Dystopian love story and the last survivor

I cautiously peek over the top of my phone where I am reading the latest news about the Coronavirus outbreak in the states. I see three, red eyed boys with drippy noses and droopy frowns gazing lethargically at the television. They’ve been coughing for hours, like flem fueled war drums marching ruin and despair to my peaceful homeland. My entire house stinks of mentholated “vaporub” and every surface is more sticky than usual. The skin on my hands is raw and cracking from compulsively washing them the way I would if I was forced to actually live inside of a Walmart restroom. This has become ground zero. Whatever has been “going around” has stopped by to infect my family. I am the only healthy one left. I am… the last survivor.

And this is what it means to be a parent.

It’s not glorious, at least not in a way that is simple to explain. My youngest son is still young enough to need me to hold and comfort him when he doesn’t feel well. Tonight, I tried to put a smile upon his uncharacteristically somber face by tickling his sides while hugging him. He coughed in my face. Correction, he coughed into my open mouth and I could feel the splatter hit my uvula.

Every fiber of my being yearned to drop him and run towards the bathroom where I could gargle listerine and lysol… but I instead swallowed that splatter with a smile and reassured him that he would be alright soon.

There is glory in this. Mostly it’s paranoia and disgust but also glory.

I will happily swallow my child’s virus infected spittle. This is perhaps the most meaningful statement that I will ever make about fatherhood.

Yet, there is hope. Hope that I shall prevail over this infection that has invaded my home.

Dad’s dont take sick days. I learned this from that Nyquill commercial but also it’s true. I honestly don’t have the time to get sick and so I intend to will my immune system into the ultimate, virus destroying machine. I have the added benefit of ten years of intensive, immune system, strength training.

And so I stand alone as the last survivor… I stare purposefully out my window at the gently falling snow which is dancing like a tragic love song in the silver moonlight. I clench my dry skinned fist in anger before drawing a smiley face on the glass and I vow that I will not get sick.

Not today, cold virus. Not today…