(San Louis Obispo, California) The endless media bombardment that has pummeled the public from the Coronavirus pandemic, has overwhelmed the majority of us. Between continual news updates from social media, a cacophony of online broadcasts, and daily updates on news feeds supplying both computers and mobile devices, we all have an unhealthy obsession with the disease. As the peak of the infection curve remains just out of sight, chances increase, every day, that every living person will know of somebody who has perished from Covid-19.
Unfortunately, this growing insatiable preoccupation with the disease and subsequent death toll, has overshadowed and left behind others who were considered tragic victims of other illnesses long before the pandemic began.
Vince Marlowe, a 37-year-old terminal patient, recently explained this in an interview. “You know, when I was diagnosed with inoperable stage four pancreatic cancer last November, and told I had six months to live, I looked forward to an endless, sad parade of well wishers with flowers, somber visiting clergy, and possibly even mending fences with my estranged father.”
Vince took a deep breath, sighed, and as a slight tear began to roll down his cheek, continued: “But now that all the cool people are hogging the limelight by dying from Covid-19, I can’t catch a break. Even my alienated father has stopped returning my texts with auto replies that state: ‘Text me later when America opens up again, Frank.’ I mean, look at my room - I have only one ‘Get Well’ card, and it’s for some guy named ‘Jimmy’ whom I don't even know! I think it’s there because the night janitor felt bad for me, and dug it out of a wastebasket.”
Unfortunately, Vince had to cut the interview short to receive a nebulizer treatment and catheter change from a clearly distracted nurse, who was talking on the phone with a classmate who was lucky enough to get assigned to the Covid-19 wing of the hospital.
Young, terminally ill patients are also not immune to society’s sudden attention shift to the pandemic currently leveling the Human Race with unchecked sickness and death. Bobby Frisco, an eight-year-old diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor was a bit more remorseful: “Sure, my life can end at any moment, but nobody seems to be paying attention. The last text I got from my mother was ‘Have a good day at summer camp, LOL.’”
Bobby grasped his head, grimaced in pain, and continued: “And I was lucky enough to be selected for the Make a Wish Foundation, where I would get to meet NBA basketball star James Harden, but all I got was this!” Bobby produced a signed 8X10 glossy of The Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik saying “Good luck, Kevin!”
Bobby’s interview ended when a physical therapist entered the room to put a surgical mask on him, while watching Dr. Oz talk on his phone about relaxing social distancing on Fox News. “You’ll be up and walking in no time, Jeff,” the therapist said as he left the room.
The Coronavirus has shown it is a conflagration that devastates more lives than just the people immediately exposed to its merciless tendrils. Terry and Eric in this article are proof of this, an emerging sad reality: A new Lost America.