This week, the whole world seemed to tilt. Last week, things in my life were in an upheaval because my business partner's husband was life flighted to the hospital because of heart issues, and this week, at least in the U.S., everything seemed to shut down except hospitals. Edward is still in the hospital with serious heart issues, and was transferred to the ICU. For the first couple of days, I stayed at the hospital with my friend and took her down to the cafeteria for lunch or coffee when Edward was resting. But on Friday the hospital went into lockdown, and while I could enter the hospital, I couldn't go into ICU any more, and my friend Maria was the only relative allowed to stay. She seemed essential to Edward's gradual improvement and she just refused to leave. I still met her for lunch and chats in the waiting room as a way of supporting her, since she could get very little sleep in the chair they provided her.
Today, Edward was transferred to a different hospital, where he will have a permanent pacemaker implanted that should help his heart, and he will also be away from the incoming coronavirus patients who were being transferred into the ICU of the first hospital.
In just the few days that I was spending most of my time at the hospital, I would come home and see more things canceled. Eventually all Masses were canceled except for today, but Catholics were dispensed from the obligation to go even for today. Since I didn't want to take a chance to picking up something that could be transferred to Edward, I decided not to go to Mass but watched one that was live streamed on my computer. Everything at our parish has been canceled for the next few weeks. Then I headed off to the hospital. I stayed until Edward was moved, then Maria and I left, stopped at the grocery story, where whole aisles were emptied, and then she finally was able to go home, where my son was taking care of her dogs and cats. I have been texting back and forth with my children and the friends who are closest to Maria and Edward, but it has been a bizarre experience and at times it seems as if the world is turning into a ghost town. When one of my granddaughters told her mother that she wished things were back to normal, my daughter told her that this would be in the history books and for her to pay attention to everything that is going on. All my daughters are now homeschooling their children, paying even more attention to healthy practices, and drawing together in prayer, even if we can't go to Mass.