MH@H Mental Health

It’s Not Fair Who Dies (and Who Doesn’t) from COVID

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Image by Johannes Plenio from Pixabay

I got thinking about this a little while ago when I was commenting on a post by B of Convolute Me.  I had mentioned that those of us who are okay with dying are unlikely to be the ones actually taken down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Life isn’t fair that way.

While that may sound suicidal, it’s not meant that way, and I’m not suicidal.  But I do feel certain that the best years of my life are behind me, because that would be the years when I was well, so I feel good to go pretty much whenever.  I’m not thinking about hastening that along, but I have no problem with the idea of dying.

I suspect I’m not the only one that feels that way.  Whether it’s an issue of chronic mental illness, physical illness, or something else, I’m sure there is a chunk of people who wouldn’t mind taking the place of some of the people that have been hit with the coronavirus.

Life’s not fair that way, though.  And really, life’s not fair in general.  We like to think it is, but it’s not.

So here we are in the middle of the pandemic.  The coronavirus will infect whoever it happens to come in contact with.  Many will live, but some will die.  People with nothing to lose may live, while people who have everything to lose may die.  None of that makes any difference; events will unfold as they unfold.

And while COVID-19 might be the most in people’s face right now, there are many other conditions that take far more lives.  None of them care whether people are ready to die or not.

Taking a bit of a meandering turn here, longevity runs in my family.  Multiple people lived past 90 and even a few past 100.  The chances of me living that long are far too high for my liking.  I’m only 41, so I’m probably not even halfway through.  That is not a good thing at all from where I stand; that’s far, far too many years left.

And yet most likely I won’t be one of the lives lost to this pandemic, or to one of the many other things that end lives prematurely.  Funny (not funny ha-ha) how these things work.

And again, I’m not suicidal.  These are just some musings on the unfairness of the world.

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57 thoughts on “It’s Not Fair Who Dies (and Who Doesn’t) from COVID”

  1. You’re so right! Life is so weirdly random!! But I seriously hope you don’t get the coronavirus and die! I’m so happy to know you!

    You want to hear something trippy about the virus, and who gets it, and who doesn’t get it? I was thinking about this the other day, and my cousin Andy’s wife, Stacy, who has Munchausens, is probably bending over backward trying to get the virus. [Shakes head and rolls eyes.] She’s probably envious, too, of all the medical attention that the coronavirus patients are receiving now. (In my mind, being in the hospital with coronavirus would be hellish and chaotic, but in her mind, she’s probably coveting it.) Whenever I think about that, I just laugh and laugh. I mean, all these people have a horrible, scary virus, and she’s not getting any attention at all! What is WRONG with the world?

    But the randomness of it–please don’t discount the value of your life! Yes, the coronavirus may be random, but your life has so much value. I’m so glad you’ve only got the horrid sinus infection!! We need you to stay alive!!

  2. Omg. Ive been saying something similar for most of my life. I say “it seems that the people that want to live, die young and those of us that are eager to get off this planet are doomed to live for 100 years.” My paternal grandmother actually lived to be 103 and her life was less than exciting. I pray that I don’t get stuck here that long (I’m 41 yrs old too). I feel like I’ve done pretty much all I was meant to do in terms of the life cycle. I’ve lived through a hellish childhood, had 3 kids, been married and divorced a few times, lived in 5 different states, etc etc. Like really. Ive never been scared of death and once my youngest is independent I wouldn’t mind a bit to see whats on the other side. I’m not going to take my life but I’m in agreement with you and I love this post. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Nature has its ways. It’s fair and not, it’s beautiful and it is not. We tend to think that it is all beautiful but the truth is that it is the survival of the fittest. And many may die just ‘because’. That is just my opinion though.

  4. I am one of those in ‘your’ camp, although I am probably more suicidal than you are. I’m watching that carefully and if it gets overwhelming, I’m plugged into appropriate support. I would not mind greatly taking anyone’s place who will die from this horrible virus. The boys (my dogs) probably would mind. The pets (your piggies and my dogs) are the best reasons people like us, who have accepted our mortality and even welcome it, have for sticking around and not getting sick. I remind myself of the boys every time I find more reasons that I wish I’d die. Like you, most of my family lives a long time. That’s sheer hell to face, although at 60 I’m nearer the end mark possibly than you are and you have my sincere sympathies for that. It’s just one of life’s little surprises that those of us who are pragmatic about dying usually survive. You take care and keep writing. I’m enjoying your perspective and encouraging words.

