Somebody is Counting on You

Good afternoon folks!  I hope you’re all doing well.

By my calculations, it’s been a little over six months since my last morning post. That wasn’t a planned outage – it just worked out that way. I’ll blame it on a combination of heavy workload, wrapping up a five-month RV trip, getting settled in at home, and then a host of health issues that aren’t over yet.

For me, it started with some apparent heart issues. It was enough to make my cardiologist cringe, but testing shows I’m not ready to check out just yet. Then they said maybe it was my lungs. Nope. Just some minor issues there. My troubles are mostly related to age, weight, and inactivity. Because, you know, the best exercise begins with chest pain. I’m such a wimp.

Through it all, I developed a pretty intense case of depression. It just happened. Looking back, the year has had its share of trials and heartache, and it finally caught up with me. And it doesn’t help that I spend 40 hours a week in the basement with one small window that’s mostly blocked by weeds.

Then, last Friday I realized I was getting a cold. I rarely get sick, and it never got really bad. Except that Saturday night, my grandson “crop-dusted” the living room, and my wife emptied half a can of this obnoxious air freshener that isn’t even allowed in prisons. I didn’t smell a thing. By Sunday morning, I couldn’t taste anything, either.

Monday I got tested and two hours later the results came in. Covid. Just friggin’ lovely! And my wife has it, too. When you’ve been married this long, you share pretty much everything.

“You should’ve gotten vaccinated!” We did. Six months ago. Two shots each. “You should’ve worn a mask!” We do, every time we go anywhere. But in a state where barely 51% are vaccinated, and fewer than 5% wear a mask in public, somebody’s not being completely honest.

To be fair, we don’t know where it came from. I don’t know if I gave it to my wife or if she gave it to me. And it’s possible the person who infected us is just as vaccinated as we are. That’s why I try not to be bitter. One of us was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Life goes on.

For most of us. Yesterday I got news that a woman I used to work with just passed away due to Covid. My cardiologist died a year ago, seven months after he was “cured.” The virus was gone, but his lungs never recovered. And on it goes.

The numbers have been on a decline, but that doesn’t help the 6,004 people who were hospitalized with Covid every day over the past week. All told, over 730,000 have died in the US.  That’s more than the population of two entire states.

I know – we all die.  I hear that a lot. But tell that to the families waiting for word about loved ones they can’t even visit. Tell that to the parents who have buried little ones whose lives hadn’t even begun. Tell that to the schoolteacher looking at an empty desk and the drawings left by a student who will never return.

If it sounds like I’m on a soapbox, I am. This is NOT okay. We could have had this under control a year ago. We’re here today because this is where we chose to be. We’re here because we, as a society, have decided our own comfort and freedom is more important than the lives of those around us. We’re here because those of us who don’t feel that way gave in to those who do.

Folks, our health is a very personal thing. I respect that. I respect the choice not to get vaccinated. I disagree with most of the reasons, but I respect it. I agree that masks are neither stylish nor comfortable. And I agree that none of these measures is a foolproof way of avoiding infection.

But anybody with any level of common sense knows they help. Sometimes, it’s not about the “silver bullet.” It’s about increasing the odds – a little here, a little there.

Most of all, it’s about realizing we’re all in this together. We can choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution. We can choose to protect those around us, just as we’d expect those same people to avoid carelessly endangering the ones we love.

I have little doubt my wife and I will survive this without major complications. But for my friend, whose husband and sons are planning her funeral, there won’t be any happy ending. Look at all the people around you and ask yourself a simple question – which one of these people can the world do without? If I know you folks at all, the answer is “nobody.”

Give it some thought, friends. There’s not a one of you I’m willing to lose, especially if I can do anything to prevent it. You’re that important. And so is the person next to you.

That’s all for now. Hopefully I’ll be back to the regular writing (and with a lot more humor and inspiration) in the very near future. Until then, stay healthy and have an awesome day!

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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