Getting sick with COVID is difficult enough to handle, but being a recipient of anger and blame when another comes down with it can be even more difficult to deal with, especially when it comes from close friends.
When I first began feeling sick, I could barely lift my head off my pillow given all the pain in my head, the fever I was carrying, and the slightly impaired breathing I was enduring. While I awaited my COVID test results in bed during the middle of my first week with it, I received a text from a couple that my partner Chris and I normally hung out with on a regular basis. They asked if we were still getting together that upcoming Saturday. The last time we had seen them was New Year’s Eve when both Chris and I were feeling 100% well. While I hadn’t responded to anyone at that point given how sick I felt, I mustered enough energy to call and let them know I was feeling terrible, waiting for my test results, and probably wouldn’t be seeing them any time soon, at least until I felt better. The next day, I’d receive a number of angry text messages from them saying I had acted irresponsibly and should have let them know of my sickness sooner, especially because one of them was now carrying a fever as well.
I was shocked that the focus from good friends was more about placing anger and blame and not about the status of either my or my partner’s health. It didn’t matter what I said at that point when I tried to defend us, as they seemed hell-bent on continuing to point the finger. I’d receive a few more texts from them the next week letting us know they both officially had contracted Covid and were going to inform their county health department when they called that it was our fault. I was stunned that friends we had spent several years getting to know were more focused on placing anger and blame for getting COVID than on any of our well-being, especially when there wasn’t even any definitive proof how any of us got it.
Nevertheless, during all the days I was sick with COVID, I prayed for their and our well-being and forgave them for the anger and blame placed upon us, realizing that COVID has been making people say and do things they normally wouldn’t do. Personally, I lost my cool a number of times with Chris during my worst days with the virus and had to ask for his forgiveness a few times because of it.
Regardless, the hardest part about all this though was that in the end, our friends opted to end our connection for now rather than get together and reconcile, which is what I was hoping for. The present loss of this friendship has made me realize that what should be most important in this world right now is caring about each other’s well being and not placing anger and blame for why this pandemic is still around or why anyone is still getting it. Anger only begets anger and blame only creates more blame. While Chris and I continue to be responsible mask wearers like we were prior to getting COVID, we never cared about how we got it, only that we and anyone else who came down with it got better.
It’s hard to believe a good friendship with a couple I still care deeply about has ended for now. So, if you can take anything away after reading this today, please don’t place anger or blame upon another over any part of this pandemic, even if you or a loved one should happen to come down with it. Placing anger and blame on anyone isn’t going to help a single person get well from COVID, it’s not going to bring anyone back if they died from this tragic virus either, and it most certainly won’t build lasting bridges between you and those you care about and instead will only tear them apart.
Try focusing instead on sending love and healing into this pandemic-stricken world and also forgive those who may not be acting in ways you feel they should be acting when it comes to how they’re handling this virus. And be rest assured in doing so that our planet will have a far greater chance of fully healing from COVID than if we continue to only focus our energy surrounding it on placing anger and blame as to why it’s still around and why people continue to get sick.
Peace, love light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson