Covid Slaps Tony Green Hard
Tony Green’s story is as scary as hell. Tony, 43, was a Covid minimizer, until it hit him and his family. Read on:
When President Trump got sick, I had this moment of deja vu back to when I first woke up in the hospital. I know what it’s like to be humiliated by this virus. I used to call it the “scamdemic.” I thought it was an overblown media hoax. I made fun of people for wearing masks. I went all the way down the rabbit hole and fell hard on my own sword, so if you want to hate me or blame me, that’s fine. I’m doing plenty of that myself.
He and his partner and their families had been social distancing for a long time, and finally got fed up with it. They planned a long weekend get-together. More:
I have about 4,000 people in my personal network, and not one of them had gotten sick. Not one. You start to hear jokes about, you know, a skydiver jumps out of a plane without a parachute and dies of covid-19. You start to think: “Something’s really fishy here.” You start dismissing and denying.
So they did. At the end of the weekend, Tony got sick. Then his partner did. Then both sets of parents did. All six people at that weekend get-together came down with the virus. Here’s where it gets freaky:
I told myself it wouldn’t be that bad. “It’s the flu. It’s basically just the flu.” I didn’t have the horrible cough you keep hearing about. My breathing never got too terrible. My fever peaked for like one day at 100.5, which is nothing — barely worth mentioning. “All right. I got this. See? It was nothing.” But then some of the other symptoms started to get wild. I was sweating profusely. I would wake up in a pool of sweat. I had this tingling feeling all over my body, this radiating kind of pain. Do you remember those old space heaters that you’d plug in, and the red lines would light up and glow? I felt like that was happening inside my bones. I was burning from the inside out. I was buzzing. I was dizzy. I couldn’t even turn my head around to look at the TV. I felt like my eyeballs were in a fishbowl, just bopping around. I rubbed Icy Hot all over my head. It was nonstop headaches and sweating for probably about a week — and then it just went away. I got some of my energy back. I had a few really good days. I started working on projects around the house. I was thinking: “Okay. That’s it. Pretty bad, but not so terrible. I beat it. I managed it. Nothing worth shutting down the entire world over.” Then one day I was walking up the stairs, and all of the sudden, I couldn’t breathe. I screamed and fell flat on my face. I blacked out. I woke up a while later in the ER, and 10 doctors were standing around me in a circle. I was lying on the table after going through a CT scan. The doctors told me the virus had attacked my nervous system. They’d given me some medications that stopped me from having a massive stroke. They said I was minutes away.
That’s the crazy thing about this virus — it hits people in different ways. I found out over the weekend that a classmate of mine from high school has been fighting the virus and its effects since June. He is now hospitalized; somehow, the thing is in his bones.
Tony wrote about it too for the Dallas Voice, the city’s gay newspaper. In his column, he said:
You cannot imagine the guilt I feel, knowing that I hosted the gathering that led to so much suffering. You cannot imagine my guilt at having been a denier, carelessly shuffling through this pandemic, making fun of those wearing masks and social distancing. You cannot imagine my guilt at knowing that my actions convinced both our families it was safe when it wasn’t.
For those who deny the virus exists or who downplay its severity, let me assure you: The coronavirus is very real and extremely contagious. Before you even know you have it, you’ve passed it along to your friends, family, coworkers and neighbors.
And now, husbands, wives and children are being separated. The sick are taking care of the sick while those without symptoms are self-quarantining. I am aware of how my bias could discredit me with some, but trust me, you do not want this virus. And you do not want your loved ones suffering and dying from this because you are taking a “political stand” or protecting the economy over their lives.
We are all at the precipice of a common heartache.
The next time you’re put out because your favorite spots are closed or because they won’t let you enter without wearing a mask, and you decide to defy them rather than comply because you’re defending your rights and freedoms from being trampled, just remember: Your family and friends may be next.
Is that too harsh? Try imagining someone you care about on life support. Try being the one to pick the only 10 people allowed to attend a funeral for a loved one. But don’t fret; you’ve got time to ponder, because the mortuary is booked out for at least a week.
Now imagine one more thing: That pool party, the mixer or family reunion you’re pushing for resulting in you being cold and alone in a hospital bed, fighting for your life. Imagine the only human contact you feel is a stranger’s rubber glove giving you medication, checking your vitals and changing your diaper.
That is exactly what has happened to our family.
America, this is not going to go away without sacrifice. Either way, we are going to pay a price. Governments are faced with making difficult decisions, and they cannot appease and satisfy everyone.
I appreciate his testimony. I needed to hear it. We cannot get complacent. Today I’ve been sleeping because I’ve had something of a relapse of Epstein-Barr symptoms, after having a reprieve in midsummer. It always comes back when I’m under stress; maybe all the book publicity triggered something, I dunno. If — probably when — Covid hits me, God knows what it’s going to do to me. It’s so unpredictable in its effects that the whole thing seems like a lottery.
News from Politico that the nations of Central Europe are really feeling the strain right now. I was e-mailing with a friend in Hungary about this earlier today, who said that Hungary faces a Sophie’s choice: either shut down hard and tank the economy, or try to stay open and overwhelm the health care system. This is going to be a very hard fall and winter, isn’t it?
As I’ve said here often, I think Trump’s handling of the virus has been terrible, really terrible. But I don’t expect things to change with the virus should Joe Biden become president. Here was the scene outside the Staples Center last night when the Lakers won the NBA Championship:
— Petros Papadakis (@Theoldp) October 12, 2020
We are Americans. We don’t discipline ourselves. We believe that will can overcome anything.