Even when You’re Alone You’re Not Alone:
COVID-19 and Community
(By Tori Baker)
I always laughed a little when I heard one of our former members do the slide show. She’d say, “Community means that when you’re sick, someone will come around with the chicken soup.” It seemed a little hokey to me. But, that’s actually what happened.
I got coronavirus this summer. And, I wasn’t one of those asymptomatic cases you hear about all the time, the people who don’t even know they had it, the ones who are surprised by a positive test. I was miserably sick. For days, I didn’t change my clothes or brush my hair or teeth. My head ached so much I thought it would fall off. The only thing I had strength to do was to get up once a day to pee and get a little food. I dozed most of the time, waking up to wonder if I would get better… Or, if I would get worse and die.
You’d think that when no one can come near me, that community wouldn’t count for much. But, that’s not what happened. They still swarmed around me, my fellow Ralston Creek CoHousers, my Geos neighbors, and my familiy. I was too sick to answer the phone, so my daughter-in-law took over as field commander. She lives about 35 miles away, in Aurora, but she used text message to deploy those closer by. They picked up medicine for me. They took things to my spouse, Bob, who was even sicker and admitted to Denver Health. They brought me groceries. They watered my yard. They took over answering Ralston Creek CoHousing phone calls. They watched my cats. And, yes, they brought me chicken soup, which was delicious.
As I got better, I heard the Geos kids outside playing. I was still too sick to get up and look out at them from the balcony. But, I recognized their voices and it made me happy to know they were still there and I would see them again soon. Which I have.
I am well again, mostly. The headaches are back to my normal levels. I went back to work after 6 weeks. I got my energy back entirely after about 3 months. My hair is falling out, just like Actress Alyssa Milano, my daughter-in-law tells me. It comes out in clumps, which is pretty unnerving. But, my hair dresser feels that I can breathe and that’s really more important. She makes a good point.
It’s fall and I am taking walks again almost every day on the Ralston Creek Trail. The leaves are changing and people have put out pumpkins on their steps. It only turned cold this week and we’ve had only 1 real snow to speak of, in September. So, my roses are still blooming with Halloween just a few days off. That’s Colorado for you. I’m very happy to be here to see it at Geos, and (soon) Ralston Creek CoHousing.