A message from the land of Swaney…. During this hard time, I thought that perhaps me sharing a little story may help people see things in a different light or at least in or out of some shadows that exist in people’s lives.
As you know, I am a Lieutenant at the fire department in Geneva. I am also an EMT-B. We respond to all sorts of calls for service from stubbed toes to structure fires. This also puts me in contact with people who are sick with a certain virus that we have all been held hostage by. In my case someone who did not have any symptoms at the time, early in the pandemic, unfortunately prior to good personal protective equipment (PPE) practices had been put in place.
The day in question we treated and transported the patient without incident and went on with our lives. I had no symptoms until 4 days later but was told I had not been exposed so it was very easy to write them off! I never had a fever and everything I experienced was easily explained as weather changes or age. I continued with life in this new “normal” I went to work 2 weeks ago and received a text from one of the other firefighters that was on “the call” with me and it said…. “I lost my sense of smell and taste”……. RED FLAGS!!!!!! I left work, came home and isolated until I could get a video appointment with my Dr. The wheels also started turning for the other members of my shift to get tested. I went into Mercy ER and was tested the next day, unfortunately it came back positive.
For the next week I lived on the couch wearing a mask whenever I left my quarantine world, trying not to get the rest of the family sick, what I didn’t realize, or chose to try and ignore, was that I had been interacting with the family before I was diagnosed and had given it to 2 members of my family. Chrissy and Jessica were having symptoms and were assumed a presumptive positive but could not get tested due to the lack of testing supplies.
So now I am angry that I got my family sick, worried that other members of the family may get sick and worried how far down the COVID-19 rabbit hole we will go. We were incredibly lucky in our family; chest tightness, loss of taste and smell, cough, teeth that hurt and fatigue was as bad as it got for us.
2 weeks together in our house, not leaving, helping each other, trying to be patient with one another. Cooking and cleaning, disinfecting, healing. There were trying and frustrating times and there were great times! Friends!!! Family!! Friends!!! What a great time in the world to really feel the love of friends that shop for you, A LOT of shopping for us! You don’t realize how many things you need, and how easy it was to just walk to Aldi and grab what you need at your convenience until you can’t do that anymore. Friends!!!! People to talk to and vent your anger and frustration, your fears and even your joy for the unthought of blessings that have presented themselves to you in the weirdest “joy sparks” that would never have come up if it weren’t for this mandated separation.
This thing is real! I see that things are getting better and that we all want it to be over and that we all don’t agree on the right way to continue. The bottom line from my perspective is….. BE KIND! No matter what your opinion is, we can all be kind in our thoughts and our actions. We can support each other in so many different ways, both the obvious and the sublime. I hope that this finds you all healthy and that we will soon see each other at church to share those small moments with one another that we all value so much.