This Memorial Day I wish to acknowledge those who continue to fight on the front lines of the pandemic. Their service has saved millions of lives, often at the expense of their own.
This Sunday I met a young woman who has been working as a nurse in rural parts of Utah. Our conversation was brief, but I could tell she was carrying a very heavy burden. To her, and to uncounted tens of thousands of people like her, I say thank you.
My household and I—all five of us—got vaccinated as much for them as for our own selves. For my own part, I view my body as a temple, and now it’s a temple where certain coronaviruses can come to die. SARS-COV-19 won’t amplify itself on my premises, and I won’t be darkening any hospital doors with a load of it in my lungs.
This Memorial Day, as we pause to reflect on those who have passed, especially those who have done so in service to us, let’s ask how we might pay their service forward. Like the Minutemen of the 18th century, we can arm ourselves, not with muskets, but with antibodies. The pandemic continues to rage, but we can eradicate this particular enemy from our shores. From every shore.
Gird up, get vaccinated, and soldier on my friends. It’s never been easier to save lives in the service of others.
We’re self-quarantining here at Chez Tayler, but the State of Utah and the LDS Church are helping things along immensely by canceling school and church for us. We’re extremely fortunate that we already work from home, and are able to steer clear of public places without seriously impacting the family finances.
Rewinding a bit—my asthma is still on overdrive, but we’re otherwise healthy, and free from any COVID-19 symptoms. We’re doing fine. This social distancing thing is something we’re going to take seriously, though, because the best possible outcome is for us to look back on this and say “maybe we over-reacted.”
You see, the next-best outcome is a terrible one. That’s the one where we look back on this and say “It’s a good thing we did all that, but we should have done more, and sooner.” We don’t get that outcome unless neighbors¹ are dying.
The worst outcome, at least for us, is the one where we discover just how sick this coronavirus can make a 52-year-old asthma sufferer, and exactly how deadly it can be to run out of beds and respirators in the ICU. And if we can get through the next few weeks without that happening, perhaps without that ever happening, we might feel like all our precautions were over-reactions.
And the luxury of being alive to whine about over-reacting is one I plan to cherish.
¹ Maybe next-door neighbors, maybe folks from Samaria. We try to define “neighbor” in broad, New Testament terms when it comes to things like this².
² We narrow the definition quite a bit when it’s time to visit a neighbor to ask whether we might borrow a cup of sugar.
I’ve been sick for over a month now. The good news is that I’m not down with fever and body-aches anymore, but I’m still exhausted all the time, and my voice is a ragged wreck of a thing which is painful to use. I can only imagine what it’s like to listen to.
This has had an effect on my work, obviously. Keeping up with the comic strip, which is Job One, has been a struggle. Other stuff has fallen completely off, and I feel pretty badly about it because some of what has fallen off is some key tasks for delivering the next Schlock Mercenary book.
I haven’t reviewed any movies in a while, either. I definitely feel well enough to sit down for a couple of hours and watch something, but I don’t feel good about taking this cough into a theater.
My hope is that by the time February 29th rolls around (carrying with it the beginning of my 53rd year as a corporeal Earth-human) I’ll be back in good health, and getting stuff done again. Really, that’s all I want for my birthday.
I got my genes scanned, and we found cool things. For starters, we found that we could get my genes scanned by using FedEx to send a Q-tip to a laboratory. The 21st century has its problems, for sure, but it’s really, really cool, too.
MTHFR looks like an abbreviation for something impolite. It isn’t—not unless you think words like methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase are impolite. The salient point here is that the MTHFR gene, which codes for the production of that methylwhatsit folate stuff, is not working quite right for me. Most folks can get the vitamin B12 they need from folic acid supplements. I don’t do very well at turning folic acid into usable B12 folate, so I either need to go back to nature and eat lots of leafy greens, or I need some special folate supplements.
Did you know that avocados have lots of B12 in them? And I like them a lot more than I like kale.
We found other things, including a strong indication that my current antidepressant, bupropion (Wellbutrin), isn’t the best choice for me. Over the next few weeks we’ll be changing my meds, feeding me some methylfolate supplements, and putting more avocados in my diet.
Probably not on toast, though.