hitting close to home

For a lot of folks the coronavirus/COVID-19 is little more than statistics and stories to be read and seen on the web. For some, it’s a matter of life and death. And for a final third, it’s the disease that strikes those who are part of their extended family. My wife and I fall into the last category.

We learned earlier this week that her older sister, living in St. Louis Missouri had contracted coronavirus and developed full-blown COVID-19, requiring that she be intubated in order to survive. She did survive, and we are very thankful.

And then we learned that a young woman who grew up with our girls starting back in kindergarten and is now back living in our neighborhood, lost both her grandparents in New Jersey to COVID-19. They were both 92, and unfortunately suffering from Alzheimers.

A common thread with all three is that they were living on an “assisted living” facility. These facilities are for-profit, which means they run at an absolute minimum with regards to the care of those who live there. And they take every penny those staying there have coming in with Social Security and any retirement.

I watched my wife’s mother go through two facilities here in the Orlando area before she died. She was 87 when she passed. It haunts me to this day and motivates me to make sure that our house, the house we built back in 1985, is the house we’ll live in until the day we both die, whenever that might be. I will never let my wife be sent to an assisted dying facility, because that’s basically what they’ve all become.

The near-death of my sister-in-law and the passing of our almost-adopted daughter’s grandparents have pushed me towards a political radicalism I didn’t realize I was capable of. Basically, I want to totally wipe out the Republican party as a political party in this county, this state, and this country. Everybody else who isn’t a “base” Republican has been asleep while they’ve burrowed into every government body and striped it all down to a barely functioning system. As a consequence when a real emergency arises, like the current coronavirus pandemic, we’re left to fend for ourselves. And if we die, oh well. Apparently keeping the national death tole down to between 60 and 70 thousand is a job well done.

They should take Dubya’s “Mission Accomplished” banner and hang it across the front of the White House.