Enough said. A month of ups and downs by almost any measure. Use weather as a chart. Up to 70s and down to 20s, a roller coaster drumbeat. Covid hits home everywhere with a new variant. I try to rally a first cousin into some awareness of why she should not doubt the value of the vaccine. She "doesn't trust the government" and won't say more, except that she was hospitalized at some point with the virus. The son who lives with her and her husband (husband has had a stroke of unknown origin) had forcibly removed her from the hospital on grounds she 'wasn't getting any better,' taking her home and watching over her. Presumably with more attention (i.e. the loving medicine..) than what she could get among other patients. Did she not receive the treatment drugs authorized? She doesn't know, doesn't question her son's move, when she tells me on the phone how her memory has changed. She can't find the letters to spell out the name of the small Indiana town where she lives. I decide not to go after her anti-government stand, not on the phone when she is so obviously suffering from the disease. She is cheerful, repeating much of what she has told me before about her family - she is now a great grandmother. She laughs. Humor is what we have, she says, and an occasional visit from a friend basically involves laughing.
I commend her spirit and withhold any sense of shame of blame on her behalf. She lives on 100 plus acres in country where cell phone service is rare. She can't quite explain why. Nor does wifi work. I had been sending emails to an old address that never made the target. She keeps saying how she had 'got along' before with a massage business, the comfort of helping people be more comfortable. She is pleased with the photographs I sent her in a Christmas card - when the only reply I received was a note saying she was unable to send cards this year. She didn't mention Covid then.