We are going to see Les’s oncologist today and again tomorrow, a place where the vulnerable go. We will have our temperatures checked at the door, will be asked a series of questions, and then instructed to use the provided hand sanitizer. For the past few years, it was common for us to wear a mask during cold and flu season whenever we needed to visit his oncologist, or if we’d go to any particularly germy places like Walmart. We tried to stay safe, but got sick anyway.
Les is nearing his 88th birthday, so it’s a daily prayer of gratitude when he opens his eyes to another day. Living with metastatic renal cell carcinoma for well over six years, he knows life is precious and death is inevitable. His goal is to enjoy every day as the gift it is. In fact, we are making plans to return for his 70th high school reunion to celebrate the long friendships he holds dear. Wuhan looms over us, but he has chosen to continue living a normal life without fear.
Life is fragile. On a windy day in June this year, a local man was in his yard when a tree limb fell on him and killed him. From an article about him, they wrote, “At 70 years, Larry lived his life to the fullest. His daughter asked him a few weeks ago what was left on his bucket list and he said nothing. ‘I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do’: God allowed him to complete his life here and now Larry is probably fixing up heaven to be an even better place.” One might be tempted to think this man’s death was a random accident. Was it? Or was it simply that his number was up?
Yesterday, I was told by a dear friend that she is closing her business of many years because her clients are not coming back. Many are in the high-risk age group and afraid to go out. Or was it because “they” mandated she close her shop for two months, leaving her customers to do their own hair and nails? Whatever it was, Wuhan killed her livelihood. Thursday is my last appointment and I am saddened by this loss. It didn’t need to be this way. Another unnecessary casualty of bureaucratic decision-making.
Yes, I lost my beloved sister two months ago—something I had anticipated might happen as she had had pneumonia before and this was the early diagnosis again. Was it COVID-19 as they said at the hospital, or was it pneumonia, which oftentimes takes the old and the sick? It is hard for us to know. For over two months, she was robbed of having her loved ones by her side. Cut off from the people who needed to hold her hand one more time, she died in a hospital isolation room, while family stood outside to watch her struggle for life. It was cruel. Stories like my sister’s are far too common these days, but no less devastating.
What have we allowed “scientists” to do to us?
At a certain point in life, the consequences of our actions become more clear. Do we stop living to stay alive, or do we opt to fully engage in normal living knowing death is inevitable? We have been divided in two with fear and clever-looking masks. I choose to breathe in life and to live without fear. I cannot and will not cede my life to arbitrary “mandates” and random testing from government hacks who seem to take pleasure in sucking the joys of living out of life. I’ll take my chances to feel normal again.