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  • Writer's pictureEdie Montreux

Letter from (Self-Imposed) Quarantine: May 19

It really isn't quarantine when your governor never officially closed the state and now practically everything is open or will be open by June 1. Meanwhile, people continue to test positive for COVID-19 and the death counts fluctuate daily, no steady two-week downturn in sight.

Mark your calendars: I'm about to talk about my birthday, even though I hate it and don't want to tell anyone. My birthday is coming up this weekend. I hate it for so many reasons, but the biggest is the obligatory family visit that must happen, not just because it's my birthday, it's also my brother's birthday weekend. Our birthdays always fall around Memorial Day. He usually gets to spend his big day watching auto racing and ignoring everyone. I'm not so lucky.

I love my parents, and I love my brother. Even so, I have always hated my birthday. I'm forced to wear a smile and pretend I enjoy being "celebrated" while existing in the same space with the one person I know has hated me since the day I was born, if she even bothers to show up. We never know because she doesn't tell us until the last minute. This year, it's too close to our "liberation from quarantine," so anything could happen.

My dad will turn eighty this year, and my mom is seventy-seven. They are healthy, but age makes them high-risk for COVID-19. Meanwhile, Lemur is still going to work daily with folks whose live-in relatives had COVID-19. He's been damn lucky (or asymptomatic, who knows). I'm not willing to take any chances with my parents' health. I'm not living with that guilt. Could you?

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