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Your Immunocompromised Friends And Family Are Listening

, , , , , | Related | September 11, 2020

I live in a different country from my family and we keep contact online. I call my mother to ask what my teenage sister might want for her birthday and the conversation starts going places. Keep in mind that this is in the middle of the global health crisis.

Mother: “My friend [Friend] visited recently; we went to the beach. It was fully packed! But we had a great time.”

Me: “Okay, glad to hear that you did.”

Mother: “Plane tickets are crazy cheap right now. Are you sure you won’t be coming home?”

I am annoyed at this question for several reasons. First, it’s not home anymore; I live somewhere else now. Second, I have two chronic illnesses, one of which is asthma, and the second ensures that I have a difficult time recovering from any illness, including the common cold. To put it on simply, I cannot afford to contract the disease that shall not be named.

Me: “Nope, not flying anywhere this year.”

Mother: “But why not? Are you afraid?”

Me: “Of course I am! I don’t love the idea of sitting in a packed plane for two hours while all this is going on, so I won’t be doing it. Not in the middle of a disease outbreak.”

My mother then starts “explaining” that not everyone dies of the disease in question, that it’s no worse than a common flu, and that the crisis isn’t real, ignoring official facts because she “doesn’t trust the media.”

Mother: “…anyway, only people with underlying health conditions have to worry about it. All of us can go about our lives as usual.”

Did I mention that I have asthma?

Me: “Great for you. I have to hang up now.”

Something tells me I won’t be visiting even when the crisis is under control.