  5. We think we understand what you are saying and how you feel. We find comfort in your self-awareness and accepting mindset. We will enjoy the richness you add to our life while we exist in relationship

    We are 48. Maternal grandmother ended her life at 103. She could have continued. Loss of control of her bowels was her last straw, she said. The loss of her favorite child may have played an unspoken role, too. Cancer is rampant on both sides, so there that…

  6. I understand where you are coming from with this and I have kind of felt the same, ever since from when I was waiting for those results on my breast.

  7. I get when you’re coming from Ashley and unfortunately, my side live into their 90’s too. I’m not suicidal either but I really don’t want to around that long. Yuk. But life is life and whatever’s going to happen will!

  8. I understand what you mean. My grandmother is over 100 years old. I would hate to be that old. My son has suffered ill health since he was 6 and he’s 20 now. If only I could make him better, but I can’t … You don’t have to be suicidal to want to take away someone else’s suffering … And you don’t have to be suicidal to not want to live forever … ~Marie~

  9. You expressed that very cogently. It’s clear that you are not suicidal. I don’t know the full extent of your condition; but I do feel that there is quite a bit of likelihood that you will be more well in the future. I am a lot healthier now than I was twenty years ago, both physically and mentally. Life is not a straight line to death.

  10. I have spent many decades wishing for death or imagining going away, stop feeling the pain. But today, I want to imagine living…until the day I die. In fact i dont feel like dying till i have lived….hehe…you certainly got me thinking Ashley….thank you. 🙂

  11. Wow, it’s strange because at times I feel very much the same even though yeah I have my faith at times it’s like, I just want to die…and you just get tired of fighting.
    When you have mental illness, every day is a battle no matter what. And it doesn’t much matter what is going on in the world, because you still have to battle and live with yourself every day. If we have a complex relationship with ourself in any way, then this makes life a challenge.
    I just wanted to say though, that I’m glad you are here Ashley.

      1. Yes and just because like I say I believe in what I do, I tell you truthfully that there are days I want to give up so bad.
        As soon as the Covid19 hit, I thought about getting it and dying, and even said to my hubby about it, in a kind of joking way, but i wasn’t joking!

          1. I agree. Nobody ever said it would be easy I guess.
            If I didn’t have my faith though I would have given up. Even with hope it is difficult. But without hope
            , there is nothing.
            You’ve probably heard of the two men in hospital, one cannot sit up in bed so all he can see is the ceiling. The guy in the next bed, gets talking to him and describes to him in detail what is happening outside the window each day, he talks about the birds, trees, weather, what people are doing, all sorts of stuff… and the effect on the patient that cannot sit up, is it gives him a boost, to keep going. It keeps his spirits up!
            One day, the guy who has been doing all the talking, he gets taken home, and he says goodbye…
            The incapacitated man thinks about what the man was telling him, and about outside etc…
            The nurse later, tells this guy, he can finally sit up, and he asks to be put near the window, however, the nurse says, there are no windows here.
            So he enquired of the other patient who was there, and they told him he was blind.

            Story is that, the guy who was blind and even though there was no window, he had hope, or faith, and that kept him strong.

            Sometimes it’s being able to see the sunshine, even though it may be dark. The sun still shines, and is still out there, but at that time you just cannot see it.

            I guess this is what my hope and faith help me to do.

  12. I’m sad (and angry) I’m seeing this late but what a post! The reason I love your blog so much is because it’s authentic. There are times when I too feel like I have lived some of my best days and there won’t be more to come and I too am somehow okay with dying and switching lives with someone who has covid-19. It’s so weird and I’m not suicidal either! It’s just the fact that I’m okay with the whole idea of death.

          1. Yeah no definitely for some people it’s rather scary but for those who’re okay with the idea of it should talk about it more and normalise it like you did😊

  13. I know I’m not ok with death, because I feel like I finally want to live after 20 years of wanting to die. But I also know that I could die tomorrow – no one really knows. My goal would be to reach a point where I’m indifferent to death, and willing to pass on… hopefully after a god life, not the old suicidal despair.

      1. I hope so too, my friend ❤ And I hope you can hit upon a treatment that helps you significantly with your depression. You deserve to savour life ❤

  14. Yes, talking about death is not always pessimistic, I wrote in one of my posts. For good mental health, we need a listening ear not a judging ear. Above all, dependency on God!

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