I wrote in a previous blog post “Will their Smiles Still be Seen?” about all of the sulphur being released into the air during the peak of the virus in China, presumably due to all of the crematoriums burning so many bodies everyday. This is what I was reminded of today as I was tending to essential business at the Post Office (mailing masks to my son and his colleagues at the hospital in Lawton, Oklahoma).
I saw something so disturbing to ME and had it not been for the masks in my hand that just might be needed due to the shortage of REAL MASKS, I may have gone running out the door from that post office lobby.
Which by the way, when I am at the grocery store, or gas station I don’t see people wearing masks at all. I know there seems to be some debate over whether they help or not, but if you have stockpiled these masks and you aren’t going to use them, why keep them? Please send them on to our healthcare workers. I have an address of a hospital or two if you need willing recipients of all the masks that are sitting in your cabinet or on your shelf. You can even go to mask-match.com and find someone who needs masks more than you need them collecting dust on a shelf.
Sorry, Back to the Post Office Lobby. I honestly felt as though I might be sick. I just stood there for a minute trying to take in the visual I had in my head. I saw Italy and the military trucks transporting bodies, I saw friends dying alone, I saw myself getting out of the sulphur filled skies of China, I saw my son.
Behind the counter, at the post office was a roll of stickers, which read
Perhaps they always have these stickers, however I have been using this particular post office several times a week for years, (except of course when I am in China) and I have never seen them sitting out on the counter. I guess mailing cremains is more common than I thought. Actually, I’ve never thought about it.
I proceeded to the counter and wanted to ask about the stickers, but I couldn’t get any words to come out of my mouth. I was barely able to insert my card into the reader and I wasn’t about to use my un-gloved hand to touch the machine. I finally got the card in the slot. I had mentioned to a friend a day earlier that “I don’t easily break, but I am about at my breaking point.” I guess I’m really there! Seeing these stickers caused so many flashbacks, flash forwards and questions in just the few seconds I was standing there.
1. Are we already to this point or close to it where we will, or already are mailing cremains because family members can’t go and pick them up?
2. Will we be enlisting the services of the National Guard to carry bodies from Expo Square to the crematorium?
3. Will people die alone?
4. Will family members be wracked with guilt not being able to be with their loved ones when they pass away?
The answer to the last two questions above, is YES. It is already happening. I’ve seen on the news nurses holding the hand of a dying patient while trying to FaceTime with the patient’s loved ones from their homes sending their final goodbyes.
What about the first two questions listed above? Wait to be seen, I guess.
But, so many people think the “limited” guidelines that have finally been put in place, don’t apply to them. I rode my bike the other day along the river trail. It is great to see so many people getting exercise, running or riding their bikes. But, there were SO MANY PEOPLE gathering in large groups. Children were climbing on the benches along side the trails and then putting cookies in their mouths. It didn’t appear that the adult was washing down the bench or the child’s hands before they were seen putting something in their mouths.
If you are going to use the trails, keep it moving. Please don’t stop and gather in large groups. Maybe bring your own blanket to sit on rather than a bench that everyone else sits on. If we can’t follow the established guidelines, or use our common sense, we are only subjecting more healthcare workers and first responders to unnecessary risks.
I stayed inside for 7 weeks, 4 weeks in China and 3 weeks in the states upon my return. Here, I didn’t even have to totally stay inside, I could have gone on a bike ride or walk around the neighborhood according to the Health Department. I chose not to do so. I took my trash can to the curb at night when no one was outside. I wore a mask to do that. I stayed inside an additional week just to be sure. I did it for you. Can you do it for others?
It seems these days when we are presented with an easier and faster way to do something, we are going to take that route, regardless of the circumstances. This is the society we have created.
This crisis isn’t one of those circumstances. There is nothing fast, easy or convenient in dealing with this virus. We must be patient! We must follow the guidelines.
We are a nation in crisis. Do your part so you don’t receive a box in the mail that reads ”Cremated Remains.”