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  • Writer's picturecocodensmore

Hope is Not a Strategy

November 5, 2021

It’s one of those days. Just one of those push on through days. It's the kind of day I think, "OK, Coco. Just keep moving forward. You're one day closer to your appointed time, one day closer to release from this fallen ugly world. You can do this." All the while doubting how I'll ever manage to do this.

When I came downstairs this afternoon, my mom told me my brother’s stepson has COVID. He has a wife and three children, the youngest of which is one month old. His stepson is going to isolate in the same house. But I know from personal experience even if you isolate in the same house, chances are everyone in the family will be infected. You’re contagious before you have symptoms.

He lives across the street from my brother and his wife, who is anti-vaxx. You know everyone has been holding that baby. Everyone. My brother has asthma. He’s vaccinated, but if he were to get COVID, it is pretty assured he’d have a rough go of it. If his wife were vaccinated, he’d be double protected. But she’s anti-vaxx.

One of my best friends is spending hours sitting with her friend, who is now on a ventilator. She beat cancer twice. The immunocompromised were one of the first to be eligible for the vaccine. She was hesitant and decided to wait. She’s been on a ventilator for 14 days, so she doesn’t quality for ECMO at this point. Once you go on a ventilator, your chance of survival is roughly 50%. Was it her hesitancy in getting the vaccine that resulted in this situation? Or the fact since she is immunocompromised, she was endangered by the unvaccinated around her? No way of knowing. And does it matter? We pray for healing. What else is there?

My niece’s boyfriend’s grandfather is being removed from life support this week. Not vaccinated. He believed COVID was a hoax. I wonder if any attitudes will change in that family. Even if they do, too late.

When mom told me about my brother’s stepson, I lost it. I yelled, screamed. She kept saying it was up to Jesus, that he decides who lives and who dies. Oh to live in a world as simple as the one she lives in.

I told her Jesus gave us a vaccine. People are going against what Jesus wants and it’s resulting in unnecessary untimely deaths. Horrible suffering deaths.

“You know the person that is on a ventilator, dying, they’re sedated. If they go, they go to a better place. But think of all those people left behind. Family, friends. Those left behind suffer the loss acutely. And it’s all completely unnecessary.”

She doesn’t understand. She's deaf. She's not unintelligent, but her world view is much simpler than mine. She's far more accepting of the things that happen to her and around her. She is far more at peace with events that I am. This is perhaps because she misses so much simply by not hearing or understanding the dire state we are in. Deafness dramatically alters communication and the ability to communicate effectively, two-way, in the hearing world. It's not her fault. It's not her fault.

The vaccine scenarios - these are concepts she simply doesn’t have the sophistication to wrap her mind around. She just keeps saying it’s up to Jesus. I hope that’s of some comfort to her when she loses someone very close, a family member, a dear friend. Yet she will grieve and suffer just as all the rest of us. There is no protection from that.

After I was done screaming about the injustice of it, upsetting my mother greatly, I cried for a couple more hours. I tried to distract myself. But the tragedy of the situation here in the United States is simply overwhelming.

I tell myself this has happened before, civilization has experienced many pandemics, and people die, and people live, and everything is redefined and recalibrated and a new way of life emerges. People adapt and people manage, and life goes on.

I tell myself I have no control over this situation. None. So why doesn’t that alleviate the profound sadness I feel? Why the tears? Hours of tears?

I’m not afraid to die. But I don’t want to die of COVID. Horrible way to go. Suffering is not something I welcome into my life, it is not something I embrace happily, as the Bible urges me to do. Count it all joy. Sure. Nope. Sorry. I’m not that evolved.

I'm not afraid to die. But I especially don’t want to die of COVID because of other people’s selfish foolish short-sighted politically motivated denial. Murderers. They are murderers.

There is nothing I can say or do to change people’s minds or perspectives. And it's pointless. I just don't want to be around them. That's all there is to it. I will never knowingly put myself within six feet of someone I know to be unvaccinated again in my life.

In addition, I am mired in hate. Watching what my mother went through, and having experienced what I did, I am about as angry as I have ever been.

Thank God we were vaccinated. Thank God we slid in under the deadline for receiving monoclonal antibodies. We were both on our last day of eligibility for that treatment. Had we not had those protections, I firmly believe my mother would have died, and it's likely I would have also.


“The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services yesterday released new data in the weekly respiratory surveillance report showing that unvaccinated people were 15.4 times, or 1,540 percent, more likely to die from COVID-19 during the four-week period ending Aug. 21, 2021.”




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