For many, this virus is an annoyance. They complain about what THEY can’t do. They complain about how inconvenienced they are. They want a haircut. They make it political. They make it about percentages. You’ll probably be okay. I’ve heard people say only old people die. Only sick people die.

I want to curse at those people. I want to yell at them. But, instead, I will just talk about loss. During this pandemic, I have lost 2 important people to me, but today I will focus on my Aunt.

During my youth we would visit her home for parties. Christmas parties stand out the most. The smell of hi-balls would hang thick in the air because apparently that’s all old people drank. I remember never really wanting to go, because damn it, I had Christmas gifts at home I wanted to play with. But now, I’m happy I did. I will always have those memories of that home. Of those parties and of my Aunt’s boisterous voice.

During my adulthood, after my grandmother died, my father and she had a falling out. It was stupid. The thing families fight about in the face of loss. I was the annoying younger son who annoyed them until they started talking again. I don’t know if I was the reason they came back together, but they did.

She died last week, because of complications of COVID-19. One person is too much if it’s someone you love. One person is too much for the families that have to deal with it. Regardless of if they are old. My aunt was awesome. She was smart, quick-witted, and didn’t take shit from anyone. She could piss you off because she was so honest. But I loved that about her, and the world is a darker place.

I don’t know if I ever said it to her. I honestly don’t. But I love you, Aunt Betty. I will miss you.

And for those that still think it is just old people who die. Or just sick people who die. I am so happy that you have the privilege to not have suffered. I am so happy that someone you loved has not gotten sick. I’m happy that you live a life free from this thing, so you think it’s just inconvenient that you can’t get a haircut. And I hope that it stays that way for you. But for the love of whatever you believe in, have some god-damned respect for those who have suffered.

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