In Sickness: Hell is the absence of the ones you love.

Last night, I called an ambulance for my husband. I won’t get into the details; he is miraculously fine.

…Some other time, a few months ahead or rewound, he may not have been.

Some Observations:

1. There was a bed available. Many beds, in fact. There was peace. Quiet. Privacy.

2. The nurses were rested, even in the heart of night. They were kind. They were not overworked. They were patient. The doctor even made a joke.

3. The waiting room was empty. I did not feel like I was a sardine packed into a COVID tin; it was oddly the safest I have felt indoors since February.

…and yet, there is talk of letting the virus run its course. Of murdering people in the name of “herd immunity”.

Tell me, if my little niece’s appendix bursts during the height of letting this virus “run its course,” will she get the same treatment from an ER? If my father takes a tumble on his bad knee down a flight of stairs, will he too?

If someone you love gets into a car accident, needs surgery, needs antibiotics for a simple UTI, will they survive whatever ails them at the height of this madness?

Or will yet another life be lost in the name of anti-science?

If someone goes to an understaffed, overworked, jam-packed hospital ER with no beds available and not enough surgeons to go around, then ends up dying from neglect because it’s the best the medical staff can offer during the height of a preventable second massive wave of a pandemic, is that counted as a COVID death?

Last night, in the ER, they only let one of us in to see my love—Jason’s mom chose to send me to sit by his side.

I am both humbled and haunted by her kindness. I couldn’t help but wonder: What if he hadn’t walked out? What would that have done to her?

Fact: Someone loved by someone else rode by ambulance into an ER last night.

Someone had to make an impossible choice of who was going to send to sit by their side; maybe someone didn’t even get a choice. Someone had to wait in their car instead of holding their loved one’s hand, whispering into a phone instead of their loved one’s hair that it was going to be okay.

At four a.m, the doctor told us that Jason was going to be fine, and a nurse cautiously told us around what we could expect our bill to be. I don’t think she expected me break out into a tearful smile and tell her I would pay that and more every day to ensure my darling was going to be okay.

And so many people do. They sacrifice their life savings, sell their homes, go deep into medical debt… and after giving everything to save what matters most, they even still might not even get to say goodbye.

Last night, I got to hold the love of my life tightly as he finally fell asleep. I felt the rise and fall of his chest, the warmth of his back, the strong, steady rhythm of his heartbeat.

Somebody somewhere else did not.

Hold your loved ones close tonight. It is a privilege denied to many.

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