Living with Coronavirus
Sunday June 6, 2021
“An old man turned 98
He won the lottery and died the next day
It’s a black fly in your Chardonnay
It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late
And isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?”— Alanis Morissette
Feels like my song today. When I began this record of this historic pandemic, I did so for history and posterity. I did not expect to last this long. I did not expect to survive a novel respiratory virus which can be lethal with my underlying conditions. Yet, here I am, vaccinated in a years’ time. An amazing triumph of science shattering the previous development time for a vaccine. A feat we did several times over.
Last week I met with the surgeon, who examined me a few days prior to surgery. I saw his expression when he examined me. The surgeon ought not to play poker as it was obvious, he did not like what he saw. He was then very cautious as to what he did say, and cautioned me to await the results of the lab test results after the upcoming surgery. He might as well have worn a neon sign reading Cancer.
He seemed to await my panic, or fear, or other poor reaction. I did not have one, nor was I numb to the idea. Rather in my mind I earned whatever I get. You reap what you sow, right? My lack of reaction seemed to disconcert the surgeon. He does not know that my personal awareness of my own death has been a daily guest in my mind since I was 6 years of age. I am ever surprised I am still here as it is. A cancer diagnosis would not be unexpected, only unwelcome.
Of course, I do not know and I won’t know until after the surgery and labs are complete. I had the surgery Wednesday and it seems he took a lot of biopsies. It feels like he took pieces from all over my throat, jaw, tongue and neck. It could also be wounds from the forceps used to hold your throat, mouth and tongue open for the surgery. It would makes sense for the surgeon to do so, as in the throat there are at least a half dozen types of cancer, and they tend to spread to other areas. So a bunch of biopsies makes scientific sense. I do not know, and will not know any results until Tuesday.
I expect negative news, that is positive results. I expect cancer. I expect it because I did everything to earn cancer. I smoked for decades, drank like a fish for 15 years, and suffered acid reflux for decades; all of which are key factors for the developments of throat, mouth and neck cancers.
It seems my personal irony may be surviving C-19 only to succumb to cancer. I will find out more Tuesday. Reminds me of when Aids was new. You would get an HIV test and wait for a month. Now I wait for bad news and hope for good news, just like then.
It all brings up a question for me though; “Ought I blog my own demise?”
It brings this up for me because death is a subject most people avoid for their entire lives as much as they possibly can. Many people have strong religious or spiritual beliefs concerning death and use those as a salve for the harsh reality that we all die, that death is the ultimate equalizer. Dead is dead. Rich or poor, black or white, old or young, all become irrelevant when the host is dead.
Since people do not talk about death, and do not want to talk about death, it makes it hard for many people to face. After all, if you spend your life avoiding bowling you cannot expect to be a great bowler, can you? How much harder is it for those folks to face their own demise when they have avoided the reality and ever-present presence of death?
I am not in that group, and because I have not avoided the topic all my life, perhaps I am now in a position to record and reveal all I go through for the benefit of those who follow? Mind you I have no clue what I will go through or how long it might take. I will have to think about this. At the very least it would prove to be a teaching device about my personal death process. Something others suffering a similar fate could look to in order to come to grips with their own situation.
On the Corona virus front the USA is doing a lot better, and even global levels are lower. I suspect we have hit the high point for the globe and are now trending down generally. This is not true in hot spots. All of South America is in a bad way, so is Mongolia and parts of southeast Asia. A new strain in Vietnam has researchers on edge. The background level of C-19 is still far too high. How long until a strain mutates to be vaccine resistant?
America is still number one in deaths per capita. We hold the record for allowing the most people in our nation to die of Covid and that rests on Trump and the GOP. If you look at the numbers you can see that while we are down overall in infections, deaths still spike from location to location. Infections also spike from time to time based on location. This reflects what I have been saying, that from place to place, for the foreseeable future, C-19 will spread and bloom and create new variants. It will do this primarily among the unvaccinated, who are easier to infect.
I expect that over the next two years we will see blooms in communities which refused to vaccinate. I expect blooms in megachurches who preached against the vaccine and among the GOP who refuse the vaccine based upon conspiracies. I expect Q Anon to be the next “Typhoid Mary” in the historical context. People so wound up by right wing conspiracies and so amped up on fear they would rather believe that Bill Gates somehow engineered microchips into the vaccines than admit there is a dangerous virus out there.
Global Infected 169,986,948 173,008,891
7-day average 431,706 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN
Global Dead 3,534,435 3,722,282
7-day average 26,835 deaths daily –UP (by double from last week)
USA Infected 33,251,982 33,357,241
7-day average 15,037 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN
USA C-19 deaths 594,306 597,377
7-day average 438 deaths daily –DOWN
Maine Infected 67,651 68,154
7-day average 71 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN
Maine deaths 825 839
7-day average 2 deaths daily –UP (by more than double)
As I underwent surgery and recovery this week another 187,847 of my fellow humans lost their fight with Covid-19. Of those 3,071 were my fellow Americans and 14 were my fellow Mainers.