The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Tracy Thompson
the Times 

Checking in with others, news from friend in Brooklyn is stark


April 23, 2020

While at the time of this writing, there are only 37 cases of COVID-19 in Walla Walla County, I have been keeping pace with the spread of the outbreak by checking in with friends around the country.

On my return from my recent trip to the Dominican Republic in late February, I had the opportunity to visit with some dear friends in Brooklyn, in Kings County, New York. As of Monday, April 20, Kings County, NY was second only to Queens County, NY for total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, with 34,476 cases and 2,606 deaths.

My friend requested anonymity for the sake of her and her neighbors’ privacy, but from her brief dispatch, the horror and shock of this pandemic is stark. She writes:

“I’ve been pretty ill the past few days so don’t feel up for a call (Addison’s flare, not COVID-19). No doubt from stress. It’s a lot. 

But we are grateful for having a safe, warm house with lots of our hobbies here.

I don’t read the news much, but even the support to individuals is a lot. Several people on our block have the virus, and everyone knows someone. One neighbor, ‘N’, is out of work and her husband is in the late stages if cancer and barely eating. So, I’m trying to give her a lot of support, buy groceries for her, etc. Just keeping busy with work and giving support to others.

I also got this message from my next-door neighbor, ‘C’, Ugh, so sad: 

‘I shared with you that I lost my nephew a few weeks ago; well, my sister and her husband both got sick. While she’s still recovering, her husband passed on Wednesday. Though they weren’t diagnosed, all the symptoms point to the virus. Have to figure out how to break the news to Kaylah before she hears it from someone. They were close.

My friend, ‘A’, and her ten-year-old daughter both have the virus and at least a dozen of her friends. None of them can taste or smell, and none have been tested. They were “diagnosed” by the daughter’s pediatrician via telemedicine. 

A group of us bulk ordered food from a restaurant supplier and got the first food delivery in a month that wasn’t a joke — missing over half the items, that is.”

My friend and her husband, and their son, who is the same age as my youngest, are bright resourceful people, and the couple runs a small business out of their brownstone.

I ache knowing their reality, living with the constant thrum of sirens, plus managing her chronic illness, while trying to help their community members through this crisis.

Of course, though our chances of an outbreak on the level of what is taking place in New York City is unlikely, it does help to be aware of the severity of the impact of this virus, and to continue taking all the precautions that our leaders are asking of us.

We at The Times will continue to provide resources about how to move through these trying times and how best to help keep our beloved communities safe.


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