While the states begin opening up, and covid19 cases and deaths continue to rise throughout our country, my husband and I have made the decision to continue sheltering in place, with minimal contact with the outside world.
The other day I went out in the world for the first time in two months—to take our dog to the vet. I wore a mask and was extremely careful, which included jumping in the shower the moment I got home.
We are luckier than most. There is a meme going around on social media that points out how we are all in the same storm, not the same boat. This pandemic has not hurt us financially, and not only do I love my home, I work from home anyway. Plus, if I have to be quarantined with someone, I am glad it is my husband. He is my best friend.
Some might assume our decision to take the wait and see approach before getting out in the world is because we are both over sixty-five, the high risk group. While that is part of it, even if we were younger and in prime health, we still wouldn’t be getting back to the world quite yet.
Why? Are we paranoid? Wrapped in fear?
No. It’s about my mother. Mom is 92-years old and lives with us. I am her primary caregiver. Mom tells me she is ready to move on. She has lived a long life but is tired and wants to continue on her adventure and be with my father again. For us, it will admittedly be easier when she moves on. I will no longer have to make her three meals a day, see to her laundry and cleaning of her room, supervise her when she showers, and hire caregivers when we want to take a trip.
Does that mean if Don and I were healthier and younger we wouldn’t see the need to be so careful for her sake? After all, there were a number of politicians who insisted the older folks will be okay moving on to get the economy going, they have lived their lives. Seems reasonable, right?
Aside from the fact I don’t want my mother to die, even if it will mean I won’t be as tied down, from what I have read, dying of covid19 is torturous and excruciating. And those who suffer typically die alone.
Why would I ever be okay with my mother—the woman who I believe is a loving, nurturing and supportive mother—to spend her final hours in unbearable agony? When my mother finally moves on, I pray it is peacefully, in her sleep. Yet, if she does get sick at the end, I want to be by her side, holding her hand, as I did with my father and mother-in-law. I want to be there for her, as she has always been for me.
I can’t imagine anyone would be okay with a parent or someone they love—even a someone who ultimately was ready to pass—to do it in such a torturous and lonely way. I would not even wish that end on someone I dislike.
And for those out there who protest masks—masks that ultimately help protect the vulnerable should you be a silent carrier—you are the lowest of the low in my estimation. But I won’t spend too much of my time ranting over your selfishness, because Karma is a real thing.
Stay safe people.