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    How Has Covid-19 Affected You? Contest Winner 
 Category:  Biographical Non-Fiction
  Posted: April 15, 2020      Views: 196

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Revived Grief.
"Forced Memories" by Raffaelina Lowcock

This Pandemic has forced me to remember another similar time; the SARS epidemic in 2003. Each day holds the same memory and I am sure throughout this experience, it will never leave me.

Although the SARS epidemic was not as horrific as this, it was a very unsettling and grievous time for my family.

My husband was in the hospital during that episode. He was not suffering from SARS but from complications resulting from a recent case of pneumonia, Pulmonary Epedymia.

Hospital visits were not allowed without a special dispensation for an emergency.

He had a Living Will that stated no 'mechanical assistance'. He told the doctor this but said, "Speak to my wife, please."

I am sure this was his way of getting me into the hospital. He had always been a planner.

The doctor requested a meeting and explained the process. How they were draining his left lung and planning to drain the right one, with side stories of other patients and how they fared.

I, in turn, said, "Do everything you can to keep him alive." But at the same time I knew without the draining he wouldn't survive.

The doctor said he would be moving my husband from ICU into a private room the next day and I would be able to phone him.

I asked if I could see him then. I was masked and gowned and allowed to visit for five minutes. My husband was alert and relieved to see me. Just before I left, he held my hands in his and looked into my eyes, saying, "Tell the boys I love them and to hang together."

With tears in our eyes, we said goodbye. At the door, I turned, and he threw me a kiss. I did the same and suddenly, the refrain of a song was in my thoughts,

"For all we know, we may never meet again."

On my way home the tears streamed down, I had to park until I stopped crying.

The next day I phoned and was connected to his room. It rang several times until a nurse answered. She hesitatingly advised me to come to the hospital immediately. I was given a special dispensation. He was in a coma. He had requested all help be disengaged.

My boys were finally able to visit. In masks and gowns, we lovingly surrounded his bed.

At one point while sliding a stick with ice into his mouth, he bit down on it. It was the one comfort that we had. We knew then he knew we were with him.

He died the next day, April 13th, 2003.

Every day now, I remember and I hear the refrain, "For all we know, we may never meet again."

In the aftermath of this experience, I was determined to go forward while remembering the best memories of our life together. I thought I had succeeded in nurturing the wonderful part of my life.

Suddenly, this Pandemic has invaded my mind and there is no stopping the memory of those days. Day after day that is the main subject everywhere. TV is inundated with it.

My heart breaks at the thought of the survivors of the lost victims in this Pandemic, isolated from their loved ones in their last moments. How horrific must their experiences be? They are not able to have a funeral or even a memorial. What can be worse than their isolation?

Aside from my own memory, I cannot stop thinking about the circumstances surrounding this monstrous worldwide happening. I cannot convince myself that this is an accident. The fact that it has spread so swiftly and enveloped the entire world except for Antarctica, casts a heavy veil of suspicion on China.

Why all the subterfuge? This is certainly an investigation that must be thoroughly conducted.

I don't consider myself paranoid so I am convinced there is a 'Hidden Agenda" somewhere.

Everyone I speak to on the telephone has a different scenario in mind, mostly religious connotations are expressed.

The United States is to be commended for their competence and ingenuity at keeping things on an even keel. Of all the countries that are involved, they could have had a more disastrous outcome than most.

Still, think of this, they have had ten times the fatalities of 911. This is most suspiciously like war.

The lost lives worldwide can never be compensated. It must weigh heavily on some mysterious person.

How Has Covid-19 Affected You?
Contest Winner

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