• James Eichenlaub

A Prayer For The Dying

Updated: Jan 5

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, there is an endless debate between two factions that continue to denigrate one another and each and the other continually referring to the other as STUPID. Of course, the two factions are the Mask / No-Mask people, claiming to know what is best for society.


An example is a woman recently removed from a popular department store here in Daytona because she refused to wear a mask. According to my daughter, the woman protested with the ever-popular mantra of "I have a right given to me by the Constitution, and I cannot be forced to wear a mask." Her somewhat limp and insipid protest was met with wisdom from the store manager, who replied, "I'm not trying to make you wear anything. I'm just telling you that you will not come into my store without a mask on your face." As she left in a huff, the store patrons applauded her out the door.


Was the crowd behaving inappropriately? Does the woman have a "right" not to wear a mask? Yes, she does. In the same way, I have a right to not wear a shirt or shoes or anything for that matter if I so wish! However, that does not mean that everyone else has to give up their rights for me to exercise mine! "No shoes, no shirt, no service." It's always been there.


So, then, that said; if feeling uncomfortable being around those who 'refuse' to wear a mask, I have the right to ask them to stay away from me; stand clear; keep their distance; stay out of my personal space! The same as I could and would if they had a load in their pants and smelled like it. In other words, asking them to show some public decency and respect for others.


They may not care if they contract the illness or if their loved ones contract it through or by them, but I care about mine. So the know-it-alls who, without credentials or accurate knowledge of the disease, and who refute those that do; also claim to know that "It makes no difference, the mask doesn't do a thing, and blah blah blah," will always be viewed by me as self-righteous and ignorant individuals who refuse to recognize reality.


The following is from a Nurse, a relative of ours, whose name is Misty Lynn. Her normal work is with those who have dementia, but she is also a hospice worker and dealt with Covid-19 patients from the beginning. So if you are one of those who "don't give a damn" about masks or social distancing, you need to hope that someone like her will be there with you or your loved one when they are taking the last few breaths of their life:


"I've been in this career now for 26 years. I watch death every day. My partner and I hold there hand and rub there head as there taking their last breath. We clean them up after they die, dress them in there clothes they wanted to leave in. Run from one room to the next when you have a few dying at the same time, trying to get those meds in them to keep them comfortable as they die (wishing) you are in the room when they take their last breath. The emotional process doesn't affect you till your home (be)cause your gotta stay strong, don't cry, and say (tell them) "it's ok" for them to move on. And with the past two weeks just watching in a different way on how there dying...watching them shiver, shake' tears in their eyes, struggling for air. It's just fucking killing my girls and me. Please, you need to tell your loved ones you love them, to hug them whenever you can. The suicide rate with nurses is rising, and the facts are not shown, (we) feel alone as we have none to share our emotional or physical soul with other than the team you have working with you. Nurses have no support system. Just last week, my team and I went to Walgreen after work to get vitamins. Everyone in that store kept walking as far as away as possible from us and just giving us looks. Hell, when we went to check out, everyone moved out of the line away from us. Some day(s) that may be you we are taking care of, and then see how you look at us. There is not one nurse who does not go home at night, and when they're alone, they have a breakdown. Sorry for the long rant. Just so drained."


Misty is only one of the thousands dealing and living with this daily, while those who have the right not to wear a mask sit at home, drink-in-hand, and pound out their mindless protests to one another or on Facebook and other media. Fauchi and all of those experienced and trained for decades; who know how the illness is spread hope only to slow it down enough to save as many lives as they can until a cure or preventative can be found.


Still, those who "have the right" and those who "want a strong economy for the sake of returns on investment" claim that we should be living life as normal. With more Americans dead from Covid-19 than were killed in three years of WW-II, or in the entire Viet Nam war...300,000 AND STILL RISING...and yet want to proclaim their right not to have to comply.


As a 70-year-old man with children and grandchildren, I would like to stay around a bit longer if possible. I do not fear death and could care less about dying alone, but I care about those I love who do have such fears, and I don't want a stranger holding their hand when they breathe their last. If my wife, children, or anyone related to me, dies of this illness and it is traced back to an "I don't give a s**t" maskless individual, then I will treat it as a homicide and deal with that person accordingly.

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