4 influenza pandemics, COVID 19 and counting

My first friend has a dear friend named Mary (pictured above). She is 103.  They have coffee together most weeks.  My friend told me a little bit about Mary.

Mary has survived 4 influenza pandemics, COVID 19 and a host of other life changing events and has done so with remarkable spirit and resilience.

Mary was born during WW1 and was a toddler during the Spanish flu pandemic.  She grew up during the Great Depression and married during WW II.  She was widowed with three children at age 50 and joined the workforce. 

Mary lived in her own home until she was 99.  She walked to the store almost daily, cooked, cleaned her apartment, and walked to all her appointments or rode the bus.  She’s had two hip replacements, one at 88 and the other at 92. She outlived most of her friends and siblings.  Her older sister died when Mary was 98; her son died the same year.  Her little sister just turned 96.

The summer she was 99, she broke her leg, had to sell her house, and move into a retirement community.

And along comes COVID 19.  She spent the lock down in her one-bedroom apartment.  She couldn’t leave and no one could visit.  Unlike many of us, she doesn’t have the internet as a connection to the outside world.  Her hearing aids broke at some point which limited her tv watching and phone conversations.

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t complained (and maybe even whined) about the restrictions ‘forced’ on us by COVID 19, myself included.  Mary’s isn’t a complainer and her acceptance of all of life’s circumstances helps put some of our recent sacrifices in perspective. 

Fortunately, my friend was recently able to have coffee with Mary on the patio.  An enjoyable time was had by all! I think we all need a ‘Mary’ in our lives to remind us that this too shall pass and to remind us not to whine.

As usual, I am ending my week with King County COVID 19 data as of 10/1/20.  Over the past two weeks:

  • Positive tests – 1,342 or 2% (same as last week)
  • Hospitalizations – 40
  • Deaths – 4

We are off to celebrate my daughter’s birthday with her this weekend.  See you on Monday with a full report!



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