On the morning of Thursday, August 12, I was in my bed crying watching FIELD OF DREAMS. I was still recovering from a rough bout of COVID19. I find any movie that centers around or features a father / son relationship to be rough on me. Even at 55 years-old, I still feel the pain of my mom and dad’s divorce some 47 years ago.
I felt such an overall weakness that I have not felt in sometime. I consider there are four parts of most human beings: physical / spiritual / mental / financial. Well, in that bed crying I definitely felt the physical pain of COVID19. On August 5, 2021, I felt like I was having “flu-like-symptoms.” Aches. Cold hands and feet. Some stomach “issues.” Lightheadedness. I made a deal with Diana that if those symptoms continued I would go for the test – my first COVID19 test ever. Well, sure enough. On Sunday, August 8th, I received the message via text message that indeed, I had COVID19.
Yes. I admit. I got nervous, which PISSED ME OFF! Why?! Because I realized that there is an over 98% survival rate of COVID19, but the constant rhetoric of “be careful – YOU COULD DIE FROM COVID19” got to me. If I was going to “die from COVID19” I would be one of the two-percent was ridiculous. So that “fear” pissed me off!
On Monday, August 9th, I had a horrific time at Sutter Roseville. We get there at 3:00pm. Diana leaves me there. The receptionist told me it would be TWO HOURS until a doctor would be able to see me. My heart sunk. I was so ill that I actually went to the emergency room only to be told it would be two hours. During those two hours, I got sick to my stomach and had diarrhea in this one stall little restroom. I was miserable.
So, around 5:00pm, I get to see the emergency care folks. For what was about seven minutes. 102 degree temperature. Oxygen level was at 89. Among all the other symptoms. They said I was going to be given some medicine. Awesome! Done and now I can go home.
Oh, no… now came the blood test and the x-ray for my lungs. The x-ray technician gets done with ONE x-ray. I asked him, “About thirty minutes?” His reply, “If you’re lucky. More likely at least an hour.”
What in the world? Another hour?! As I am in this emergency waiting room with at least fifty people and one guy walking around with a plastic bag for his vomit / moaning from his misery. It was awful.
I couldn’t take it any longer. I phone Diana.
She shows up around 7:15pm. I get in the car and feel like I am escaping some place of hell.
At home, I am in the third bedroom by myself.
Diana is on her cellphone. Visually upset. “Okay, I will get him back there as soon as possible.”
“Get your clothes on. We’re going back to the hospital.” I was shocked. I begged “No. I don’t want to go back.”
“Paul! We are going back to the hospital. They need to see you. They have special medicine to help you. Get your clothes on. We are leaving. I will see you in the garage.”
We get there around 8:00pm. I am so miserable. I am actually upset. There is no way that I want to be in that emergency facility with all those people. As I am sitting there sweating, I go into the same bathroom and again …. diarrhea and sick to my stomach. DAMN IT.
Around 8:45pm, “Paul Everts?!” I raised my arms as I had scored a touchdown and they wheel me into a room.
With an IV, I got some “special” new medicine to help with my nausea and diarrhea. My oxygen level was below 90 and therefore, I had to stay until about midnight. I was miserable. They release me.
Using the hospital phone, I phone Diana who was waiting for me in the hospital parking garage.
It’s now about 12:30 in the morning. I see Diana walking across the street. She puts her hand up to me as if to say, “I don’t want to hear anything from you, Paul!”
Sure enough. The car battery was dead! Of course, it was.
Diana finally gets a hold of AAA and was told it was going to be an hour, which meant we were not going to see a tow truck until 1:30AM.
Diana was able to get someone from Sutter Roseville security to jump the car. Hallelujah!
So, this very nice lady attempted to get the car to start up. Nope. Didn’t work. Diana and I finally said, “Enough.” We phoned Katy (our daughter). Katy who would be diagnosed with COVID19, picked up her parents at 1:45AM!!
We later find out that AAA did not get to the Sutter Roseville parking garage until 4:00am in the morning!
So, the first day of my 33rd year teaching high school was spent in bed doing what I can to get better.
Back to the tears in bed watching FIELD OF DREAMS.
Now, that you know the physical side of my body, I go to the spiritual / mental side of my body.
While I was watching this “Americana” movie about my favorite professional sport, I was thinking about all the “Anti-American” / “UnAmerican” crap we currently face in our nation and unfortunately in many of our K-12 public schools.
I felt alone. I was in this bedroom now for at least a week going, “What am I going back to? There are teachers who would actually turn-off this movie because of the theme being “Pro-America” and “PRO-FATHER.”
I know the importance of movies / music / books that are “PRO-AMERICA.” Now? We will not see a book like “Shoeless Joe” because it doesn’t fit this “new-America.” What a shame! Those type of books remind us what the story of America is about.
I know the importance of movies / music / books that are “PRO-FATHER.” Now? If we see such material about being “PRO-FATHER,” that feeds the “patriarchal” nonsense. It is nonsense!
When we see all the pain (attempted / “successful” suicides / beating-up people due to gender or race / lack of support of police / etc.), we can attribute that pain to the “anti-American” / “UnAmerican” propaganda and the “ant-Father” / “anti-nuclear family” rhetoric.
I am going to be one of the 17% of public-school teachers who believe in the “American Dream” and the importance of fathers and the nuclear family. I am sure there are some of the 83% of the “liberal” teachers who agree with importance of the balance of stories about the greatness of our nation, fathers, and nuclear family. Yet, I also know there are many of the 83% of liberal teachers who will remain “silent” because there will be many colleagues who will “shout” them down. Shame them.
Do all you can to be true to who you are and realize that in the end, all people – whether or not they agree with you – should respect you as long as you respectful towards them. Before you condemn the United States of America and / or fathers, what would you propose that is better than our nation or fathers? You can’t.
Thank you to my colleagues and students who have been very supportive. Means a lot to me. I am very grateful for your ability to carry on without me.
For the family / friends who also supported me and the family, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Means a lot to me.
Thank you Diana / Katy and several others who are helping me beat COVID19 and prepare for this school year. COVID19 is as awful as people say it is. You can survive it. NO DOUBT. But, it will “play” with you.