Tao Writer (April 17, 1948 -)
Being Old Is A Gift, Sometimes
Each day I search the numbers. The newly infected, the newly dead, the total infected, the total dead. The numbers keep rising. I search the countries and states where my friends and families live, Estonia, Cuba, Wales, Spain, Fuji, Australia, New York, New Jersey, California. People I usually only contacted once or twice a year, I contact now to be sure they are not included in those numbers. A few were, most are still alive and grateful to be so but wonder for how long.
My younger friends are strong and confident of their survival through this plague but most of my friends are closer to my age. The chances of our survival should we become infected are slim. All during this time the witch doctor Trump pushes his snake oil medicine because he has stock in the company which manufactures the drug hydroxychloroquine. The president of the Divided States of America is a looser and an idiot and these are the best printable words I can use to describe him and his ego sidekick.
I do the best I can to fill each moment with the joy of being alive. Some days are harder than others. Today my isolation mates and I put on our masks and gloves and ventured out to the market to restock our food supplies. We left early but the line was still over a block long with everyone adhering to the two meter separation but shorter than the three block long line on Saturday so Kerily and I got in line and waited. Isabel had another errand so we agreed to meet later.
Under the new restrictions one person per family is permitted in the store at a time. Ecuadorians are very family orientated and often multiple family members do the shopping. We had waited only a few minutes when a police guard approached me and asked if I were a senior. I was not completely sure of his question so Kerily answered. He then asked if we were from the same family. Kerily told him no and that she was my translator because of my limited Spanish. He then personally walked us to the front of the line. Where there was a separate line for seniors with no one waiting. Our clothes were sprayed with disinfectant and we entered the store where our hands were given a goop of hand gel. We hurried so other people could be permitted in. It appeared everyone was moving quickly to complete their purchases and go back home.
Upon leaving the store, I saw the officer who helped us. I said to him, “Gracias.” Even though his mouth was covered, I could see the smile of acknowledgement in his eyes. I had remembered his kindness. He gave me the thumbs up and we continued home.
Kerily laughed and said, “I’m your translator now, but we did not have to wait.”
I responded, “Yes, in Ecuador, the old are still treated with reverence and respect. Being old is a gift, sometimes, but so many now will not receive this endowment.”