February 2021 II

Since my last diary post – and it saddens me beyond belief to write this – my colleague’s dad has past away. Despite the quite insane mixture of hoping against hope paired with the ‘grown-up’ thing of trying to reason that this outcome was inevitable given all the facts, there still lingers an air of disbelief and defiance. It is not spoken about too much at work but you can tell it is on everyone’s mind. We have not seen her since he took a turn for the worse a couple of days before he died, but our boss told us of how admirably well she is coping. She will be back in work next week and I suspect most of us feel a little like crying, but the thing is a) when she pulls herself together, what bloody right do we have to get all emotional and b) we wouldn’t be doing her much service if we do not all least try to give her some sense of same old, same old as some strange way of offering comfort and reassurance.

This is not at all trying to belittle the tremendous loss she has just suffered but throughout her dad’s battle with Covid, she made a point out of coming into work and being around all of us gave her the normality she craved and a sense of some things kind of being all right, when so much else was not. Most of us have so far not experienced the loss of a parent given the age we are, and I dare to say, even though you might not agree with me, that the death of a grandparent albeit painful is not quite the same.I truly believe there is a lot of wisdom in the saying about it being one’s time to go and there being a natural order of things. And this has been anything but. All we can do for now is tell her that we are sorry for her loss and that we are here for her. I know they seem like such cliche phrases but when they come from the heart they are absolutely not.

My own fight with Corona completely pales in comparison now, but still, I am far from alright. My blood oxygen levels are constantly on the low side, sometimes dropping even more and cold air or restrictions to my breathing like wearing a mask give me headaches and stiff muscles and a general feeling of curling up and not being able to move for an indefinite amount of time. It seems rather ironic that I have to see my GP to get my lungs checked and for the time being request an exemption from wearing a mask (you might recall my aversion to people doing just that), but otherwise I am not able to work. Apart from walks, exercise is that an option for the next few weeks, but I don’t really care too much because the majority of my day is after all taken up by sleeping. Twelve hours seem to be pretty much standard for now and I still manage to look like I have been awake for days afterwards. On a slightly for cheerful note, it is quite entertaining how people try to word it politely that I look like shit without being quite as descriptive.

I am grateful though that the boys seem to have escaped the virus pretty much unscathed and if me taking longer to recover was the price that had to be paid, I would gladly pay double. All I can do for now is keeping my fingers crossed that it won’t take me too long to get back into form, of any description really.

There has however been a tiny, minuscule glimmer of positivity on the horizon. I booked a flight home for a few days, literally the first flight becoming available from my local airport. It seems the one good thing coming from my recent brush with Covid is that a doctor’s certificate of a proven infection within a certain time frame will allow me to fly out there without the need to test or quarantine. I will have to do so upon returning of course but that is an inconvenience I am willing to put up with if it allows me some respite. I am holding my breath for now (pardon the pun) how this will play out in the next few weeks.

Take care of yourselves my marvelous people. Stay safe, stay sane. Much love, TC.

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