Time is limited
by Andy P, Seattle, WA

Each day, the senior residence where my elderly mom lives tightens the rules.

Two residents and one staff member tested positive for the new coronavirus. Residents are not allowed out of their apartments, even to get their mail. Staff has been delivering mail and meals. Need groceries? They get those and bring them up to the apartment too. Cleaning service has been cancelled but linens are still being laundered. Can’t make your bed? Staff will “suit up” and do that too.

I worry about my mom getting the virus. But even without the virus, I know time is limited at her age—she’s almost 91. Depending on how this quarantine period lasts, I worry I may never see my mother again. I’ve gotten used to having her around.

The thing is, I am prone to worry. I come from a long line of worriers. I am my father’s daughter. Apparently, my mom does not share this trait. It is some mild relief that she’s not panicking.

My siblings are fellow worriers. I volunteered for the assignment to call the senior living facility manager to understand what new steps were being taken. But when I called in to report my findings, my sister could only be critical of what I didn’t ask. I felt like saying, “Why didn’t you just call yourself?” I have enough stress. Interestingly, the governor’s decree that only essential businesses may remain open includes pot shops and liquor stores. Now I know why.

Somebody pass the tequila.

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