So my dad’s care facility just announced that a patient on his floor died of COVID yesterday, and they aren’t letting my stepmom or anyone have a Zoom meeting with him until the 31st, and they told me on the day my quarantine would’ve ended that my sister, stepmom, and I should’ve been quarantined the whole time (they just never told me, and we had to fucking ask.) We also had to pester them to find out whether it was on his floor.
Jesus, I’ve been writing these for a week. I have an apocalypse outfit now. It consists of yellow smiley-faced pajama bottoms, a “gift” from one of my best friends Julie Wolfrum, a Ryan Gosling jacket that is on loan from my friend great Michael Berger (there’s a whole sibling-hood of the traveling Gosling Jacket thing, don’t ask), and a shirt that says “Willow on the Streets, Vampire Willow in the Sheets” that Ashley Perez, my partner and best friend, gave me, which is the best gift ever given in the history of gifts. The whole outfit reminds me of how loved I am, while allowing me to be an aesthetic terrorist.
I woke up this morning numb. I keep laughing at things I shouldn’t laugh at. Was talking about COVID on the phone this morning, and I was joking and droning like it was some random Monday, and the person I was talking to was all, “okay.”
I just don’t want my dad to die alone in a corner somewhere. I just keep flashing on an image of him, slouched in his wheelchair, his face resting in his hands, as it so often is. His fingernails overgrown, because no one is there to bug them to cut them. His beard coming in. Maybe he’ll be yelling “stop it” every once in a while, or maybe “Yes.” Which are the two words he has left. What if he’s over there, yelling stop it when he coughs, because he’s sick, and he coughs and he coughs, but it is everywhere there. And what if he is alone in his last moments? How will we know? Will they even tell us, if they haven’t been great about communicating?
I am so heartbroken for my stepmom. She is just blocks from him, and she can’t even go over there.
Social distancing in an Alzheimer’s facility is not possible. They are always crawling into each other’s beds, taking each other’s clothes — sometimes biting each other or hitting each other or hugging each other or holding each other’s hands. There is no stopping that. It is really bad that both of these cases are on his floor. It couldn’t be worse.