The Norovirus, a highly contagious
Seniors are particularly vulnerable to the virus. Many of them have immune systems already weakened by time and the vagaries of aging. At least half the residents are suffering and everyone is under quarantine until the facility has been symptom-free for at least 48 hours.
My mother, 91, is safe. She has hardly left her small one-bedroom apartment in the last two months, for different medical reasons. Her exposure to the outside world has been limited.
“No touchy!” I tell the young server who has knocked and walked in ready to hand me her meal. “It’s okay,” she reassures me. “I’m only delivering to the healthy people, I’m not in contact with those who are sick.” I look down at her hands, red and chafed from obvious constant washing. I take no chances and ask her to put the items down on the kitchen counter. She smiles and complies.
“Yeah, but I’m not,” I tell her and she
My own mothering instincts leap into action. I will die battling any harm that dares approach, I say to myself. But deep down, I know it’s an impossible position to hold. One day, the mystery of death will take her from me. My eyes water and my heart
It has been a difficult two months. She has rallied, waned, and rallied. Depression. pneumonia, fatigue, loneliness. “I’m a pathetic old woman,” she said during a particularly difficult time. “No, Mum,” I reassured her. “You are not.” She gives me a resigned look.
“Oh. Wait a minute,” I deadpan. “You’re right! What was I thinking?! Of
“But you’re not pathetic,” I add. “Like many of us here, you’ve lived a good and generous life, doing the best you could with the cards you were dealt. And thankfully, one of them was me.
“Now, doesn’t that make you feel better?” I ask.