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Carly Israel


I straddle two worlds.  One of deep gratitude and one of deep exhaustion.  


Emails back and forth with Desi’s doctors, the National Institutes of Health, what is our plan when and if?  My son is immunocompromised.  In order for him to exist in this world, pre-COVID, he needs me to give him painful injections to shut down part of his immune system or scary high numbers show up on my thermometer, not compatible with life high.  We are told he is in one of the highest risk groups as if he is over 80 with co-morbidities.  Words that float in my head in between old episodes of the Bachelor and CNN are, “vent, multi-system inflammatory condition, ICU.”  One morning, I woke up with a desperate need to find out if I would be able to be in the room with him if he needed to be admitted because I had read so many horror stories of people dying by themselves, surrounded by PPE suits and loved ones on Facetime.  He asked me if he would have to be by himself in the room and Google did not have an answer, but medical friends did. 


My husband lives in another state and has ghosts from his own trauma that keep his anxiety buzzing around between us.  We didn’t see each other for the first 50 days.  And now, another quarantine keeps us apart.  All of us have symptoms.  Negative tests aren’t trusted by those I trust.  Sore bones, metal mouth, belly aches, throat pain, and fevers all around.  But the shoe has not fallen in my house. 


And then there are the daily forced walks I make my three boys go on with me.  In the beginning, I considered giving in and saying we didn’t have to go, but we did.  And we found a hidden forest and laughter and listen to Crime Junkies on the ride to and from our walks.  I no longer fear school shootings.  I love working from home.  I am connecting with friends that I never had time to before.  No one in my house is on a vent.  No one in my house is without food.  We have all we need.  We have so much more than we could ever need.

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