Thursday, March 19, 2020

The 5%, Cystic Fibrosis and the Corona Virus.

Georgetown sent all their students home in the wake of the Corona Virus Pandemic.  Well most.  Kate, my beautiful daughter, is staying.  You see Georgetown felt their students were safest at home.  And for the most part, they are.  Kate has Cystic Fibrosis and home is Westchester County NY.  The largest cluster of the Corona Virus in the Country.  Georgetown decided it was not safe for Kate to come home.  Which is heartbreaking.

Why is the largest cluster of the Corona Virus in Westchester, NY?  World travelers, family in China, Italy?  No, it is the home of one arrogant lawyer named Lawrence Garbuz, who having traveled through a NYC airport in February, long after the virus was making headlines, got sick.  He went on to infect hundreds. I will get back to that.

My children, diagnosed early on with CF, are no strangers to staying home.  I remember when I was first told about how their Cystic Fibrosis would manifest itself.  They would get repeated lung infections. The infections would damage their lungs, so much so that their lungs would not function.  I came up with the perfect solution, they would never leave the house.  I would keep them safe.  That worked well until Jack learned how to walk.  He walked and then he ran.  He ran right out the front door,  kate followed and from then on there was no holding them back.

I learned to try and keep them safe.  Relying on those around them to do the right thing.  Sick? stay home.  Coughing, fever?  Stay home.  Be responsible.

I have spent their lives keeping them safe.  Jack has struggled, but two months ago went on Trikafta,  a life saving drug for those with Cystic Fibrosis.  I thought I am home free.  And then the Corona Virus hit.

It only affects the five percent. That is what we were told early on.  Let me tell you something about the five percent.  When Jack was seven months old, they wanted to test him for Cystic Fibrosis.  He had been so sick.  I was told "Mrs. Clark, there is a 95% chance he does not have it."  He did and he does.  So I am familiar with 5%.

Back to the lawyer.  Most families are together during this crisis.  Mothers are looking after their children who for the most part are not at risk.  I am not. I am mother with a child who is most at risk.  She is not here.

The lawyer, very symptomatic, refused to stay home. He attended three large gatherings in two weeks, a wedding, a funeral and a bar mitzvah.  He continued to travel on metro north.  He is responsible for the largest cluster in the US.

To you Lawrence Garbuz, I hope the party was worth it.

#cysticfibrosis #coronavirus #coronavirusny 

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