Slouching Towards Bethlehem (Plague, Day 23, March 26, 2020)

Today was a tough one.

My Uncle Naren passed away last night. He was in his late 80s and never fully recovered from a heart attack last year, so his time was up. We were ready for that, as much as anybody could prepare for a loved one moving on. My family is having a super tough time with how he passed.

My uncle went into the hospital about ten days ago, when he was having trouble swallowing. To limit the spread of the virus, the hospital wouldn’t let anyone visit him. He was by himself that whole time. My aunt would wait in the lobby of the hospital all day hoping that someone would let her upstairs to hold his hand.

Last night, my aunt left the hospital lobby at 11:00 in the evening, but soon got a call from the hospital saying it was time. She should come now. My cousin Jason was able to be there, too, but his brother is holed up in an apartment in New York City, the pestilence capital of America, and his sister is in by herself in another hospital in Miami, three hours away from her family, getting chemo for lymphoma.

Ordinarily, my brother, sister, and parents would be on a plane right now to Florida. Our families were incredibly close growing up. My cousins are more like siblings to me. Instead, we’re all grieving alone. My aunt, who is having more and more trouble remembering things, needs support. But with germs flying around, she’s going to have to figure out how to pay the bills on her own for a while.

And now Ian has a small fever. It triggered a small seizure this morning, which he tried to cover up. He confessed. when we spotted him bringing the vomit covered towel to the laundry room.

I just drove around to some stores looking for a better thermometer, but there’s none to be had. The woman at CVS laughed at me and said, “we haven’t had one of those for weeks.” She was so damn cheerful about it. Fuck her.

Tomorrow, we’re going to start the testing process. The pediatrician will swab his throat in the car in the parking lot. If it comes back negative for strep and the flu, then they will give a prescription for a coronavirus test at the drive thru tent at the local hospital.

I’m about to change into cleaning clothes that won’t be ruined by bleach. I want to scour the kitchen counter and bathroom. If Ian is really sick, then I’m shutting the door on the barn when the horses have already escaped. But I feel like I need to do something.

10 thoughts on “Slouching Towards Bethlehem (Plague, Day 23, March 26, 2020)

  1. My condolences to you and your family, especially your aunt, on the death of your uncle. It’s never a good time, but this is a very bad one for dealing with a funeral.


  2. My heart goes out to you. It’s never easy, but not being able to gather to mourn makes it even harder.

    Your online diaries allow you readers to share your feelings for things we find hard to talk about in normal life.


  3. So sorry for your loss, Laura.

    We know you better than you know us, your readers, but know we’re all thinking of you.


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