Last month, WW published a first-person account by Rebecca Levison, a Portland woman who flew to the East Coast to nurse her ailing mother, Peggy Levison, a psychologist who lived in Edgewater, N.J.
Levison's health deteriorated and she was eventually hospitalized for 11 days after a positive test for COVID-19. While in the hospital, she kept in touch with her therapy patients.
On April 9, Levison left the hospital and returned home. She looked forward to the day when states of emergency in New Jersey and New York would be lifted, and hoped to return to her practice in Greenwich Village, where she had worked since 1978.
That was not to be, Rebecca Levison informed WW over the weekend.
Here's her account of what happened:
My mother died May 1 in these COVID times.
She beat the corona virus and then it beat her. She was released from an 11-day hospital stay on April 10 and grew stronger and stronger. Ten-minute walks became easy, breathing exercises, quarter squats and stretching became a daily practice. It's a miracle! She's recovered! A week back from the hospital, she was talking about going back to work.
Optimistic, I headed back across the country. Desolate airports and no coffee on the plane. Eerie terminals and shuttered stores. Then, her heartbeat began to fluctuate on the oximeter, so she was fitted with a heart monitor. Labored breathing brought her to urgent care. Urgent care sent her to the ER with X-rays in hand and pneumonia in her lungs. She was released from the hospital after a few hours with a third round of steroids, antibiotics and cough medicine. In these COVID times medical oversight is erratic.
But on May 1, her heart stopped beating, we think. Was it a clot? Was it cardiac arrest? We will never know. In these COVID times, there are no autopsies. There is no "viewing of the body." There are no answers. There's shock and questions and grief.
In these COVID times, there are no funerals or memorials or shivas. There's no hugging or holding hands with friends who stop by to bring food or flowers or just to say sorry for your loss.
In these COVID times, there are calls, texts, Messenger, Facebook posts, comments, photos, Marco Polo, video chats and memories. There's still love in these COVID times, we are just finding new ways of showing it.