime.
- I no longer need to ask Kim, “is there anything in my teeth?” before meeting new people!
- We still haven’t learned that trying to drink from a straw with a mask on doesn’t work well. Come on, how many of you have forgotten and tried to drink your Starbucks while walking out only to have the straw connect solidly with your mask?
- We quickly found out that none of the masks we have used ranging from cloth to N95 has successfully blocked out the smell of farts.
- Masks are creating a whole new fashion statement! How many of you are color coordinating your masks to your outfits? I totally am!
- I still repeatedly try, but I am still having difficulty giving Kim that random quick kiss while wearing a mask.
This list was created as Kim was driving me to New Mexico to drop me off at a Woman’s Land retreat for the next week or so- just wait for that blog! But as we were talking about all the new behaviors we are personally developing with COVID we started talking about the rear-view-window-statement. I’m an 80’s graduate and I remember having my high school graduation tassel proudly hanging from the rear view window of my car for the next several years. I’ve seen in movies how a generation or so before me was fond of the fuzzy dice. And now? The mask! Will this be known as the generation of the mask-from-the-mirror generation? Which is actually really practical because I have had to drive home twice from the store due to forgetting to bring a mask with me and not having a spare in the car.
Sorry I didn’t mention any books with this version of the Reader’s Perspective. I was actually trying to connect some ideas to books, but honestly couldn’t do it. I still would love to hear from all you readers out there- help me add to my list with your own COVID learning experiences, or a lesfic story that you know will take my mind of COVID recovery for my Dad, or where you would choose to go to recover from three weeks of straight care taking? I would love to hear from you!