Positively Negative: An Evening in the COVID Tent

Brian Gene White
Apr 19 · 22 min read
Can be found originally on Medium at https://medium.com/@briangenewhite/positively-negative-an-evening-in-the-covid-tent-a1c35bb83a96

I’m laid up on the couch, Hawkeye and BJ on the screen, and the nostalgic smell of spring whiffleball in the air. Spring has sprung and there’s no baseball. It’s been a week. Hell, it’s been a few weeks. I’m tired. This is the first time I’ve tried to write, really try to write, in a while. These are the first words I’ve put down since I got to personally participate in the pandemic.
— —
A few weeks ago, my asthma was starting to act up again. Trouble breathing and pressure in the chest. The world was shutting down so the solution was a phone appointment.
“Okay, to make sure this is Brian, can I get your date of birth?”
“December blah blahdy-blah.” You don’t think I’d give out my full birthday would you? Just enough to get happy birthday texts but not enough for you to know how old I am. I know…age is relative. But so is identity theft.
“What’s wrong?”
“I have asthma (always lead with asthma, it helps the Doc with everything else) but this issue has been steady for a while and my inhalers don’t seem to be working. I’m having trouble breathing, a pressure on my chest, sore throat, achy, and fatigue.”
The doctor, like me, thought asthma due to the fact that anything that can grow in California will grow in California. My asthma tends to act up in March and October, when things bloom and die. He prescribed another stronger inhaler and said they weren’t doing breathing treatments anymore as that could aerosolize COVID. If the asthma keeps up, call back.
An asthma attack, for the lucky uninitiated, is when your airways narrow and make it difficult to breathe. To put it another way: imagine a small, terrified man living in your chest pulling the emergency break that is your breathing tubes whenever something doesn’t agree with him. Sometimes this is your standard movie fare — wheezing, shoot the inhaler, then Piggy can run from the bullies. “Sucks to your ass-mar,” etc. Sometimes, for me, it’s not a full wheeze, just my lungs not getting enough oxygen. Once, that I can remember at least, it caused pressure on my chest and I thought I was having a heart attack. I’ve had trouble breathing my whole life. There are periods it doesn’t bother me at all like when I ran a marathon. Some periods it kept me inside. You learn the tricks, try to stay active, keep calm when you’re losing your breath, keep your inhalers close, and take care of yourself.
After about 8 days, my breathing remained inconsistent and the pressure on my chest seemed to be getting worse. I gave myself another few days to make sure it wasn’t anxiety building on asthma. Another phone appointment and…
“Just so I can make sure this is Brian, can I get your date of birth?”
“December blah, blahdy-blah.”
“What’s wrong?”
“I have asthma but this has been getting worse *gasp* for a while and my inhalers haven’t been working. I’m having trouble breathing, a heavy pressure on my chest *gasp* which has been getting worse, sore throat, achy, and fatigue. No. No fever. No. No cough.” Get thee to a testing center. In particular, get thee to the “Duet Tent,” at least that’s what he called it. I didn’t have the focus to rip off a few one-liners to Laura about the name of the tent.
As I’ve been working from home, I changed from gym shorts to jeans, grabbed a bandana to wrap around my nose and mouth and we head to Laura’s car, looking ready to rob a train. I’m terrified. You know what helps someone who has trouble breathing? Putting something over their mouth. Our apartment building is, I’m sure, like everyone else’s: some folks are taking this situation seriously, some are assholes. Folks are walking around without masks on, kids running, but lots of wonderful puppies pooping outside of our apartment. As we walk up the stairs to the car, we both notice it’s raining. In my rush, I threw on tennis shoes and didn’t throw on a jacket.
Side note: We had to take Laura’s car, Ginger. My car, Grace, has a dead battery due to the fact that I haven’t driven her in a while. Yes, our car’s have names. Yes, I’m aware that I need to get the battery fixed. No, it is not anywhere near the top of my priorities right now.
