This week I saw Covid-19 in a new light.
Before now, it was a horrible virus that was only really affecting other people.
Sure, I knew people who’d had it and survived. I even knew about someone in my extended circle whose wife had died as a result. But it wasn’t really breaching my barriers.
Everything changed on Wednesday, when I noticed my weekly #AwesomeSauce newsletter hadn’t been sent out.
Everyone in my team is brilliantly on the ball – Dee especially so. With this in mind, rather than being annoyed, I was worried.
If Awesome Sauce was late, something was wrong. Very wrong.
My team members all work remotely, so I couldn’t just call across a room. I tried Facebook, text, email, phone… nothing.
I reached out to other team mates and colleagues. Nope. Nobody had heard from Dee.
Fears began to creep in. I knew she’d been struggling with a ‘manageable’ dose of C19, but she’s stubborn and headstrong.
Days before, she’d insisted she was on the mend and wanted to carry on.
Light duties then. Okay.
Dee is remarkably efficient. She’s brilliantly organised, full of ideas – she’s not just a colleague, but a very dear friend – one of the few in our inner circle I’d happily trust with my life.
Team Taz would be lost without her.
And lost we were.
It was late that night when Dee’s fiancé responded to the messages I’d sent to him and confirmed our worst fears – rather than being on the mend, she was in the hospital and gravely ill.
Dee has sleep-related epilepsy and the infection had triggered a series of severe fits. She’d been whisked away by ambulance.
Over the following days, though information was limited, we heard that the medics needed to do a brain scan, that Dee was ‘agitated’ and would need to be sedated further, and that the infection had moved to her brain.
I can’t tell you how much we all prayed this past week. We employed everything we had, from positive thinking and affirmations to meditation, energy healing and journey work. And again, lots and lots of prayer.
I say prayer… it was more like begging.
And when we weren’t doing all that, I was keeping in touch with Dee’s fiancé and her mum, sending love and doing my best to keep them propped up and positive.
I can’t imagine what it must have been like for them. Hospitals are closed to visitors during the pandemic and the staff were so busy they weren’t even taking calls. Her fiancé became so worried he tried to visit the hospital, if only to get an update, but ended up being escorted off the premises.
Late last night, I received the best Facebook message I’ve ever had.
My brilliant, beautiful team member was awake and on her phone.
Dee was cranky. They wanted to inject her with dye for further tests and she wasn’t happy about it.
This was good news. Remember what I said about stubborn and headstrong? Still poorly, yes, but absolutely back in the room!
As I write this, we’re waiting for an update about when Dee might be allowed home.
Today, I’m grateful.
I swear, the sun is shining more brightly than usual this morning.
The birdsong sounds sweeter.
It’s times like this that really, truly enforce what’s important in life.
It also shows up the importance of really getting to know the people around you.
When Awesome Sauce was late, I wasn’t cross, I was worried – that was an indication that something was wrong. In the scheme of things, who cares if your audience has to wait a little while?
If you’re in business, notice this – in stressful times, it’s all too easy to kneejerk into annoyance, when there might be something far more important to be giving your energy to. Don’t look just at the outcome – look for the underlying cause and put your attention there.
Actually, that doesn’t have to just apply to business. When we’re all cooped up in our homes together, it can be ridiculously easy for tempers to fray. Stop. Breathe. Count to 10. Whatever it takes. Look at what’s causing the behaviour before yelling at the behaviour itself.
And if a loved one falls ill with this thing, do whatever you can to stay sane and feel useful.
I don’t care whether or not you’re religious (I’m not – spiritual, yes; religious, no), what your upbringing was or what you believe. If all you can do is send good thoughts, pray or ask some unseen force to help, you go for it. Give it your all.
If your family and friends are all safe and well, count your blessings.
Instead of feeling irked about being in the same space together, stop and think about how you might feel if circumstances were different.
And remember to tell them how you feel.
Even if you’ve never been free with your heart’s truth. Tell them you love them. Tell them why. Let them know.
None of us know what’s around the corner, so soften up a bit.
I wasn’t going to name Dee in this column. It was going to all be anonymous, but I just spoke to her and told her what I was writing about.
She told me to go ahead and name her. “It’s good that other people know the signs,” she said, “I’m not embarrassed by it.”
And then, she added: “Be honest. I’d like to know what you thought during the whole process. People are rarely honest and try to sugar coat things.”
And so, here we are.
One thing’s for sure… when Dee went into that hospital, she went in knowing how much Asha and I love her, how much we value her friendship and how much we believe her to be an utterly awesome team member.
Would your team members know that?
Would your friends know that?
Would your family members know that?
If not, maybe now’s the time to rectify the situation.
Until next time,