In quarantine with 90-year-old great auntie

 

By Amora Campbell, Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts

April 2020


 

The phone rang, and my mom picked up. It was the hospital.

As a woman at the other end spoke, a look of shock crossed my auntie's face. After the call, my mom said, “Was that the hospital? Is the nurse still coming over?” She responded, “Yes, and guess what they just told me! They said if I have a fever or cough, I should stay home. I'm being told not to go to the hospital!”

This phone conversation sparked a great deal of anxiety among everyone in our house. My great auntie Lena is 90 years old, meaning she is at a higher risk of dying from the coronavirus, and along with her congestive heart failure, the risk practically doubles.

In the midst of this global pandemic she can't go to church and is restricted from seeing her friends. Upon learning about the contagion and aggression of the coronavirus we have been watching the news like hawks. Our lives have changed, and we have no way to know when things will go back to normal.

The thought of treatment being denied to my auntie Lena because of lack of materials makes me feel more empathetic to the people making the decisions of life or death for thousands of people. I don’t believe my auntie will get the virus, but currently everything is basically unknown. New developments are happening in what seems like every hour, so quarantine has become seriously enforced and stress has been high. My family is staying strong throughout this quarantine, but as we become more informed, the fear and isolation the virus promotes grows stronger.

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