The stairs didn’t help with the breathing. The mask didn’t help with the breathing. Nothing was helping with the breathing. My glasses fogged up. Blind, shivering, and struggling, I plopped into the passenger seat, already exhausted. It’s almost impossible to explain the miracle of driving in L.A. during rush hour during “Safer-at-Home.” As someone who has a relatively light evening commute of 45 minutes to get home, being able to hop on the highway and approach our destination in 10 minutes was one for the personal history books.
Someone texts, asking for our address. They were going to drop off homemade masks. I tell them thank you but we’re on our way to the ER. They send love and wait for news. Another friend calls as we were approaching the ER. I answered the phone but didn’t say what was happening. I barely listened to a word he said (I later apologized for this) and heaved in and out, bandit-ed up and glasses a-foggy.
— —
If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the ER during this time, you are blessed. I am fortunate enough to live in beautiful Southern California, working a supportive job with benefits and while Kaiser is usually used as a punch-line for the healthcare system, they seem to have their shit together with this situation. I am fortunate and grateful. To consolidate their staff, they have shut down centers and are diverting folks to specific locations and only for those who need to go in. They are hoping everyone will have a phone or video appointment before they physically go to get help, unless it’s an emergency.
This is where fear grabs hold. At the entrance of the ER, a woman is in the full COVID- protective regalia: eye shield and face mask. This world is real. This isn’t the news. I breathe in as deep as I can and try my best to describe my symptoms. My heart feels like it’s about to beat out of my chest.
“Date of birth?”
“December blah, blahdy blah”
“What’s wrong?”
“I have asthma but this has been getting worse for a while and my inhalers don’t seem to be working. *Gasp* I’m having trouble breathing, a pressure on my chest, *Gasp* sore throat, achy, and fatigue.”
She plops me down, takes my temp and blood oxygen level. I take out my phone while she screens hospital workers. “I just got scared,” I type to Laura with one hand, my body lurching with labored breath, breath that steams up my glasses. I don’t send. Delete delete delete.
“I’ve got someone coming, will she need to do this too?”
The nurse informs me that Laura cannot and will not be joining me. She says this as Laura approaches the automatic doors from the garage. I hold my hand up in “HALT.” She stops, eyes wide and frozen. I wave her back to the car as if Cody Bellinger made a diving catch and she has to tag-up.
Is this it? Is this the last time I see her?
“You can’t come in” — I text.
“Okay. I’ll be in the car. Let me know when to pick you up.” — she replies.
The nurse informs me that I’ll most likely have to stay quarantined from Laura.
Well, fuck. We don’t have that big of an apartment. And we’ve been around each other a lot in the past few weeks because…well…where the hell are we going to go?
“What does that mean?” — Laura texts back.
“Sorry. I’ll find out more. Thank you for your patience.” -I write.
“Okay. I mean, if you have it, I probably have it. You’re welcome.”
I know she doesn’t mean “you’re welcome” for the COVID, she means you’re welcome for the patience but it still makes me smile. I find my humor coming back because this is all so strange and terrifying and since my jester won’t be by my side, I’ll have to bring my own smiles. She makes me laugh even when I don’t show it. That’s probably a little selfish on my part. A joke, if found funny, should be paid off with a laugh. It doesn’t have to be big: a titter, a giggle, a loud smile…something.
After I thanked the nurse for all she was doing, she hands me an actual mask (which makes me feel like Hawkeye Pierce) and escorts me part of the way to the COVID Isolation Tent. Was this the “Duet Tent?” No one told me if this was the “Duet Tent.” What is so “Duet-y” about this tent? I trudge through the rain, shivering in my Dodgers/USC Night hoodie, glasses wet and steamy from my filtered labored breathing. Tennis shoes were a bad idea. As I shiver around to the front flap, a new nurse puts his phone down, looks over at me.
Nope…this is the full COVID- protective regalia: a ventilated protective suit. I am officially in Outbreak.
“Date of birth?”
“December blah blahdy-blah.”
“What’s wrong?”
“I have asthma but this has been getting worse *gasp* and my inhalers don’t seem to be working. I’m having trouble breathing, a pressure on my chest, sore throat, achy, *gasp* and fatigue.”
He plops my shivering bones down, takes my temperature, again, checks my blood oxygen level, again, depresses me by weighing me, and then takes my blood pressure. The blood pressure is high. So high they ask if I have a history of high blood pressure?
