Tuesday, April 20, 2021

No Pressure

My friend Stephanie passed away due to COVID this morning. Age 36. 

Leaving behind five young children, and a grieving husband. 

I'm so sad and angry that I hardly know what to say...except that this. is. not. over.

Why does everyone think this is over? Here's a series of questions (from various individuals at church) that I've had to answer this week:
  • I would like to know how do you feel about having Activity Day in person. How comfortable are you for meeting in person? If you are not comfortable right now, when do you think you will be ready to meet?  
  • Parents - Will your children be coming to Primary? There is no pressure to do so, we just need to know numbers. 
  • Teachers - Will you return to teach in person? There is no pressure to do so, we just need to make sure we have enough teachers if we have kids returning.
  • Please sign up for YW camp by May 2. Be sure to sign the medical waiver!
All the while it's "no pressure, no pressure, no pressure." 

No pressure, but you're really dragging us down. 

No pressure, but we'd really like to get back to normal.

No pressure, but we're all really getting tired of Zoom. 

And I just...don't get it. 

I'm so mad. 

And I'm so sad.

I'm turning 36 this year. 

I have five beautiful children. 

I don't know how I feel about attending in-person anything right now.

That's a lie: I feel like "no, thanks."

I feel like if I had to choose between attending a Relief Society Ice Cream Social or remaining on earth with my children...I would choose...hmmmm...let me think... 

Decisions, decisions.

(I totally understand that not everyone who gets this disease dies. But we also don't get to decide who lives and dies, do we? We don't get to say whether we get the mild version of the disease or whether we end up in the ICU with ARDS and then...slip away. So I think I will make the choice where I can make the choice, which is fairly early on in the timeline).

(I totally understand that people are tired of social restrictions and zoom meetings. That's something they like to bring up—that people are tired of zoom. But, like, I've been living this quarantine lifestyle, too, so...I get it. And yet, I still choose it over the alternative. So if you could mean "no pressure" when you say "no pressure," that would be cool).


  1. I am soooo sorry about Stephanie. I liked her a lot. Last time I saw her in person seems like yesterday, but it was at her house after Brian's missionary farewell. So when Patrick was 20 or so? Those Hemples were good neighbors. Her death seems so personal because she was your age. You---Joy---Krystal--all you young moms from THS. I am so glad you are all alive!! So sad that Stephanie is not.

  2. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. :(

  3. My heart is breaking for you, and for Stephanie's family.

    I too, am struggling with this. I know that the church has left a lot of decisions about when to return up to local leadership, which makes some sense, because Bolivia is not Utah County, But could they not give some scientific guidelines? Like: you can have full second hour meetings when your county is at X level of transmission rate and Y level of vaccinations. Or you can hold nursery (where children under two can't wear masks) but you will need to make these x, y, z adjustments in your sanitizing and safety procedures. It all feels very arbitrary, and left up to lay-men who have no health training. My co-teacher feels she is being forced to go back before she's ready, (there has been no date given for when we are going back) and wants to ask to be released. She's already distanced herself from the church because behaviors by some members last spring and summer were so frustrating! It hurts to see the deepening divisions.

  4. I'm so sorry for the loss. I am worried as our mask mandate expired. I can even see my guard slipping sometimes. My 13 year old is still battling long term symptoms. What 13 year old should wake up in the middle of the night with chest pain because she played at Goblin Valley. I'm really scared for next winter when Influenza, RSV, and COVID all return with a vengeance. And you are right it is so hard to hear well so and so got it and it was not big deal. Luckily only my one child has gotten it and I and my husband are fully vaccinated. I can't wait until they lower the age and my oldest two can receive it. People are tired but I am like you; I would prefer to stay on earth since I am 37 and have 5 beautiful children that I would like to raise.

    1. That's awful that she's suffering long-term. I always hear about how it doesn't affect children as much...but I just worry about my little preemie's lungs (he's almost 9 now, but when he gets a cough he GETS A COUGH, you know?) and I just...I dunno. It's still scary. :/

    2. I do not think I will ever go through another winter without wearing masks. Like, the coolest thing--not only did I not get COVID but I never got a cold the whole winter! I know I am not alone in that! And I think that mask wearing had something to do with that. I am totally converted to the mask concept. Which people have been doing in Asia for decades. Smart.