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Your COVID Moments #15

March 13, 2021 9:39 a.m.

From TPM Reader JM (this one got to me perhaps more than any other we’ve published so far) …

My COVID moment was the culmination of a year of thinking we were going to be OK, and then realizing we weren’t.

In 2019, months before the COVID crisis struck, my elderly but still brilliant mother moved from Florida to the NY exurbs to live with my family. Like anyone in their late 80s, my mother had her share of age related health issues but overall was in remarkable shape. When the crisis struck last year, we seemed to be doing all the right things: working and attending school from home, wiping down our groceries, wearing masks, etc.

However, I have teenagers, one of whom has been slowly radicalized by sociopaths on YouTube (Ben Shapiro is a favorite.). At some point, my teen decided that COVID was overblown, masks were stupid, and it would all be over on election day. (I might be a recovering conservative, but I believe in math and science like some people believe in Q or flying saucers.)

We made it safely through Election Day, but COVID was still a thing. We made it safely through January 6th, but COVID was still a thing. The day after the inauguration, my teen’s lack of belief brought COVID into our house, and two weeks later, my mother died from it… after nearly a year of keeping her safe, two days before her vaccine appointment, and a week shy of her 89th birthday.

The conundrum in my life – my COVID moment – is realizing that our story is far from unique. Lots of people died from this, and unfortunately lots more will. But in many families, our story will play out over years or even generations. No one deliberately set out to kill their beloved grandmother or grandfather, but nonetheless they’re dead, and many families (thousands of families?) will be dealing with the guilt, shame, and intrafamily blame for years to come.

Here’s hoping for wisdom, perspective, and vaccines(!) in abundance, to help heal these wounds.

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