Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Someone asked me the other day if I was scared about all this Coronavirus stuff.
Of course I’m scared about this nightmare, just like everyone else. A little bit more, perhaps because of a few “underlying conditions” of age, overweight and with a history of occasional bronchitis not to mention several early decades of smoking and 26 years as a career firefighter.
But mostly I'm angry. I’m angry that after coming to grips a few years ago that as a senior citizen nearing the end of my lifetime, I've learned that the potential consolation of having my wife near me when I pass may be a thing of the past, at least for now. I spent decades removing or assisting in the transport of dying seniors from their homes to a sterile, foreign environment where they might die as they pleaded to stay at home among family. I remember the looks in their eyes as they were carried out of their homes and away from family potentially for the last time.
I’ve tried to put things in order. Even prepared an envelope with “Just In Case” written on the outside containing important info such as account and online passwords, contact info, and instructions or suggestions regarding the sale of some of my "toys", and the recovery of necessary computer files, etc. Hopefully my end will ideally come swiftly, in the middle of the night during a deep sleep. If not, at least after a stint at home or in the hospital that will allow my wife to be nearby, or even let me talk to other family members before my exit. Now, even that may have been taken away.
Those who succumb to Covid-19 find themselves immediately cut off physically from family or spouse. It turns out that Covid-19 will not only kill you but will isolate you completely from everything you love or care for. It will isolate you from any comfort of final goodbyes, or even a final word spoken directly to those left behind.
We’re all living in fear right now. It’s understandable to be afraid of catching the disease and dying. I can handle that part, I think. It’s quite another thing to know you’ll almost certainly die alone.
That’s a fear I never thought I’d have to face.