Sunday, May 10, 2020

Only 58

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that a high school classmate had lost his mother and two sisters to COVID-19. They all died in the course of 13 days. I learned in a Seattle Times article and video interview that his sisters were both younger than I am. One was only 58. She never even made it to a hospital; she came down with a cough and fever, then died at home.

Most of the media coverage focuses on “the elderly” being the primary victims of the novel coronavirus, which leads people to picture old fogeys who are already close to death’s door anyway. It makes it easier for a certain politician to speak for “lots of grandparents” by declaring that they would all be willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the country’s economy.

Perhaps with more media attention on younger, working people who are also dying, it would be harder to make such sweeping statements.

I cannot imagine the weight of my classmate’s grief.

In other news, a 70-year-old Seattle man fought the coronavirus for two months – and won. Talk about being at death’s door. If the hospital where he had been treated had been overwhelmed as is happening in other locations, he might have been left to die, since he was nearly there several times. But with the constant care of many, he won.

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