Hope in the time of Covid

Can you imagine a conversation without covid? Without numbers, colors, zones, restrictions, vaccination, side effects, economical crash, emotional breakdown, political shitstorm, and conspiracy theories? Not really, it makes sense as most probably there isn`t a single person in this country, on this continent, maybe on this world who is not affected by SARS-CoV-2 at least a little bit.

Step by step everybody becomes a covid expert. Sometimes we happen to know something else than the others, and we end up arguing because my half information clashes with your half information.

Meanwhile becoming covid specialists, an infinite amount of combinations, categories, groups, divisions, sub-divisions are created (another great topic to kill time with and also to kill each other in pointless arguments), for example:

  • there are those who had covid

  • there are those who haven`t had covid

So far so good, right? Easy, but the fun starts here:

  • those, who think they had covid back in time at the very beginning....

  • those, who haven’t had covid and they believe they are immune, but they are not... or who knows

  • people who are actually immune but they are carriers

  • who are asymptomatic, but infected, therefore carriers

  • who had covid already and they think they are now safe, but who knows because...

  • ...there are those who have their second covid!

  • their third covid!!

  • those who are vaccinated

  • those who got covid after being vaccinated

  • they got covid between the two shots

  • they are vaccinated but still infectious

  • they don`t care because they enjoy the lockdown on a tropical island

  • They don’t believe that covid exists

We could continue the list for different setups, always finding an example for that very category around us. Somehow, this year I don`t have any example around me who would have flu...weird.

Another fun topic to spend long night debates with (thank God sweet curfew doesn`t allow us to have proper all-night debates, what a relief, right?):

  • I want a vaccine!

  • I don`t want a vaccine!

  • Me? Vaccine? No thanks, I don’t want to get vaccinated, but my neighbors should. And all the doctors, nurses, teachers. And the Lidl shop assistants. And the postmen, the ticket controllers, the Uber drivers. O! And the pizza delivery boy from yesterday. And maybe hairdressers, I really wanna get a new haircut....

Meanwhile, we are able to find so many things to argue about under the big umbrella of Covid, the opposite effect also works – we got a public enemy that brings us together! Everybody hates the current situation up to a certain extent, everybody feels sorry for somebody or something, everybody agrees that Covid sucks and we can all complain together as we all have a reason – a smaller or a bigger one.

I can`t work from home anymore, f*ck covid! I am crazily overworked, f*ck covid! I lost my job, f*ck covid! I wanna go out just for a simple dinner, f*ck covid! I want to travel, f*ck covid! 3 kids, schools closed, f*ck covid! I gained 5 kilos, f*ck covid! My back hurts, f*ck covid! I don`t know how to pay my rent, f*ck covid! My little antique shop went bankrupt, f*ck covid! I am locked down in 32m2 with my hamster, f*ck covid! My niece was born 6 months ago and I haven`t seen her yet, f*ck covid!

My granny got vaccinated, so I had the opportunity to visit her during Easter. Let me share with you the story she told me that day:

“I was 8, my sister was 4. Our father was fighting on the Russian front in the second world war. He stepped on a mine, it tore off his leg. We had no idea about what`s going on with him until we got the message that he was one of the lucky ones who survived the transportation back home to Budapest from Russia.

The post-war situation in Hungary was tough – famine, poverty, no place in hospitals, my father was laying on beds in sport halls, classrooms, corridors. We were living in our small village in the countryside – a young woman with two little girls and a piece of land. That`s all we had. No money, but in that time money had no value anyway. There was no food in the cities. My mother sold the cows we used to plow the fields and bought geese for the doctors of my father. Women in the village came to our house to help to clean those big, fat geese, my mother made huge packages, a man with a horse carriage for some small money gave her a ride to the bus stop and she traveled to Budapest either with me or with my sister (the other stayed with the neighbors). My uncle picked us up when we arrived and we stayed at their place for a couple of days. Their neighbor was a butcher who had an ice pit (no fridge back in those days, my sweet) – for some small money my mother could have kept the geese there. We went to visit my father, fed him, bribed the doctors. My mother did this trip every second week. Every second week my sweet!

We arrived at the hospital, the bed next to my father was empty – the man next to him gave up. He was younger, stronger, his wound was smaller. But he gave up. Next time a new person was next to him. Next time the bed was again empty...One day we arrived and my father`s bed was empty. My mother`s face became pale, almost transparent, she squeezed my hand so strong I can still feel it as I am telling it to you now, she almost collapsed. A nurse ran to us, “Mrs. Rompos, no no, your husband was moved to another bed!”. Oh Lord…

My father spent 30 months in hospitals, he had 5 surgeries, during every operation they cut a bit more of his leg because it was infected, so in the end, a tiny piece of his thigh was left to what he could attach his plastic leg. He never gave up, it was not an option to quit. He always said to his nurses, I can`t die, I have two small girls at home. I must go home. And one day, he came home.

He had to learn to walk again. And actually, that was the smaller problem. His other leg was full of shards from the explosion. They couldn`t remove them and the constantly renewing dehiscent wounds were torturing him. But he never stopped smiling. I have never seen my father being sad, weak, or hopeless.

When he came home, we had nothing just the empty field. My mother sold everything during those 2,5 years. But people in the village respected my father. Our neighbor was a wealthy landlord and he said 'Guys, today we go to work to uncle Geza!' And the guys came, and our field was plowed, crops were cultivated. Next year we bought cows, my father did everything he could do with one leg and with a stick in his hand. As a child, I learned to reap, to pesticide. We all worked hard, pulled through, and recovered.”

My great-grandfather died at the age of 82. I was born on his birthday and I had the chance to have a short but strong bond with this incredible human.

Covid sucks, it really does. Indisputable.

But, we will pull through, and we will recover.

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