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A Dance With COVID
Opinion from an Oregon family

Note: This is a Northwest Observer Guest Editorial

For the last year, we like so many others have “danced with COVID”. We wore our mask, most of the time, stayed 6’ apart from people, except in Costco, Walmart, Safeway, etc., and washed our hands so much they dried and cracked.

During the past year we sat outside the outfield fence with binoculars so that we could watch our daughter play softball, we traveled to Idaho so that she could play in a basketball tournament, we hosted an “underground Prom” so that the class of 2020 could have some sense of normalcy as the world stopped in its tracks. During the summer we hosted a backyard wedding so that two young people could celebrate their love surrounded by their family and start their lives together. Our family paid to have our noses swabbed so that we could escape to one of our favorite Hawaiian Islands for a needed get away from the craziness of Oregon. We danced with COVID.

Our children had their public education turned upside down. One lost the end of their Freshmen year of High School and the other their Freshmen year of College. They spent most of their Sophomore year learning from their bedrooms. For our college kid it should have been a time of meeting new people, living on his own, and growing into an adult. Instead, he was back in his old bedroom stuck at home with his parents. For our daughter, it should have been a year filled with cheering at football games, pep assemblies, homecoming, winter formal, sports, and fun with friends. Instead, it was a crammed together sports seasons, no homecoming, and no winter formal. Luckily, she has great friends and we never said no to an opportunity for her to go hang out, attend a backyard bonfire or anything else that felt like a normal teenage weekend night. We danced with COVID.

Being “essential workers” me and my husband’s lives could not stop. Crops do not stop growing and employees need their jobs. We spent hours and days searching stores for PPE for our employee’s, purchased additional sanitation equipment and moved the lunch area to a large open shed. Requirements changed daily, but there was still work to be done. Our employees continued to show up to work; remote work is not possible in agriculture and tried their best to follow the rules. We danced with COVID.

We were told that if we just continued to follow the rules and non-stop changing metrics, life would return to normal. A year later it feels like that day will never come. We have watched businesses close for good and have helped friends pack to move out of state. We know we can’t pick up and go like they do because agriculture work is unlike any other business; we are tied to the land. So, we dance with COVID.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

We have lost family members to natural causes without being able to say goodbye and we have lost family members over politics brought out by COVID disagreement. Our personal health choices have become coffee shop talk, and everyone has an opinion as to what we should or should not be putting into our body. We danced with COVID.

Like every dance, eventually the song comes to an end and so does the dance. Our dance came to an end almost 2 weeks ago. Living on a farm, seasonal allergies are a norm. We sneeze and we cough and we go to work. However, when we received a notice that we were potentially exposed to COVID we decided that our dance was over. We took the test and sure enough, we were positive. Testing did nothing but add to the statistics used by our governor to shutdown small businesses (we did not get COVID at a bar, restaurant or gym). The doctor told us to rest, drink fluids and take Tylenol if we had a fever (which we did not). Nothing different from what he would have told us if we had the flu! It has been 10+ years since we had flu shots and longer since we had the flu, and we will not lie, this flu is a doozy. However, we are surviving, and we will recover. We danced with COVID.

So, what is next? Can we toss the masks? Can we get together with friends? Can we travel? Are we now immune to getting it again? These are legitimate questions. We are told to keep the masks on, stay away from people, stay home and if we want to travel freely we still need to get a vaccine for an illness that we had and survived.

We danced with COVID, but it appears we may have to keep wearing the dancing shoes for a much longer time.


--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-05-01 13:59:37Last Update: 2021-05-01 17:21:43



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