December 7th, 2020

Everybody in the house has COVID. I should probably put a sign on the door with a skull and crossbones. Right now I’m feeling tired (after twelve hours of sleep), and I can’t seem to get warm. I get the chills. They start in the small of my back and then radiate upward into my chest and arms, or down into my legs. My ability to focus sucks. So, this essay may be less then coherent.

The girl we love tested positive last Monday (November 30th). That was very difficult for her to handle. Partly, it freaked her out because she was pregnant. Partly, it destroyed her hopes of having a baby shower (hers was scheduled for Saturday, the 5th). The young woman had been planning the event for months. We had a venue in a local coffee shop set up. We had a a local Mexican restaurant ready to cater the food for us. The girl had been spending hours making her own artwork for the party. And then, suddenly, it was all gone.

I’m in the best shape of anyone in our house, which isn’t saying much. Karin has been in bed for over a week. She has the COVID cough. I can hear her sometimes. She coughs viciously, and then she has a kind of low whistling sound coming from her lungs. I find that disturbing. She got herself a Oximeter to check her oxygen level. She’s in the upper nineties (percentage) of oxygen, so she’s good for now.

Karin called our doctor and spoke to him about her condition. I listened in, at Karin’s request. That was an interesting conversation. The doctor made it abundantly clear that COVID is serious business. Then he explained that there is no treatment program for people sick at home. None. Nothing. Basically, if you are dealing with COVID at home, you are on your own.

The young woman has been very traumatized. She gave birth to her son on Wednesday, December 2nd. He was seven weeks early. The young woman believes that the COVID infected the placenta, and that precipitated the birth. She got to see little Asher for all of 30 seconds after the birth. Asher is currently at St. Joseph Hospital in Milwaukee. He’s in ICU. He will be there for six weeks. The girl can’t see him until she is out of quarantine (maybe two more weeks).

The young woman has been very,very sick since I brought her home from the hospital. She has been coughing so violently that she has thrown up in bed, or peed herself. Karin and I have tried to help her. I have washed a lot of bed linen, one load after another, in order to give the young woman a clean place to rest.

I have wondered to myself what people can do if everybody in the house is incapacitated. Okay, through no virtue of my own, I have been well enough to help Karin and this girl while they are both stuck in bed. What happens if I go down? Who does the wash? Who takes out the garbage? What happens when everyone is struck down by the plague? We can’t bring in somebody from the outside to help.

I think about the girl. She is going to use a breast pump to have her milk ready to give to Asher, when she can at last visit the lad. She longs to hold her boy. I can see that. She wants so much to be with her son, and she can’t. Not yet.

The young woman asked me, “Can you still have a baby shower if the kid is already here?”

I told her, “Why not? Let him attend his own party.”

The girl will have her shower, somehow.

It will work out.

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