July 8, 2020

Dear COVID-19,

Haven’t written to a virus before—not even sure how. You’re COVID-19. You’re super famous. You excel in things I avoid…physical, mental, and emotional suffering…even death. And--wow--your heartless economic devastation is second to none. Despite your global fame, let’s be clear: this is NOT a fan letter. Nope. I've watched you work…not a fan. In fact, have you considered retirement? Your world-wide impact has been well-documented. Truly, stop while you’re ahead; this would be the best-timed retirement EVER! Besides, I bet you’re tired; I know we are. Take a load off, retire—today!

While you mull over this retirement thing, I want to introduce myself. I’m going to write you a couple letters of oddly-placed-gratitude. You’ve taught me more than I initially realized. Yes, yes, yes, I’ve learned the value of hand washing, masks and social distancing. Thanks to you—correction—thanks to my FEAR of you, I’m gold-star-great at all three. In fact, it is with exceptionally clean hands, I pen this letter.

Here’s the thing…unintentionally, you reconnected me with life-changing realizations. Truths revealed 10 years ago while grieving my husband’s suicide. Frankly, I ought to thank you for the refresher course. But no. COVID-19 and ‘thank you’ don’t belong in the same sentence.

Your handiwork forced me to…self-sequester…hunger for predictability…fear touching a grocery cart...social distance…long for some illusion of control…the list goes on. With ‘normalcy’ in lock-down, grief’s sacred lessons re-awakened. And you, dear COVID, added a bonus or two. Can I call you COVID? Can we drop the 19-thingy? I mean…since you’re going to be hearing from me, COVID seems friendlier than COVID-19. But whatever.

Not sure how often I’ll write, but I do have at least four oddly-placed-gratitudes to share. Not saying we’re pen pals. We'll keep this strictly long-distance; as I said earlier, I have zero desire to meet you in person. Unless you retire. Then maybe. Not meaning to be too pushy on this retirement thing, but I do think RETIRE-NOW-WHILE-YOU’RE-AHEAD is in your best interest.


Marlie, Your Pro-Retirement Advocate

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