My nephew recently qualified as a doctor and is working at a London hospital, where in one day last weekend he certified 10 deaths from COVID.
I was overcome for a moment imagining the emotional trauma in the corridors, on the wards, in the bodies of the hospital staff. There is a respite room available for staff if they too are overcome. But with COVID, there is no respite.
This week, I have been susceptible to memories. The only remaining redeeming use for Facebook is the memories function. It is a fortunate byproduct of having a shitty memory that I live very much in the present. The past tends to blur into a blancmange of “life was good!”
Occasionally, though, a photo stirs something held deep in my muscle. My best friend died a couple of years ago, and his widow keeps his memory alive for us all with frequent photo sharing on FB. It is one of the only things I check on FB anymore. He is holding his small children in the South Bank in London. It looks like a day we met them there, maybe it’s not, but it stirred that memory.
Fortunately, at my nephew’s hospital, they allow family on to the COVID ward to say goodbye to loved ones. Their memories might be a hand held tightly, not a facetime conversation over patchy wifi.
As a slightly glass half full person, I tend to think getting through COVID is for gritted teeth, and we will look back and hopefully say “We did it!” I want that to be my blancmanged memory.
For a million people around the world, it will be something else.
Be well, stay healthy.
This Much We Know.