I’ve been waiting on my daughter’s COVID-19 test results for the past two days.
Her testing happened Saturday afternoon and was like something out of a sci-fi movie. Occupational Health arranged for her to drive from home to a clinic. Completely robed and masked nurses met her at the car. They immediately masked her as well, then opened all the doors and ushered her into an exam room where they swabbed her nostrils and walked her back to her car. She was in the clinic less than five minutes and never touched anyone or anything.
The nurse categorized her as High Risk. She’s traveled recently. She has all the symptoms (101 fever, extreme cough and debilitating headache, chills, and fatigue — everything but pneumonia, Thank You, Lord). And her job puts her up-close-and-personal with the virus.
She’s a surgeon, a seventh-year chief resident in Dallas, Texas. and one doc in her hospital has already tested positive.
I am an eleven-hour car ride away from her, and she lives alone. I’ve been a tangled-up torrent of worry and fear. I wanted to drop everything and drive to her, but I was told NO, that she must self-quarantine for the duration.
The thought of my girl locked in her tiny apartment, sick and weak, the groceries depleting, the garbage piling up, the loneliness setting in… all by herself, it was almost too much for my heart.
Luckily, she has a wonderful family of resident and attending physicians who surround and love her. I immediately reached out to two of her best friends, asking them to check in on her by phone. They stepped up like the angels they are.
Others swept in to assist as soon as they got word. Her research mentor volunteered to drop food at her door. Colleagues called nightly. Residents FaceTimed her. So many kept her in their sights, relatively speaking… I can never explain how much their support soothed my Mama’s Heart.
Midway through writing this blog, I got word she tested negative. So much weight has been lifted. I really thought the odds were stacked against her.
My sweet girl is embarrassed that she was ever tested. She feels guilty that others had to carry her weight while she was home sick. She’s so thankful she’s been cleared to go back to work and help carry the load.
Well, Mama Bear talking here, so bear with me.
She’s not the one who should be embarrassed. She’s not the one who should feel guilty. She’s doing her part to help fight this pandemic. She’s putting herself deliberately in harm’s way to help people in need.
But there are individuals out there who should be embarrassed and ashamed. People who refuse to see the seriousness of the situation and keep leaving their homes for careless contact with others. Conspiracy theorists who refuse to listen to the experts and think its all hype and hoax. Folks who strongly believe it is their God-given, American-born right to run their lives like normal.
Well, maybe it is. But life is not normal. It’s as far from normal as anything even the oldest among us has ever seen. And while citizens may have a right to live their lives as they choose, they also have the responsibility to look out for their fellow Americans.
And if they don’t care about their fellow man, they should at least care about their own families and friends — who they are putting at tremendous risk every time they venture out.
People are still playing soccer at Dellinger Park. They’re still meeting neighbors for barbecues and beers. They’re still sending their kids out for play dates with friends.
AND they are putting so many people at risk. The elderly. The infirm. And my child. At risk. And that’s not okay with me.
Medical professionals are working their bodies to the breaking point. They are on the front lines, giving so much.
People should at least be willing to give up some of their all-mighty freedoms for this short period of time.
For Goodness Sakes.