Living With Vulnerability 

The coronavirus pandemic is personal.   While we are in it together the threat of infection affects us differently

I am one of one of the most vulnerable: 82 years old undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma.

Even in the best of circumstances I am at risk given my weakened immune system.   So far I am doing fine and feeling good.   But as someone said, as the coronavirus spreads, this is the new abnormal.   Everyone is at risk.

So Pat and I have decided to voluntarily “shelter in place” – even avoiding grocery stores and pharmacies – taking advantage of their delivery services.   

No more basketball games with our grandchildren.  No more book club meetings.  No church services.  No coffee conversations at Starbucks.  No meals out with friends.  No conferences.  

No need to take unnecessary risks.

Along with everyone else we anxiously follow the latest pandemic updates.  With the collapse of the financial markets, we worry about our dwindling  retirement savings.  But I can only pay so much attention to all that.   

No one knows how bad will this get and how long will it last?  However, we’re warned that if we don’t prepare for the worst, the worst may happen. 

And I wonder what will happen to those who are or will be impoverished when businesses fail and jobs disappear?  What about homeless individuals and families, prison inmates, undocumented immigrants?   Will we remain compassionate?

Yet even as the questions and unknowns mount there are a few things that help me thrive in spite of global dread and fears – 

  • Keeping in touch with family and friends by phone and email.   Letting them know how much it means to hear from them.
  • Getting outdoors as much as possible.
  • Reading books and watching movies that I haven’t taken time for in the past.
  • Meditating to calm my worry and anxiety.
  • And facing mortality with gratitude for a long, good life and thanksgiving for each new day.  

The good news is that come September I will become a GREAT grandpa. 

A reminder that in spite of the uncertain present, life goes on with much to celebrate  and anticipate.   

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