The Wormwood and the Gall

M: Does anyone actually know someone, anyone, who had COVID and got really sick or died?

***

G: Hey, B! P told me your brother is in tough shape.
B: Yeah. Just went on ECMO. This might be it for him.
G: OMG. I’m so sorry. He can’t be very old.
B: Early fifties. Like me.

***

LJ: Hey, everyone. Just heard that one of the profs in my department died from COVID this weekend.
LL: Seriously? That’s awful.
LJ: His office is two doors down from mine. Fifty-two years old. Super nice guy. Married. Two young kids.
G: Lord, that’s awful.

***

B: I am heartbroken to announce the passing of my father-in-law who died from complications related to COVID at age fifty-six. I married his wonderful daughter 13 years ago, and he welcomed me right away as a member of the family . . .
G: Hey, cousin. Really sad to hear about your loss. Love to you and your whole family.

***

J&D: L, we are so sorry to learn of the passing of your son. We have such fond memories of him running barefoot in our neighborhood on fall mornings. He had grown into such a fine man–a great husband and father. May the memory of him comfort you at this time of deep sorrow.

***

LS: Y’all, this stuff is serious. Just found out that MG from our high school class died yesterday. G, did you know him?
G: A little.
LS: S and I knew him pretty well. Good kid. Stayed in Corpus. Was working in electronics sales. I can’t believe it.
G: That’s terrifying. Our age.
LS: For real.

***

LL: Dad, you know what they’re calling COVID, right?
G: Uh, COVID?
LL: The Boomer Doomer.
G: Good lord.

***

G: Hey, J. AS just told us about your aunt. I’m so sorry.
J: Thanks, G! That means a lot. We were very close.
G: LML and I are praying for you and your family.
J: Thank you so much! Gonna be tough for a while. Especially with the holidays coming up and all.

***

LD: I don’t know how to say this, but my brother was removed from the ventilator this morning and passed away a few minutes later. He leaves behind a wife and four kids. Words cannot express how I feel.
LML: We love you, LD, and we are praying for you.

***

G: Hey, SD. Heard it’s getting really bad over in India. How are you all doing?
SD: It’s really bad, man. I have three relatives who have died in the last month.
G: Geez, that’s terrible. I had no idea. I’m so sorry.
SD: The company just had its first loss, too. A project manager in Mumbai.
G: Oh no.
SD: Yeah. His wife died. Three days later, he died. He wasn’t conscious when his wife died.
G: I can’t begin to say how terrible that is.
SD: They have baby girls who are orphans now.
G: Wow.

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