This feels like a high blood pressure moment, don’t it?
“Family-wise? Yes. Me? No,” I murmur through the mask as my arteries and veins attempt to burst forth from their skin prison. They escort me from the front flaps to my corral. This tent is broken up into a few small corrals, separated by canvass and privacy screens with medical instruments filling up a few. The rain steady on the tent, dripping on the sides, puddles filling up along the sides as I sit in #1.
Corral #1: Water stained cement, a plastic party chair, and a space heater. Thank God for the space heater. I am to wait here. My phone is dying. I feel like E.T., isolated and cold and pale. The Doc pops in, full COVID-protective ventilator suit. I weakly wave.
“Date of birth?”
“December blah, blahdy-blah.”
“I talked to you on the phone a few weeks ago. Here’s the deal. I think it’s asthma. Why don’t we have you on steroids?”
“I don’t know, why don’t you?”
“You’re right. That’s on us. I’m sorry. We’ll give you the test and we’re gonna x-ray your chest. I think it’s asthma though so I’m gonna prescribe the prednisone and we’ll get you out of here.”
And like that, he’s gone. I fill in my boss to the testing. I tell Laura the running theory.
“I’m sorry, Sweetie.” -I text
“No apologies. I didn’t want you to have to come alone.” -She responds.
I send her a text of the blank tent flap, the space heater, and the laminated number “1” taped to the entrance of my corral.
“I don’t know, some drapes, a few throw pillows, it could be quite nice…” — she quotes back. It makes me laugh and laughing hurts.
The hum of generators and space heaters.
Stillness.
Someone in another corral coughs.
Hum.
Still.
Hum.
Is that music?
Someone’s listening to music. Hum.
Shiver. Breath.
Fog.
Heave. Breath. Fog.
Hum.
The nurse rounds the corner to escort me to the x-ray, nearby but separate.
“Brian?” the technician asks.
“Yup.”
“Just to make sure, can I get your date of birth?”
“December Blah, Blahdy-blah.”
“Sounds good. Stand facing that wall, arms out. A little closer. A little to the left. Hold still. Take a deep breath. Hold it in.”
Flash.
“We got it. Thanks.”
Back through the dripping, freezing rain into the frigid tent.
“Back to one?” I ask the nurse. I smile behind my mask.
Tough crowd. The nurse obviously has never worked in film and t.v. I go back to one. I hear the music again. One of the nurses is watching something on their phone. They’re just trying to get through the day. Every day. Thankfully, this tent isn’t overrun. Thankfully, no one here is exhausted yet. Thankfully, she can listen to music right now.
The chair is cold and uncomfortable. My back is hurting, my breathing still sucks. I put my shoes up to try and dry them out by the space heater. My body is shaking from the rain and cold and fear. My hands are painfully dry as they hover over the space heater. I take a close look at them.
On the left middle finger, the blood oxygen sensor dangles off the end, Harrison Bergeron incarnate. On the right arm, my hospital wristband: “White, Brian — D.O.B.: 12/BLAH/ BLAHDY-BLAH.” I look up at the stage lighting dangling from the event tent. Event companies must be making a killing on the pandemic. Probably not the only ones.
In comes the nurse with the swab to give The Test, these famous tests, the ones nobody has enough of…The Test. You know what runs through my mind?
“Should they be wasting one of these tests on me?”
Here I am, sitting in the tent, struggling to breath, like someone is sitting on my chest, freezing in this cold-ass tent and my character defects and self-pity creep into my head. Am I worthy? After an hour of Operation Space Heater, I was worthy of the damn test.
“Date of birth?”
“December *gasp* blah, Blahdy-blah.”
The Test consists of a long slender q-tip with swabs on both ends. It looks harmless enough, flimsy and padded but when the aliens come and prepare us for our mummification, this is the instrument they’ll use. The first end of the swab was stuck down my throat, past the gag reflex, and roto-rooted for a sample. But that’s only part one. Part two goes up the nose. Ya ever have an itch at the back of your brain? Use one of these to get it. I didn’t know what sound to make but my body wanted to make some noise so out came a “Whaump.”
