This week brought us news from two of our middle child’s friends: both are diagnosed with COVID-19. They are young and healthy; their friends are not particularly worried about them. Our son has not been with them in the contagious time frame, and quarantine is not recommended.
My sister-in-law called today to give an update on friends of hers. A young woman and her four-month-old baby were diagnosed with the virus, just before Christmas Eve. It put their household of nine into lockdown.
My friend in South Dakota confirmed last night that her mother continues to progress well. She had been in a special COVID Care Unit for six weeks, and serious concerns at the beginning of her long recovery.
My South Dakotan friend also reported that her second son seems to be coming out of COVID without a lot of struggles, although slowly.
One of the local nursing homes here in town now has eight cases, with both staff and patients infected.
The national morning broadcasts included the sad news of the death of a just-elected representative from the state of Louisiana. I keep thinking of his wife and two young children, how they must have spent so much of October campaigning… only to hear in early November that he didn’t win, nor did he really lose. He had to go to a runoff election in early December. The family must have been thinking of their lives in just another short month, of getting settled into either two locations, or all of them moving to Washington. But just two weeks after he learned of his win, he went into the hospital with COVID. And ten days later, he’s dead.
Even before we reached the end of December, the country has already broken the previous records for deaths caused by COVID. The experts warn of another surge from holiday travel and gatherings.
Again, I am wondering why I assigned myself this task of looking for silver linings in a pandemic. I never mean to look at this lightly; the death statistics are nothing less than appalling and shocking.
Tonight, I am more introspective. I am dwelling on the care that we give one another because we care. The calls we make just to check in. The listening we extend when someone wants to talk. The prayers we offer on behalf of people we know—and don’t know.
The silver lining does not shine so brightly for me today; it’s more of a dull glimmer just poking through.