Earlier today I received word that a cousin of a friend died of COVID.
He was in his mid-60s, and—by the accounts I’ve heard—a decent and good man.
The story behind the story makes my blood boil. The man and his wife hosted Thanksgiving for a small number of relatives. Which—it goes without saying—wasn’t good judgement.
A handful of people attended. One was the man’s sister, who had a cold but insisted it couldn’t be COVID—because she didn’t (and apparently doesn’t) believe COVID is a thing. As my friend wrote in a Facebook DM: “His sister didn’t believe in COVID. She’s been going to large gatherings of maskless people. She believed, and may still believe, that COVID is a hoax. She believes that COVID is a conspiracy by hospitals to make more money. She believes that it’s no worse than the flu. She believes that it has a 99.5% survival rate. She believes that masks don’t protect people from getting COVID because it isn’t real.”
Thanksgiving came. Thanksgiving went. Everyone who attended the gathering wound up sick with COVID. Writes my friend: “They all spent days unable to do anything but they recovered, however, they’re all still feeling effects and will for some time. He was the only one who went to the hospital. He was there for about a week before being put on a ventilator. He never got better.”
I don’t know how the sister is feeling right now. Apparently no one in the family is speaking with her. And, maybe, she’s remorseful and contrite. Maybe she feels as if this is all her fault, and she’s devastated.
But, because it’s 2020, the most likely scenario is she’s convinced her brother had already been sick. Or she’s convinced the family is blaming her because they’re all on the side of Joe Biden and Bill Barr. Or she’s making Christmas plans as we speak—”I’ll bring the turkey and fruit cake.”
It’s so friggin’ infuriating. And bleak.
“People are dying and families will never be the same again,” my friend wrote. “I know ours won’t be.”