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                Heart Attack
Fast asleep early one morning in April, I was jolted awake by the sound of my 89-year-old husband George falling to the floor and calling me. We both knew immediately what was happening. Heart attack. Without delay, I used my SARA pendant and also called 911. Although terrified, I felt capable of doing what must be done. A concerned security guard responded and soon the ambulance arrived. Then I found myself barefoot and in my pajamas standing outside of our cottage as the EMTs wheeled my husband to the ambulance. Even though the EMTs wore masks, I could see the kindness and concern in their eyes.
When my husband looked at me, I confidently told him he was going to be fine and I would see him soon. (I thought no such thing.) Then it struck me—I couldn’t go in the ambulance with him, nor could I drive myself to Easton Hospital; I would be denied entrance because of the pandemic. Painfully, our situation became clear. In our 63 years of married life, we’ve never been apart when crisis struck. This couldn’t be happening.
Who is going to reassure him, comfort him, advocate for George? Then I thought: I have to call my daughters; they will know what to do in this emergency and will want to see their father in the hospital. All of a sudden my heart was pounding, then sinking. I knew they couldn’t come and comfort or advocate for either of us because of the COVID-19 quarantine. Disbelief was the first thing that filled my mind; the Serenity Prayer was the second. Only ten minutes from each other, we could have been 100 miles apart. Instinct made me realize that my husband and I were feeling the same emotions.
Half a peanut butter sandwich sufficed for my dinner. Did George have anything to eat at all? Settling myself in my favorite, ratty, old, comfortable recliner in the bedroom, lights and television
off, I realized just how much this pandemic had changed all our lives—not only in the United States and China, but all over the globe. Never had I felt so alone and helpless. George must have felt the same way. He was surrounded by uncertainty and knew not a single soul around him.

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