I've thought long and hard about sharing this, but I feel that I would be doing a disservice if I did not. As we all know, Covid-19 has had a huge impact on our society. Over 55 million people have been infected around the world, and 1.34 million have died from it. For those that have been fortunate enough to not have the virus directly impact their lives, these can be viewed as just numbers... statistics that can be dismissed as having a 97% survival rate.
But for those people who have had it impact their lives, who have known people who have suffered and died, this is more than just numbers. This is pain. This is smiling face on friends and families who will never be seen again.
I was one of the lucky ones. The only person I knew who had contracted Covid was able to pull through, despite them saying it was the absolute worst illness they had ever experienced. That luck ran out last week.
If there are any here that read this that are of the belief that Covid is a hoax, or not as serious as the media makes it out to be, then I hope that the heartbreaking words that follow are enough to open your eyes. What I'm sharing below is the post my mother made to help her come to terms with the lost of her best friend - a woman who was practically a sister to her.
Please take the time to read through it, despite it being a long post. Share these words with as many people as you can. Maybe these words can have an impact on enough people that the reckless behaviour begins to stop and we can start to come out of this pandemic.
My family has suffered a devastating loss. My beloved friend, a sister not of blood but of love, passed away a week ago today..
My heart is shattered and while I have spent this week trying to pick up the pieces, there is a huge grief sucking hole in the middle of my chest, in the middle of my heart.
Covid 19 was the bastard that ripped my friend from all of us and I'm angry. She is one of the many that was unfortunate enough to have an underlying condition. Her immune system was compromised because she had cancer and was on chemotherapy.
I'm not just angry at Covid, at the pandemic, at the response or lack thereof from leaders around the world. I'm angry at all of the people that continue to think this is a hoax, that covid is no worse than the 'real flu', that somehow people with underlying conditions were due to die anyway so no big deal, right?!! I'm angry at the people that profess to care about their fellow community members either because of their personal or religious philosophy but refuse to wear a mask and be uncomfortable for short periods of time because the safety of more vulnerable community members actually doesn't matter to them if it means that it infringes on their own rights and freedoms. To be clear, I'm not talking about individuals that have medical issues that make wearing a mask really challenging.
I am angry at the people who have actually said out loud (or on Facebook and Twitter conversations) that they don't know anyone that has had covid or died of covid nor do they know anyone who knows someone who has had or died from covid so obviously covid is not a real thing. Because they believe their small, statistically insignificant, anecdotal evidence supports their narrative that covid 19 is no big deal they are seemingly absolved of any blame in the spreading of this disease.
Yes, my beloved friend had an underlying condition. She did have cancer and she was undergoing chemotherapy but the cancer was not going to kill her last week, next week, or next year. A comment on a facebook thread i recently read said it best..."If I have heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or cancer and I'm crossing the street and get hit by a bus my cause of death is getting hit by the bus. Covid is the bus!"
Some might say well, if she was vulnerable she shouldn't go out and allow herself to be exposed!! The fact is She didn't!! She had been isolated at home since the end of February. She only left the house for doctor and hospital visits. Groceries were delivered, a months supply at a time. Visitors to the house were forbidden. She stayed put...period.
She went to the hospital 2 weeks ago for a residential course of chemo. Her hospital stay coincided with the second and more serious spike in covid cases in the UK. She felt safe in the cancer ward...until covid cases quickly filled the other hospital wards and started to invade her floor. Her partner fought with and garnered agreement from medical personnel and she was allowed to leave the hospital as a preemptive move to keep her safe. She had a good week at home then she got sick, was rushed to hospital, diagnosed with severe pneumonia and in less than 48 hours she went from onset of symptoms to death. What? Impossible! Gone...just like that.
My beloved friend died because someone didn't know they were positive, they carried on as if everything was great, they mingled without wearing a mask, they gathered in large groups...it's all good! Covid is a hoax, right? They passed covid to someone who was not asymptomatic. That person got sick, that person went to the hospital, the virus sought a new host and found my friend.
Please, can we all do a better job of looking after each other. Can we make small sacrifices of our freedom to slow or stop the spread...I wear a mask to keep you safe in case I'm positive but asymptomatic. I know some of you do not believe masks make a difference but on the off chance the medical community is right wouldn't you rather err on the side of caution rather than unwittingly cause severe illness or death?
I want you to think about my friend. I want you to think about her son who has lost his only parent and last blood relative much too soon. I want you to think of her new grandbaby who will never get to know her grandma except through stories told by others. I want you to think of the person who started the chain of events that led to my beloved friend's death. Yes, my friend had cancer but cancer was not destined to take her life November 8th.
Perhaps you think the pandemic is over blown because you don't personally know someone touched by covid and have used that as justification to not take it seriously. If you know me you can now say you know someone whose life has been devastatingly affected by covid 19.
Please, if at all possible follow the simple guidelines. You may be positive for the virus and not know it. You could be spreading it to someone that is vulnerable. If you are asymptomatic, as many are, you will go about your day, ovlivious to the fact you are positive for the virus. You may never know if you passed it on and you may never know if someone in turn got sick or died because of their exposure to you. You will go through life righteously indignant that someone is trying to step on your rights and freedoms because they asked you to mask, socially distance from others, not to gather in groups. Meanwhile the path of devastation left in the wake of an unmasked asymptomatic carrier is complete. Many lives are changed forever. My life is changed forever