I Lost a Friend To Covid

I lost a friend to Covid this week. He didn’t die. But, I lost him.

When you care about and love people, your friends, or family; you want to help them, encourage them, protect them from harm, protect them from danger. I have a friend who’s had long term health issues. I wanted to share with him what I know about Covid and the Covid vaccine. I tried to do this because I care about him. I never got the chance.

I wanted to share what I know. Read this carefully. I wanted to share what I know. Not what I feel. Not what I’ve heard or seen from Dr. Fauci or the president or the ex-president. Not what I’ve seen or heard on Fox News or CNN, or from the CDC, or from Facebook, or a website, or a video, or in a newspaper, or anything on the internet. I wanted to share what I know.

Here, is what I know. I was sitting in a car dealership in my hometown in Oklahoma 3 weeks ago. A doctor from the local hospital walked in, that I know. Dr. Kevin saved my wife’s life a few years back, so I think pretty highly of him. After exchanging pleasantries, I asked him, “Kevin, what’s going on with Covid in here in town?” His reply was, “It’s a nightmare. We have two beds reserved for cardiac emergencies and two beds reserved for stroke victims. All the other beds are filled with Covid patients (144 beds out of 148). He said I’m really afraid of what will happen if we have some emergencies and have no beds available!” I then asked him, “Are all of the Covid patients unvaccinated?” His reply was simply, “yes”.

I have an individual that works with me who has three sons, all doctors. I asked him if he had inquired about Covid with them (this was two weeks ago). He said, “Yes, just talked to them all. My son in Michigan said his hospital is completely full of Covid patients, 85% unvaccinated. My son in St. Louis said his hospital is completely full of Covid patients, 90% of which were unvaccinated. My son in Tennessee said his hospital was completely full of Covid patients, 95% of which were unvaccinated”.

We all have networks of people that we interact with. Most have families and many of us have networks of people at work that we know firsthand. Personally, I have 9 people that directly report to me at work. They in turn, have folks that work for them. The group of folks I interact with personally equates to 128 people. I also have peers I work with and know well in Oklahoma and Texas. They have work groups and all in all this equates to around 1,200 people. So basically, I have first hand knowledge of my family and my work family of 1,200.

Here’s what I know from my network:

Are there people I know who have been vaccinated and have gotten Covid after being vaccinated? Yes, I know a few. Did they end up being hospitalized or die? No.

Here is what I know. I can tell you of 6 people in the last two months who are personal acquaintances or friends who lost a family member, a close friend or a co-worker who were in their 40’s. These people, who died of Covid, left children, spouses, family, and friends. They all had one thing in common. They did not get the vaccine.

So what I know, not what I feel, or have heard or watched, or read, is this:

  • The vast majority of people getting Covid cases bad enough to cause hospitalization are unvaccinated. Around 90% in the hospitals that I have direct contacts in.
  • There are very few people with vaccination who get Covid. 90% of those who have a breakout case will not end up in the hospital. I know 4 vaccinated people who got Covid. None went to the hospital.
  • I know there are young, healthy people dying of Covid who did not get the vaccine.
  • I do not personally know of anyone, or have heard of anyone from my network, who has had the vaccine, that has went to the hospital or died.

This is what I know. I want to share this with people I love and care for. Because it is not a sound bite, not an internet post. It is the truth as to what “I know”.

I never got to share this with my friend. To have been able to share it we would have had to have had a “conversation”. This did not happen. In the first sentence out of my mouth I told him I cared about him and wished he would get vaccinated. That was the end of the conversation. In a breath the conversation was over, and it became an argument (although he said it was a debate).

A conversation requires two things: 1) Allowing each individual the opportunity to share your opinion or position. 2) Each individual listening to the others opinion or position. Also, it doesn’t have to end in agreement. It’s fine to agree to disagree. But, you give the opportunity to each other to share and listen.

An argument happens when only one of these transpires, only the stating of a personal opinion, and no listening to the other persons side of the matter. The very instant a conversation moves to an argument, or the argument just starts, everything is over. Each person’s mind closes up and there is only one thought, one goal: what is my next point, what is my next swing, how can I destroy my opponent’s position. Generally, nothing good ever comes from an argument for either party. Usually only damage.

I cared enough about my friend to want to share my concern for his health and wellbeing. I wanted to share what I know and simply leave it at that. After all, God gave us free will and we are each responsible for our own lives. I not only didn’t get to share, but I also lost this friend. Will this stop me from sharing what I know with other friends. No way! What kind of a friend would I be if I didn’t share what I know, that may help them?

I have a couple of thoughts from this. One: when we broach a tough subject with people, we care about, think about what you are going to say. It is really something you “know”, or something else? Two: when you’re trying to have a conversation and it turns into an argument take one opportunity to turn it back to a conversation. How do you do that? Ask. Can we have a discussion about this? You’ll know instantly whether you can or not. If not, and the argument comes back, walk away. Walk away.

If the wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet. Proverbs 28.9

The situation we’re all in with Covid reminds me of a story:

There was a man that heard heavy rains may cause dangerous flooding where he lived. He sent his wife and children out of town for safety and the wife pleaded with him to come with them. He said, “I’ll be fine, God will take care of me.” The rain came and so did the flooding. He heard a siren outside, and the police stopped and told him you need to get out now. He told them, “No, I’ll be fine God will take care of me.” The flooding became so intense he had to crawl up on the roof of his house. A boat with rescue workers came up to the house and told him to get in. He said, “No, I’ll be fine, I’m trusting in God to take care of me.” A little while later a helicopter flew in lowered a rescue basket and he screamed back, “No I’m not leaving my house, God’s got this. A little while later a huge tree floated by. It seemed to hang up on his house for a little while, then it slowly floated away on with the current.

Then, he drowned. Because he had accepted Jesus as his savior the next thing he knew he was standing in heaven beside Jesus himself. He said, “Jesus, I’m glad I’m here, but I wasn’t ready to leave my wife and children. Why didn’t you do something to save me!” Jesus said, “I did. I had your wife plead with you to leave with her. I sent a policeman by your house. I sent a boat; I even sent a helicopter and lastly I floated a tree to your house!”

I must wonder. Are there people who did not get a Covid vaccination and therefore died, standing in front of Jesus today saying, “Jesus, a plague has fallen on all the earth! Could you not hear our prayers, could you not see our suffering? Why didn’t you do something!”

I wonder if he’s saying, “I did. I sent a vaccine.”

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