The nurse looked at me.
I looked back.
The nurse pulled the Q-Tip Mjolnir out of my nose and said we were done. I thanked him again for all of the work they’re doing. He smiled, walked away, and left me alone in the COVID-Corral to snivel and shiver. The Doc rounded the corner.
“I don’t think it’s COVID. I think we should’ve put you on steroids a few weeks ago. I’m sorry about that.” You don’t often hear a doctor apologizing.
“Well, this whole thing kind of screws everything up. I imagine it all has to go through the corona lens.” I was slumped over, looking like Weekend at Bernie’s: COVID edition.
“We’ll bring the prescription to you. Hang out here. As we’ve tested you, you’ll need to isolate yourself until the results come in.”
“Thanks.”
And he was off. How healthcare workers are staying sane right now, I don’t know. I noticed my phone was low on battery and needed to get this information to Laura who had been so patient in the car. I actually don’t know if she was patient. I was here and she was there. She could’ve been ripping up the seats for all I knew. From past experience, being the other person, the one waiting, has always been worse. The isolated worry, physical distance chock loaded with emotional sandbags.
“Almost done. X-ray looks fine. Quarantine at home til results come in. Prescribing steroids on a tapering off schedule.” -I texted.
“Great! How much longer? I have to pee.” — She texted back.
“Sorry. As soon as the meds come, I’m gone.” I apologize a lot when I’m sick. I apologize a lot when I’m well. I apologize a lot when I’m inconveniencing people or at least think I’m inconveniencing people.
Hum.
Stillness.
Hum.
“Let’s Duet. In ways that make us feel good.”
Hum.
“Let’s Duet. And make that sacred vow.”
Why the hell is a song from “Walk Hard” stuck in my head? Why, with everything that’s going on, is that stupid, hilarious, sexual-innuendo-packed Dewey Cox song stuck in my head? Oh right, the Duet Tent.
Hum.
Hum.
Twenty minutes later, my back aching, my chest pressing, fog-in, fog-out of my specs.
“Sorru” -I typo.
“Should I go into the other building and use the bathroom?” Her bladder was at its limit.
“I don’t know, Sweetie. We’ve been here an hour with 15 minutes of action.”
Five minutes pass… “Argh!!!” — She texts.
“Go!”
“Okay”
And I imagine she ran through the rain right about here. Of course, this was also the time that nurse rounded the corner with my meds. He explained them thoroughly and quickly, escorted me to the front of the tent, noticed I had a hood, reminded me to put it on, and sent me back into the wild, through the rain to the parking garage. As I dangled my glasses at the front of my nose, I found Ginger waiting patiently.
“Found the car. Love you.”
I stood there, shivering next to the car, my socks soaked through the tennies. I saw a quick-shuffling Laura, looking relieved walking up the ramp towards me unlocking the car. As the beep rang out through the garage, I jumped in and tried to warm up. I was exhausted and ready to pass out right there. Laura got in, her eyes wide with empathy and fear. A kind, sad smile impressed against her bandana. She wanted to touch me. I wanted her to touch me. We both knew that wasn’t going to happen.
With the heater cranked up, I took off my glasses, leaned back in the seat and debated calling my folks. It was late on the east coast and I didn’t have any information. Guess I’ll wait ’til I have something solid. The pressure on the chest was heavy. I lugged my way into the apartment, stripped down, threw everything in the washer and took a shower. Afterwards, I threw on my biggest Dodgers sweatshirt, coziest sweatpants, and kept my distance from Laura. She walked right up to me and hugged me.
“If you’ve got it, I’ve already got it. We sleep in the same bed.”
It was needed, it was most likely true, and it was incredibly stupid.
— —
In bed that night, the pressure got worse, moving into pain territory, the breathing labored. I spent the following day resting, watching a Dodgers-Orioles game from 2019, dozing off every few innings. The wonderful Smithpatricks dropped off homemade masks and I was able to wave at them from our very small balcony. They were so close and so far away but thankfully their voices are powerful. They’re theatre people. It would’ve been nice to give them a hug but I didn’t feel it appropriate to Typhoid Mary two of my best friends.
