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  • Ruth

Yes I'm scared, no I'm not a sheep*

* First off, to dispel a common belief. Sheep are not stupid. See link below. Yes, they are a flock animal & they don't like being alone (and neither do most people, that's why so many people fought back on isolation). The sheep that we have had on the farm are always intelligent, thoughtful (I've seen them look at the best route of escape or plan how to knock the can of feed out of my hand) and brave. They follow the examples set by their flock of trusted companions. Again, look at what is happening right now. Half of our community are following OHA and CDC guidelines. The other half is saying that the pandemic is not real. Each group is a flock. We all are "led" by our beliefs. BBC - Earth - Sheep are not stupid, and they are not helpless either

Second, this post is not about vaccines. It's not about politics or presidents or wars or soldiers or religion. So don't try to tell me that I'm forcing my "beliefs" on you. I mean, I believe in Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, so there is that.

This post is about using some f'ing common sense and being civil to one another. It's about not being a selfish A$$.. How many of you know someone who had a mild case of Covid? Or maybe you had Covid and it was mild. Raise your hand. How many of you have been hospitalized or know of someone in your community who has been hospitalized? Again, raise your hand. How many of you know someone who had Covid and was in ICU? Again, raise your hand. Were they intubated while in ICU? Raise your hand. Did they die in ICU? Raise your hand. Were they old with underlying health conditions? Again, raise your hand. Were they young with underlying health conditions? Raise your hand. Did they get really sick and weren't old? Raise your hand. Did they have a shot and not get Covid? Did they get a shot and get Covid? Did they think the pandemic was a conspiracy theory and then get Covid and die? Raise your hand. Do you see where I am going with this. Each and every one of us, whether we choose to admit it or not, knows someone who's life was changed by Covid.

Just a few months ago a husband and wife passed away within two weeks of each other with complications of Covid. Yesterday a long-time, good friend of mine passed away from Covid. He'd only had it a few days. I was told he didn't want to go to the hospital as he didn't want to take up any beds. Yes, it was Covid that he died from. I have spoken with his family. He had extremely reduced lung capacity and was having difficulty breathing. He was 50, folks! Last night a young man I met years ago while he was showing sheep at the Curry County Fair passed away after being in the ICU in Eugene, intubated. Complications of Covid. Yes, he had some underlying conditions but the fact remains that he should have lived a lot longer. I know of at least 4 people right now in the central Curry area alone who have tested positive and have had various stages of the illness. From a parent (vaccinated)/young child (not eligible) who did not feel good but didn't need hospitalization, to a young adult (not vaccinated) who was able to stay at home but felt really crappy to a middle-aged adult with complications who was hospitalized at our local hospital.

Here is my common sense advice for all of you if you think you have been exposed to Covid or think you have Covid. Stay away from public places and people. Get tested immediately. Stay away from public places and people until you get your test results. If you test positive, contact the people you might have exposed. They might have some serious health conditions and they need to be aware that they have been exposed. If you have Covid communicate with the OHA (Oregon Health Authority). They can help you with financial issues that might arise, provide you with needed services, etc. Communicate with your primary care provider. Keep them updated on your symptoms. My friend who passed away yesterday was having difficulty breathing but was awake and coherent the night before he died. Many of us are totally unaware that we have underlying health conditions that might be negatively affected if we get Covid (or influenza or a bad cold). I have high blood pressure, had half my thyroid removed and am overweight. Right there are 3 underlying health conditions. I'm 58. I don't want to die because of complications of Covid in reaction to my underlying health conditions.

I'm sitting in the parking lot at McKenzie Willamette Medical Center. I'm in the truck with Agness as I write this. We brought her because I knew I couldn't go into the facility with Steve. I am not going to lie to you. I'm scared for Steve. He's had his two Moderna vaccines and is going to get a booster. Yes, before you say anything, we know there are break-through cases. Reality is that if Steve gets even what we might call a mild case of Covid, it will most likely be the cause of his death. He had cancer, has one lung, has COPD, is on a blood thinner to protect against blood clots and has latent tuberculosis. He's 61 years old. Still a bit early to die of complication of Covid in reaction to his underlying conditions. When I received news of my friend dying from Covid yesterday I had a mild panic attack. I was on "help mode", frantically trying to think of things I could do for his family. I was texting his other friends and neighbors in disbelief. Luckily one of my friends recognized what was happening to me and sent me a message. It helped me so much.

What I want to say is that if you are reading this, know that I care about you. Even if we've never met face-to-face, I am here for you. I'm sad about what's happening to our town, community, county, country, world right now. But the only change I can make right now is what is happening directly around me. Steve and I have talked about it and we are going to start isolating. I've cancelled a work trip to Raleigh, North Carolina, a for-fun trip to Halloween town and various other local get-togethers. Am I sad/angry about that? Yep, you are darn right I am. But I don't want to be the one who brings Covid home to my husband. We aren't afraid of dying but we don't want to invite the Grim Reaper into our home (you know I had to get some sort of Halloween reference in there, right?).

Joe Diffy died of complications of Covid on March 29, 2020

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