Covid-19 FB Messenger

By C. Grell


It was a simple message I received on Facebook Messenger on Friday April 3rd  2020, at 1:23pm

“Hey, hope all is well with u and your family, be safe.

The message was like any other message, but not the person sending the message. I had not heard from him in 38 years.

I responded “Yes. We are fine. Great to hear from you! How are things with you and your family?”

He took a while to respond

“Everyone is fine. Under lockdown in NYC. Then repeated “Please be safe”.

Later that evening he contacted me again, but his messages showed a growing concern.

“I just wanted you to know that I’ve always loved you. It was always only you”.

I listened and responded kindly to what seemed to be the end of the world type of confession. He said “When this is all over, I am coming to see you. I must see you again”. I assured him all will be fine, we won’t die. But he kept saying how bad this was and then told me two of his friends died from COVID-19 the day before. An exposure that he could have been subjected to, but through shear circumstance, it was avoided. In two weeks, they were both dead. He asked if he could call me. It was almost midnight, but I said yes. His voice was trembling as he gave me the details of how it happened. I expressed my condolences, but it didn’t seem to calm him much. He seemed hopeless, broken, grasping for something.

We chatted for a little while and then before we hung up, he said “I just had to tell you how I have always felt about you. I don’t want anything to happen to you. Please promise me you’ll be safe until I can see you again”. I told him everything will be ok, “We will meet one day again once this is all over my friend”.

We have been on lockdown for a month now and it’s just been extended to yet another month. The upcoming week will be the peak of COVID-19 in New York City, the epicenter of the virus. COVID-19 has rocked the world into a shutdown. Infection rates rise exponentially daily with thousands of deaths worldwide. Each day I wake up and I first check my messages, my email, Facebook, and then Twitter. I see the thousands of people on lockdown, some singing from their balconies as they try to raise their spirits, and some bored in their homes with time for posting silly memes.

And a dreaded call today from a friend whose father died this morning. The choice of which five family members get to attend his funeral.

Today I saw a photo of a clear view of the Himalayas. For the first time in decades, clear skies due to the lack of pollution has afforded this view. Some say nature is rebooting herself. Finally, the environmentalists on Twitter are calm along with their followers. People are cooking! For the naysayers that said to get off social media and make real friends in the real world, well, this IS the real world. Students worldwide are forced to do their classes online, and parents have no choice but to step up and homeschool their kids. I think the necessary evil has caused people to pause and bond with their loved ones. In a fast world, we were busy being lonely. There is a distinct disconnect, I feel it growing daily. I know there will be people I won’t ever see again. I may not see my friend again.

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