This COVID pandemic has been tough on all of us, no doubt. We’ve lost some good people, had others drop off the map while they Battled the Bug or just hunkered down, and we can’t help but feel that all our lives have been changed forever.
We’re lucky to have an engaged community of readers who contact us pretty much round the clock so that kept us from feeling entirely cut off during the worst of this but we were keenly aware that some “voices” were dropping out of the daily dialogue for various reasons. We screwed down our misgivings and tendency toward fatalism – and hoped folks were just off perfecting their cooking or banjo skills while safe at the country house.
And then came the phone calls and emails from grieving relatives or mutual friends, and that first tremulous line: “I don’t know if you’ve heard, but…”
We heard. And we hoisted a virtual pint to the lost each time word reached us. And then, on days like yesterday, a few of the MIAs – those missing voices – checked in after long months under lockdown.
“Attempting yet another comeback from the near-dead and a 4th hospital stay since I first crumbled last June,” wrote one of our faves, DancingQueen, who frustrated us by rendering our return email to her as undeliverable (don’t do that, folks, we were trying to respond!) “That doesn’t include a long stint in a rehab facility in WC into July, then another over Thanksgiving which is where I picked up Covid and spent Christmas into New Years/19 days in John Muir…”
Holy Cow, we thought things were bad when Lunardi’s began to run low on Haagen Dazs.
Despite all that, DQ ended things on a high note: “Hope you and yours are staying well and strong,” she wrote. “Hug the ones you’re with…”
So we did just that. Boy, was that mailman startled.
And then there was “Iron Mike,” a rock around here and all-around good guy who checked in after many silent months – from the East Coast, where it turned out he moved for reasons he said were unrelated to the “Maskdemic.”
“There were many ‘final straws’,” he wrote. “Fire season, environmental issues, cost of living, too much pressure from every conceivable angle… The cons of staying quickly outweighed the pros, and we decided (Destination Redacted) was a great place for the next season of our lives.”
“Mike” was a businessman and entrepreneur, a visionary with a heart and a love for his adopted state that made it especially hard to hear that he has left us. We need more like him.
And then there was Sean, who began his note to us with: “Howdy y’all, its been a minute since I’ve reached out. Hope all is well in the newsroom.”
We always liked Sean, for his direct approach, eclectic collecting habits and shared interests, and we looked forward to hearing what he has been up to. Apparently, it was quite a lot, taking a “Facebreak” from social media to help make a baby boy (George) with wife Teal as well as a film for Amazon Care with his 11-year-old non-speaking Autistic son Liam.
Sean was touting Liam’s commitment and screen skills, as well as mum’s after she landed a part, too.
“We are very proud of Liam for bringing representation of the Autism community to this short film and the effort he put in to over 3 days of filming,” Sean wrote, so nice job Liam and Fam and those are the kinds of notes we like to get from our MIAs.
Don’t wait so long to write next time.