At the beginning of the shutdown, my bedfellow (and his mom) had bronchitis. My mother had pneumonia and I was sick with body aches, shortness of breath and low fever. I couldn’t get a ‘test’ because my temperature wasn’t high enough.
I called my sister: “They’ve literally convinced the whole world that the flu is the plague!”
For the first time, it occurred to me that this was political.
I felt better until I talked to my mother the next morning. She would get a test if she didn’t respond to the antibiotics. The last place she wanted to be was the hospital (where she could get a test) but they were supposed to have the drive-through tests available within a couple of days. I told her what my sister had said. As any 70 with pneumonia at this time might have been, my mother was pissed!
The coming days were difficult. I was sick with my son full time and thought my mother was going to die.
I couldn’t sleep. The bedfellow hacked incessantly. Sleep deprivation… I’m going to die! Confusion (one of the symptoms of covid), what if this is my last breath? If my mother has it, my father will soon, my bedfellow too.
Who will raise my son?
I had make a will, talk to relatives, call friends. Who would introduce my son to yoga and co-operatives and tell him how much I love him?
I had to discipline my child (for the first time ever). I had to teach him not to waste food and use his manners. In case I didn’t wake up, I had to write a note to him. –And a note for his future guardian. I didn’t sleep.
I tried to act normal and enjoy the cold outside time with him.
After a few days without sleep, my behavior was scary enough for the bedfellow to take a an afternoon off (despite how badly he was needed at work). I talked to my yoga teacher and fell asleep for 2 hours. When I woke up, I knew I was not going to die (at least not from covid that day).
I checked coronavirus statistics on the Worldometer whenever I could. It didn’t make sense.
The bedfellow didn’t think I should close the studio. But he also didn’t think I should teach sick and there was no other option. When the shutdown became mandatory, he said, “You made the right decision.” He remained skeptical (of course, he had also ordered dehydrated meals).
With my little monster on deck, I had even less media consumption. When I had a few minutes, I worked on my class. I got the mainstream perspective from my parents who were very fearful (I didn’t see them for 6 weeks but we talked in spurts by phone). Without my commute, I didn’t listen to NPR.
One of the media sources that fueled my bedfellow’s skepticism is “No Agenda.” It is a somewhat academic (references posted), anti-academic podcast that claims to be a media deconstruction (title of this week’s show is “Trained Marixsts”). A perspective on the right.
I had listened to bits of the show but before thought they were misogynistic and, that they had an agenda. We all do! In retrospect, I think their discussions on overpopulation, climate change and vaccines informed my bedfellow’s perspective and provided us with points of connection.
I was skeptical of vaccines but my research into vaccine safety was arduous (I was working 4 part-time jobs). I had refused Hep B when he was born (because, really, why? the only person my newborn could get that from was me and I had been tested…) and delay a few others that were clearly unnecessary. Several good friends berated my skepticism but thank god, my son’s father did not.
It was from No Agenda (some would say right-wing podcast) that I heard a clip of Robert F Kennedy Junior talking about vaccine safety and learned of the Children’s Health Defense, the single greatest resource on vaccine safety.
For three years I had searched for information and articles on vaccine safety and found little if anything. At every doctors appointment I asked questions and brought my fears concerning vaccinating my boy. As my slow research progressed I brought up concerns with adjvants (the additives they use to make vaccines more effective), and multiple vaccines injections. My son’s doctor knew my fears and was willing to work with me in terms of a schedule (so long as we could get his mandatory shots in by kindergarten). But, never, never did she ever mention the most important words concerning my search: “vaccine injury,” the Vaccine Compensation Program; and “vaccine inserts.” These were the phrases that unlocked the floodgate of information concerning vaccine safety.
Thanks to RFK Jr and my bedfellow’s (kind of) right-wing podcast, the black box began to open…