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  • Patty Smith Hall

Wear a Mask!

Wear a Mask!


As some of you know, my youngest daughter works as a cardiac technician at a local hospital which means she’s on the frontline of this pandemic. She’s worked sixty-hour weeks since last February and has watched as her friends have gotten sick with the virus—some have even died.


Carly contracted the virus in August after a medical student decided he wasn’t wearing a mask and infected an entire floor. It was horrible. For three weeks, she suffered from a nagging cough, muscles and joints that hurt so bad, just pulling up her quilt sent her into painful spasms. At one point, we thought we would have to take her to the hospital, but I didn’t want to leave her there alone. So, I dusted off my nursing cap and settled in, getting her to the bathroom, checking her lungs and pushing fluids. On the third day, Carly finally turned a corner.


When she first exhibited symptoms, I was tested and found to have the virus but fortunately, I was asymptotic. Once Carly got her strength back, we both were tested and found to have antibodies. I gave plasma. Carly took the Modena vaccine. We didn’t think we could get it again.


We were wrong.


On Saturday morning, the doctor confirmed that Carly had COVID…again. This time is different than the first. She has a raging fever, yet she can’t get warm even with several quilts and blankets on her. Her cough rattles the walls throughout the house. Both her taste and smell are gone so I have to push her to eat. She sleeps in spirts because she can’t get comfortable. We’ve learned it’s not uncommon for health workers to contract the virus two or even three times.


And now, Danny is running a high fever. I was tested four days after Carly’s case was confirmed and was negative.


According to the Daily Mail, one in every 930 Americans die from the COVID virus. I lost a sweet friend less than a week ago, and several of my friends have lost parents or brothers and sisters to this thing. And I’m afraid we’re about to lose even more.


So when I see somebody out with a mask on, I want to shake them. I want to drag them through a covid floor at the hospital and show them just how bad it really is. I want them to see the line of wheelchairs against the wall where Carly works that represent the homeless who had died from this virus or have them listen to one of her co-workers tell how she lost several family members from the virus she caught at work.


Don’t tell me about your civil liberties or how uncomfortable it feels to wear a mask. I don’t want to hear about how you’re lonely, so you partied with some friends over New Years. My child is sick…AGAIN and worried she might end up another statistic.


So please, for the love of God, mask up. Wash your hands. Because the life you save might be your own.

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