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  • Michelle Haskell

COVID DOESN'T SCARE ME //

Covid doesn’t scare me.

What scares me is passing it on to someone who isn’t strong enough to fight it.

And let’s be real, we all know someone who isn’t strong enough. A cancer fighting friend, an elderly neighbor, a new baby, a grandparent.

In my case, it is a special needs brother.

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I didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving with my family this weekend. My husband and I had to make a choice. We had to make a choice on behalf of our family and what we felt was the best interests of my brother. We didn’t want to choose. We didn’t know how to choose. And quite frankly, not being able to make a decision - on what was right vs what was wrong - made the decision for us. We chose to stay away. And not because we wanted to, but because we had to.

With the rising number of covid cases in our area, along with the very few places and people we had been around, it was still too risky to chance. Too risky to chance my brother getting covid and not being strong enough to fight it.

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On one hand I have a friend – her grandmother and two uncles passed away after catching covid at a family get together. She regrets going.

On another hand – I have a friend whose dad had cancer. She opted not to be around him for months to protect and keep him safe, yet he ended up passing. She regrets not going.

And then there’s those who say we need to live our lives..

But what if… what if not going is me missing out on the already precious time with him?

And what if… what if me living life is the very thing that ends his?

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I’ve never felt so lost and confused before. I don’t know what the right answer is. I don’t know what the wrong answer is. I don’t know if I’ll be regretting these tough decisions. My head has never been so conflicted. My heart is simply torn.

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But what I do know is this:

My brother. My high-risk, special needs brother. My brother is non-verbal. So not seeing him is everything. There is no communication. There is no other option to compensate for not physically being in his presence. There is no communication.

So please. Please. Take advantage of technology. Facetime your siblings. Call your grandma. Text your friends. Zoom with your neighbor. Engage in social media. Be old fashioned and write someone a letter and send it via snail mail.

I know this doesn’t replace actually being with someone. Sharing a meal with them. Hugging them or holding their hand. Or just simply being in their presence.

But know how incredibly grateful we are. Living in a pandemic with so many options to connect. To dial in. To lean on each other. To stay in touch. To still make memories from afar. To still live our lives and be able to share it with those we love.

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I’ve never felt so lost and confused before. I don’t know what the right answer is. I don’t know what the wrong answer is. I don’t know if I’ll be regretting these tough decisions. My head has never been so conflicted. My heart is simply torn.

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