When I was a teenager, I read this book about a girl growing up during the Civil War called “When Will This Cruel War Be Over?” Twenty years later, that phrase keeps going through my head about COVID. It has to end at some point, right?
We can’t catch Omicron or worse, the deadly Delta variant (my doctor said it’s still out there!). We just can’t. If we caught COVID, even if I didn’t end up in the hospital separated from Evan, my interpreter and the only person who knows how to set up my tobii (eye gaze computer), our care agencies would put us in quarantine. Then what would we do about nighttime care? Remember that someone must always be awake to listen for the ventilator alarm. What do people on ventilators do in these situations?
No, we can’t catch COVID… Except Evan did. Needless to say, caregivers are avoiding us like we have the plague, which Evan does. Still, it just doesn’t seem right that he has to stay up all night and take care of me all day, especially when he’s sick. Also, what a freak thing to happen to Evan to catch COVID just after his booster became fully effective. We’re not out of the woods yet in terms of me catching it, but we’re both vaccinated, I got my booster shot before Evan – he gave me the appointment – and he’s been wearing a mask and gloves around me. He is quarantined except for my care, and we miss each other terribly. Who knew you could miss someone in the same house? I guess I shouldn’t complain too much, though. All these measures seem to be working to keep me safe.
Beyond practical concerns, there’s the fact that COVID is breaking my heart. It has separated me from my family, who live across the country, for two intolerably long periods of time. Once for a year when the pandemic first started its assault on humanity, and currently for seven months while we waited for first the Delta variant and now Omicron to die down.
When will this cruel war be over?
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