Showing posts with label David Vetter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Vetter. Show all posts

Remember the Boy in the Bubble?


How many of you remember the boy in the bubble? Probably not many. But during this time of self-quarantine, I can’t help thinking of him. For those of you who don’t remember him, I’ll try to explain who he was.
David Vetter was born in 1971 with an immunodeficiency disease called Severe Combined Severe Immune Deficiency (SCID), for which there was no cure and limited treatment. Because his immune system did not function properly, exposure to any common pathogen, that people normally harbor, would be fatal to David. The only treatment available to him was to place him in a sterile environment, that would isolate him from any contact with the outside world, including his entire family. This environment was a plastic structure which became to be known as a “bubble”. David’s story can be found here, for those who wish to learn more about “the boy in the bubble.”

It’s been a little over 4 weeks since I have been self-quarantined. I am a senior and I suffer from both asthma and COPD, so I am at high risk of death if I contract COVID-19. Last year I was hospitalized with a severe case of the flu which I thought would kill me. I know what it’s like not being able to breathe and I am scared shitless of contracting the coronavirus. So, yeah I’m not venturing out to commit suicide by socializing with friends, neighbors, or the general public.

My husband and I have our groceries delivered and also some of our meals delivered so we don’t have to come in contact with people shopping or picking up take-out. Even though my husband is not in the high-risk group he could still contract the virus or spread it to me without him showing any symptoms. When we receive packages or mail everything is sprayed or wiped down with Lysol, to be on the safe side.

From time to time I would feel as though I’m in a bubble, like David. Staying at home I am reducing the possibility of contracting the virus, and any other diseases for that matter. I think this is the first time I’ve gone so long without catching a cold. My sinus problems, however, are not affected by bacteria or viruses, but the weather, over which I have no control.

Because I’m spending more time with myself I have extra time to think about things that I have little control over or make absolutely no sense. Times when I feel as though I am in a bubble I wonder about what will happen when the quarantine is over and I’ll be able to go out among people. Will I suddenly have no immunity to common pathogens and become sick with the common cold or other maladies floating around in my community? Should I stay away from everyone just in case they are sick with something else, other than COVID-19. What happens if the coronavirus morphs into another deadly unknown virus that will destroy humanity?

So far I have been handling the quarantine quite well and have not been suffering from cabin fever. It helps that the weather has been shitty for the past few weeks, so I don’t relish going out in the cold, rainy, and even snowy weather. I’ve also gotten over wanting to eat anything and everything that wasn’t alive and breathing. I still crave chocolate though and I’m sure I will no matter what situation I find myself. Since my husband is working from home in his office in the basement, I have a good deal of alone time elsewhere in the house. I have come to cherish and enjoy that time alone, and my husband loves to spend his time with his computers and other gadgets when he’s not working.

I find it odd that I don’t miss going to my gym and seeing the regulars there I would normally converse with. For the most part, they were Trump supporters so intelligent conversations were not possible. If I want to raise my blood pressure now all I have to do is watch Fox News for a few minutes to induce vomiting or listen to the daily campaign rallies about how good of a job the Moron-in Chief has done in managing the Trump virus.

I sometimes find myself fantasizing about living in a cabin in the middle of the Adirondack Mountains, as I have done many times before. But this time it’s different. I wasn’t quite sure if I could survive without human contact and the everyday amenities of life I have become used to. Now that I am doing just that, I think I might be able to live my fantasy. I’m not sure about pizza delivery though.

Comparing my living in quarantine to David Vetter living his life in a bubble is probably just an acceptable way of feeling sorry for myself during these trying times. David didn’t have any choice in how he lived his short life and there was never any hope of his circumstances changing to allow for a normal life. I can still roam around my home and my property and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. David couldn’t. I can be with and hug my husband and soon I will be able to feel the closeness and warmth of those dearest to me. David never knew that feeling. I previously enjoyed what could be called a normal life, and someday soon hopefully I will be able to return to that life. David never got that chance.

When my time on this earth is over, this quarantine will be remembered as only a flash in time for me. David’s whole life was spent in his bubble. He died from Burkitt’s lymphoma at the age of 12 from complications of a failed bone marrow transplant. Think about David every time you complain about having to stay at home because of the pandemic!

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