Things Only Got Worse

The somber mood in the studio was not surprising, given that the anchorman had just… announced that his wife was dying due to complications of COVID-19.  He said that this would be his last broadcast because his wife needed constant attention and his life had become dark and gloomy.  The disappointment on the faces of the people in the newsroom was clear and their silence was deafening in the immediate aftermath of this bombshell.  They all knew Ted’s wife Julie had tested positive and that she was in the hospital, but she was fine just two weeks ago.  The day after the company picknick, Julie came down with a fever, she had a dry cough and some mild breathing issues, so she used her government issued COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Self-Test at Home Kit which showed that she contracted the Coronavirus.

Julie had all her shots and her boosters, so she thought she would be well protected, but that doesn’t mean that these shots are perfect, so deaths among vaccinated people will still occur.  Julie just turned 60 and because she had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) an underlying health condition attributed to her cigarette smoking habit that she had for 30 years; she was at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.  Her symptoms rapidly got worse and soon she was suffering from a sore throat, she was coughing up mucus, and after she had diarrhea, nausea, body aches and joint pain, Ted had her checked into the hospital.  A week into this, her breathing became difficult which the doctors called dyspnoea, but most people say shortness of breath.  Things only got worse from here, as sepsis set in, triggering a chain reaction which the doctors said could lead to a complete failure of her respiratory system.

The doctors placed Julie on a respirator and her fever and coughing started to improve, but then she experienced a widespread inflammation in her lungs and the doctors had her transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU).  All of Ted’s hopes were dashed at this point and the doctors warned him that he should prepare for the worst.  They were right as she was hit with acute kidney failure, and she was unable to filter waste products from her blood.  Ted was 5 years older than Julie and he had thoughts about retiring anyway, but the network didn’t want to lose him.  Before Julie was put on the respirator, she gave Ted a list of songs that she wanted to be played at her wake.  Ted kept on telling her that this was unnecessary as he was sure that she was going to recover, but she insisted, and this was her last wish.  Ted knew that music gives comfort, inspires, and uplifts the family and friends celebrating the life of their loved one, so he assembled the playlist.  Ted really loved that James Taylor & Carly Simon song anyway.

Written for Fandango’s Story Starter #75.

18 thoughts on “Things Only Got Worse

  1. People are still dying everyday from COVID, but people are tired of hearing about it, so it’s not being reported anymore and most people are no longer taking any precautions, even though they are predicting a surge in COVID cases and hospitalizations in the Bay Area over the next few months.

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