Hey, are you curious about whatever happened to everyone who went to Virus Brunch, where I got COVID-19 and nearly died?
Considering we were some of the earliest cases in the hottest hot zone in California, considering that we all got coronavirus together before the shutdown, isn’t it interesting to ponder what we’re all doing now that vaccines are available to every adult?
Well, let’s start with me. You know my story. I got COVID, and I was deathly ill for a month, and I got a secondary lung infection and almost died from that, and then I got bacterial pneumonia two months later. It’s taken me a year to feel like I’m fully recovered, and even then I still have skin problems and a weird heartbeat sometimes.
Then there’s my friend who is now on short-term disability. She has other health conditions and COVID didn’t treat her very well.
Then there’s our other friend who has lupus. She’s one of the few who didn’t catch COVID at Virus Brunch. She speculated that maybe she didn’t get it like the rest of us because she has been on hydroxychroloquine for many years.
...but then she contracted it a few months ago and was quite ill.
All three of us have gotten our first shot and we’re impatiently waiting for our second dose.
We were sick enough for long enough, and we know enough other people who also got sick, that we don’t need any more information. COVID sucks. We don’t want it again. We’re all quite pleased that the vaccine was developed so quickly, and it’s free, and as soon as we got a chance we got in line.
Not so for everyone else in our group.
This is interesting stuff. We all know each other. We all live in the same place at the same point in the timeline. We were all present at an early-days super-spreader event. Yet we’ve reacted to that event in quite different ways.
I have the benefit of a particularly juicy spiritual problem to chew on. I know the person who gave me a potentially fatal disease. I also know that she had symptoms, the exact symptoms that were already in the news about the pandemic, and she went out in public anyway.
I can get over that part. People make mistakes. It wasn’t personal.
It wasn’t like she sat around sharpening a sword, throwing darts at my photo, and plotting her revenge for some imagined slight.
She was just a person with a particular work ethic who talked herself into attending a social event because she didn’t want to miss out. Even though she wasn’t feeling all that hot.
I could forgive that, sure.
The more information I get, though, the tougher it is for me. I wish I had gotten COVID at random and that I had no idea from where. I wish I couldn’t put a face or a name to my... well, quite frankly, not my emotional scars but the scars on my lungs that are visible in a chest x-ray. My real scars.
See, the person who got me sick has been going around saying how glad she is that at least she didn’t get anyone else sick.
Which simply isn’t true.
I’m one of at least ten people who almost certainly got coronavirus from her, and possibly a lot more, since she went to at least two airports around that time.
She never texted, she never called, she never sent an email. Before we all got sick, she and I were on the occasional email basis. We used to meet at dinner sometimes, not just brunch every couple months.
Whatever has happened, I don’t exist to her. She has this rather large significance in my life and in my mind, and to her, I’m just some random lady.
Enough about her, though. I have forgiveness work to do, heavy lifting that may take me years, as I try to understand her perspective.
Who else was at Virus Brunch, and how are they doing?
One other attendee did not get sick that day. Why? I think it might have to do with where she was seated at the table, but who knows really. This person thinks that COVID is a total hoax, and that those of us who are getting vaccinated are guinea pigs. Apparently the vaccines have something to do with... the Kennedys? She basically thinks that those of us who got sick are hysterical, that we bought into a group delusion and it gave us physical symptoms.
Physical symptoms, like peribronchial thickening? All righty then...
The lady at Virus Brunch who was visiting from Chicago, I have no idea about her. I do know that she got sick, and that she had gone through both LAX and O’Hare before she made it home.
There was one other person who also got sick that day. She is very angry at the person who got us sick, and is no longer willing to socialize with her in any way. She texted me last year wanting to hang out, in person, when I was still getting over pneumonia. I politely brushed her off, wondering why anyone in our entire state would want to step outside their front door, much less get within breathing range of someone who wasn’t family.
I don’t have complete information, but in essence, it looks like everyone who got COVID that day, or later, is getting the shot. The person who walked away unscathed thinks it’s both a hoax and a part of a larger conspiracy. There is also another person who was invited, did not attend that day, is strongly anti-vaxx, and thinks everything about the coronavirus is a conspiracy.
Should those two hang out together, or should they totally not hang out together?
That stupid brunch changed my life forever. We’re all lucky we made it through, and that we’re in the kind of condition where we can think about drama and gossip.
On the other hand, it’s also made me question who is in my social bubble, and why, and how we interact with each other. Before all this, I was an “open house” person and a “free hugs” person. Now I have to ask myself, do I trust the way these people make decisions?
I hate to say it, but if I’d known that there were anti-vaxxers among these casual acquaintances, I would have been ever so much more likely to blow off the brunch that day. When my friend turned to me and asked if we should cancel, I would have thought about the direction the conversation might go, and I would have said, Yeah, let’s cancel. I’ll make you breakfast at my place.
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
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