The blood pressure was still pumping pumping pumping. I waited for the doctor to call with the results. If it wasn’t COVID, I wanted to know what the hell it was. No call. The next morning, I worked from home, with the pressure pushing harder, and my breathing struggling more, doing breathing exercises to calm myself down, expecting to hear the results at any time. Come closing of work, I get an e-mail, not a phone call with my results.
Negative.
Cool.
Then what the fuck is wrong with me, I think, as I take a hit of an inhaler that is not and has not been working. I’m worse than two days before. I called for another phone appointment.
“Date of birth?
“December blah, blahdy-blah.”
“What’s wrong?”
You know how this goes…
After a long conversation on the phone, letting the person on the other end know that the pressure and the breathing seemed to be getting worse along with the fact that the test came back negative, they sent me to the Urgent Care. They forwarded along my info so I wouldn’t be hassled and they would let me in. It was raining. Again. Laura seemed impatient this time. I was impatient this time. We sniped at each other. I thought I was having a heart attack and I couldn’t breathe.
There is a certain amount of slack needed to be cut to the asthmatic’s companion: all they can do is watch someone they love struggle to breath. The longer it goes on, the harder it is to comprehend how long someone can struggle for air. Thanks to laundry, I was actually wearing the same damn shirt as my previous visit. It was clean. I threw on my Dodgers hat, a jacket, and my boots because I was thinking clearer. One of the main but difficult things to remember as an asthmatic is to remain calm. Your body is struggling for air, the more stress you add to that, the harder it will be. Doing my best breathing exercises, I apologized for being snippy in the car.
Urgent Care was locked down. When you arrive, they give you a number. You stay in the car and call. They take down your symptoms and react accordingly.
“Date of birth?”
“Defemfer Vefif, bla-y bleh.”
The nurse couldn’t understand me because I was talking through my new mask. I ripped it off and continued. She finally understood, said the doctor would call shortly and left us fogging up the windows.
*BuzzBuzz*
On my phone was a text message, a link to a video. There were doggies and a sports announcer. It was cute. It was funny. It was exactly what I needed at that moment. It was what Laura needed at that moment. I let my friend know and I hope it was what she needed at that moment.
BuzzBuzz* *BuzzBuzz* *BuzzBuzz*
“Date of birth?”
Back to the ER. Back to the Tent. The symptoms were too close to COVID, even though the test was negative, even though there was no cough, even though there was no fever (I was consistently at 99, which actually is high for me as I run a little cooler.) They didn’t want to expose anyone, understandably, so back we went…only, in order to keep traffic flowing during the day, the parking lot was one way. The ER was across the street and we had to go the long way.
To the officer: “So, you’re telling me that we have to take the long way around to the Emergency room?”
Officer: “Sorry, yeah.”
“Okay?”
And off we went, a mile drive to cross the street. Laura dumped me off…again. I waited six-feet away from the person in line in front of me but much warmer in my jacket and boots. Thankfully, it was a different nurse monitoring folks entering the ER. I say thankfully because I hope that other woman was getting some rest.
“Date of birth?
“December blah, blahdy-blah.”
“What’s wrong?”
“I’m having trouble *gasp* breathing, a pressure that has *gasp* turned into pain on my chest, sore throat, achy, and *gasp* fatigue. I was in here two days ago *gasp* and tested negative for COVID and I want to know *gasp* what the hell is wrong with me. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Thank you for everything you’re doing. I know there are *gasp* people a lot worse than I am right now. I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay, Sweetie.”
“I’m sorry.”
“Shit, forget it.”
She wraps my birthday back around my wrist, tapes the blood oxygen reader on my finger, and asks me if I would like an umbrella. She offered me an umbrella. I couldn’t believe it. I thank her for her kindness but tell her I am prepared this time with the jacket and hat and stumble my way out to the tent, glasses fogging once again, knowing exactly where to go but with less shivers this time.
