In my previous visit to this space, I spoke about resiliency in our state medical regime. One of the tenets of this administrative resiliency is our MUSC Telemedicine System, about which I spoke last month. It provides a linkage with health care platforms across the state, especially in rural and possibly underserved populations.
Today, I’d like to focus in on a more intimate, personal resiliency, regarding our struggle with the COVID-19 virus pandemic. There has been a recent but pervasive impression conveyed through the various media that COVID-19 is about to be less a factor in our daily lives, either through the mysterious mechanism of “it just disappears,” or of superficial analysis of some of the statistics on infections per day, hospitalizations per day, or deaths per day.
Comments reported in the New York Times in mid-September by Dr. Anthony Fauci did not support such optimism. In fact, the Labor Day festivities, plus the opening of public schools, combined with a semi-revolt against wearing masks (on constitutional grounds) has our non-political expert, Dr. Fauci, expressing concern that we may be looking at a “second wave” of as yet undetermined seriousness.
Over the past couple of months, Rose and I were confronted with the fact that our two daughters, aged 15 and 19, were exposed and tested positive for COVID-19 as they prepared to begin fall schooling. We have all been scrupulously following the CDC/DHEC protocols. This was a surprise.
First, Eliza, the 15 year old, had a cough and a little congestion. Rose, her mom, is blessed with intuitional super-powers. Eliza was tested immediately. She was positive, and went into quarantine in our guest apartment.
Although her symptoms were mild, we didn’t sleep well until her symptoms abated.
Reedy, our 19 year old at USC, returned to her sorority house to find that more than a few of her sisters were infected. She was tested, found negative initially, then tested positive and went into quarantine.
I was out of quarantine and headed to Columbia for a subcommittee meeting on the Hate Crimes Bill, and to make arrangements for food and meds for Reedy. Despite the urge, I could not hug my child or come face to face with her. I dropped off the provisions and backed away from the door to wave to her from a proper distance.
During our quarantine Rose and I found, with some modifications, we could work from home. We were anxious to return to work, as we both have employees and colleagues who depend on our work to do theirs.
So, in summary, we were all scared and anxious, but managed to time proper quarantine and avoid too much disruption. We were resilient in the face of a complex and frightful challenge to our family unity and integrity.
The takeaway: This pandemic crisis is far from over. We have to mask, to properly social distance, to take care of one another. The Newton family crisis was an active model of resiliency.
A week or so later, sitting on “our” sandbar on Sunday, our conversation was a family recitation of the roll-call of gratitude. We were tested, but not found wanting. That is close-order resiliency.
Weston Newton is the representative for District 120 in the State House of Representatives. WestonNewton@schouse.gov