talking about life and death, covid and sick days, and loving others through these times.

This is attempt number five to write this post because my thoughts are in a million places – and this time I’ve decided it’s best to just put it all out there and publish. . . so this one may be a bit. . . scattered.

Scattered is appropriate though, I think, as these recent days have been unsettled to say the least and there are heavy things to talk about.

Over the weekend, my husband and I each lost a friend from our school days to COVID.

Both wonderful young men, just heartbreaking losses. There is nothing to say to make this better, especially with the lingering feeling that it did not have to be this way.

Even before their passing, one of my very favorite people who is so dear to me has been terribly frighteningly ill with COVID across the ocean – and I have been praying and worrying and ready to start swimming. She is improving now but it has been awful for her and so scary.

And, of course, my dear one who is still fighting long-haul COVID is always – ALWAYS – on my heart – and she has also experienced heartbreaking loss to COVID in her close circle this week as well.

This is just brutal – and inescapable.

Everywhere I look it seems someone is calling for healing prayers – or enduring the worst kind of tragedy. And I fear this is only the beginning.

See, while many are getting the message that we are in trouble and returning to masking and social distancing and staying home whenever possible and making sure they are vaxxed, there are still plenty of people who aren’t.

Here in my state, in a county that is less than an hour from my home, there was a country music festival that brought about 30,000 people the weekend of August 14th and 15th. At that time, the hospitals in our state were already in crisis with fewer than ten available ICU beds – for the whole damn state. That information did not cause anyone to rethink.

During the week after that event, the news was reporting negative ICU beds in our state, a true emergency for which there is no help in sight.

A local ER physician tweeted this from the hospital where my doctors are as well:

It is obvious we are in daunting uncharted territory.

Still, this past weekend, in the same county, Donald Trump came and spoke to a crowd of 40,000 people. 40,000 unmasked people. People who booed when he mentioned vaccination.

This behavior and line of thinking are appalling, especially as these types of things are all over Twitter:

Everyone is suffering for the poor choices of some. Everyone.

We haven’t even fully seen the catastrophic damage from these events yet – or just how bad it will be from schools and universities back in session. I fear we are in for sheer hell.

I am angry at the willful ignorance and selfishness, I am saddened by the illness and death we are already seeing – as well as the exhaustion and trauma medical personnel are experiencing, and I am just SO damn scared.

Because of my compromised immune system, I am again in full quarantine mode. I simply don’t have a choice. I’m not going to church or lunches or shows or parties or anywhere else that I don’t have to. 

(I am also just SICK because I can’t go to the memorial service for my friend who has passed away. I. Hate. This.)

In terms of day to day life, everything is online for me for the foreseeable future – and, oh my word, am I ever so thankful for online worship and school. Classes resumed for me this past week – Hail State! – and we are getting settled in for Fall and Football here in the Hippie Hut, trying to just keep living as best we can in this time of crisis.

(We will have our home football parties on Saturdays and Sundays, just like last year, and enjoy each other. Make your own sunshine in the darkness, y’all. ❤ )

stoked for school, especially in the midst of all of this awfulness. ❤

Of course, I would manage to get regular people sick with a nasty sinus infection – I can always count on the chronic sinusitis to act out at the least opportune time – and have to start STRONG antibiotics last night – so here we go with all the GI issues (yay, IBS flare!) and fatigue and other assorted fun side effects (usually GI bleeding when all is said and done) those bring. Never a dull moment. . .

(And, again, an example of why our spoonie bodies CANNOT be exposed to things like COVID. . . They respond differently – and harshly – to everything.)

I would also just mention that I used telemedicine for my sinus infection to avoid contact with COVID in an office. Usually the wait, if there is one, is only a few minutes. I waited for over an hour and half. When the doctor got to me, he said that usually he sees 15 patients per shift. . . but recently there have been 300 in their queue. 

300.

Again, we are in so much trouble.

I realize this isn’t a pleasant post – but my heart is so heavy. Every day this week I have seen worse projections and even more awful reports of what is to come in terms of COVID cases and resources. An infectious disease specialist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham appeared on CNN this week and described a “potentially apocalyptic” situation coming here.

https://www.cnn.com/videos/health/2021/08/18/alabama-jeanne-marrazzo-infectious-diseases-doctor-coronavirus-newday-vpx.cnn?fbclid=IwAR3pdU41zV6ti-35yTBV-t8UlWwQXTNDrTlco3OJuUdPcCc5qhE6z5R70qg

All of that said, I implore everyone, again, if you have not been vaccinated, PLEASE make it your first order of business in the morning. If you were hesitant because the vaccines were being used on emergency authorization, that is no longer an issue.

Also, we all need to again consider masking and social distancing – and staying home whenever we can. As always, everyone needs to practice excellent hand hygiene as well.

Unfortunately, many seem to be carrying on as if “normal” has returned – when the situation is actually more dire than it has ever been. 

Please protect yourselves and love your neighbor as well by taking every possible precaution during this time. It’s the only way we’ll get through this.

It is truly life or death.

We have to be our brother’s keeper.

the current COVID map.

Be well, everybody. Take care of yourselves and each other.

Grace and Blessings.

An Afterward: A friend who is an emergency nurse manager at a local hospital shared this information about how to best help yourself if you are forced to deal with COVID – or a COVID exposure – at home. She and her coworkers have used these things – and they are so important. Please save them, just in case you need them. Be safe, everyone. ❤

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