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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

In Karen's Honor


Today is my sister Karen’s yahrzeit - the anniversary of the day she died. Karen died in 2012, a week before her 65th birthday. In 2001 Karen spent a month in the Mayo Clinic fighting for her life. She survived ARDS (Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome). At the time we knew how high the mortality rate for ARDS was and how incredible her recovery was. But in 2012, the cumulative damage to her lungs, coupled with a new illness, brought about her death in a matter of days. Along with many family members, I was blessed to be with her as she died. I sat alone with her, my hand on her arm, until the funeral home came for her body.

COVID-19 has been compared to ARDS. Most comparisons explain all the ways COVID-19 is significantly more complex and dramatically worse than ARDS.

I’m not going to discuss all the challenges individuals, families, communities, schools, students, teachers and small businesses are facing. I’m not going to discuss the harrowing, exhausting, dangerous experiences of healthcare workers. I’m not going to discuss all the risks being faced by essential frontline workers - from police officers to letter carriers to grocery store staff.

I am going to say this: This is not forever. Be patient. Remember the common good. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Make sure you and everyone you know is registered to vote. Take care of yourselves. Take care of each other. And stay the fuck home.

I love you Karen. I miss you.

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