“Date of birth”
Through the rigamarole again, the blood pressure was slightly lower but my chest was in pain. I didn’t get Corral #1 this time, this time they put me in #3. They immediately gave me the coldest EKG of my life. The cold. The rainy air. Me having to lift my shirt up so they can stick the stickies all over me. The harder I tried to stifle my shivering because I didn’t want the nurse to feel bad, the more I shook. As I looked up at the nurse, she reminded me of my friend Becky: tall, strong, kind eyes. I thanked her for all of the work she was doing. She smiled through her mask and said thank you.
“I hope everyone’s been thanking you.”
“They have. It’s funny, no one thanked us before and now everyone does.”
“I hope they keep doing it after this is over.”
“They won’t.”
“Well, thank you…even after this is over. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Now, I’m not going to pull those off yet in case they need to give you another one. Sounds like they’re going to give you another chest x-ray and blood tests.”
To spare you from going through the monotonous details of my misery, I’ll just say, that’s what they did, always asking for my birthday, in this cold, humming, scary white tent. I let work and a few friends know what was going on. I was ready to be home and warm. I asked Laura to let my folks know, she was willing but reminded me of how late it was and worried about worrying them with no information. She was right.
It was a little busier this evening. Corral #1 had been blocked off with a privacy screen. Someone was doing pretty crappy behind there. I was at least able to sit upright on this flimsy, little plastic chair, the EKG stickies pushing against my belly fat. Becky the Nurse kept checking in on me, half to make sure I was okay and half surprised that I was still there as it was taking a while for the blood tests to come back. In the slow moments, she was watching funny things on her phone. I urge you to keep posting funny things on the internet for Becky the nurse to watch during the lulls in chaos.
Eventually, a doctor appeared. No signs of heart attack, no signs of pneumonia nor did it look like I had COVID in my lungs. Good news.
“But I think you have it.”
“What? The test came back negative.”
“Yes, but the test is only 70% accurate. Your symptoms, the pressure you’re feeling, where you’re feeling it, what’s happening with your throat are all symptoms we’re seeing with our COVID patients. Now, it’s mild so we won’t have to admit you to the hospital but you will need to stay isolated. The nurse will give you instructions.”
“What about the medicine?”
“Keep taking the medicine. If the albuterol isn’t helping, you can stop taking that.”
“What am I supposed to do with the whole not-being-able-to-breathe thing? Just ride it out?”
“Ride it out. If it gets worse, you come back here right away.”
— —
We live in a one-bedroom apartment. A rather small one-bedroom apartment. It works for us because we like each other. A lot. We like being near each other. We like laying on the couch and putting our feet on each other or snuggling with each other or dancing with each other. Yes, I hear you retching at how “cute” that sounds but it works for us. We do not like staying away from each other. Laura needed a hug. I desperately wanted to give her one to let her know it will be okay. I didn’t.
We decided the couch would be better for me so I could isolate more upright. She could set up work in the kitchen and use the bedroom and bathroom while keeping the furthest distance from me. We set up the sheets and pillows, I painfully removed my EKG stickies, plopped on the couch, and let out a heaving sigh. Suddenly, I feel a hand on my head. No! What the hell are you doing! Stay away! raced through my head.
Laura had filled a glove with socks, put it on the end of a long stick, and was caressing my head. It wasn’t just for me. She needed it too. Of course, the glove fell off so we clipped it on with a paper clip. As I was tired but not sleepy, we watched an episode of M*A*S*H from our separate rooms. We were experiencing a long distance relationship in our one bedroom apartment.
Laura checked with her doctor, who thinks it’s asthma but either way, she shouldn’t be out in the world because I’m more susceptible to what’s out there. We’re in isolation, I am resting and hoping it isn’t COVID but acting as if it is. I haven’t had much of a cough, only when I laugh, my temperature is around 99 but the highest it’s been at 101.4. As COVID is the main lens all doctors are looking through right now, it doesn’t feel like anyone knows with certainty what is actually happening with me. I hope it’s the longest and strongest asthma episode I can remember versus something worse…but it does feel different than anything I’ve had before.
The next day we made the calls to family. This only added to the exhaustion. It’s not anyone’s fault but suddenly everyone we know is a doctor. Every time we’ve had to tell someone what is going on, they have offered their own medical opinions and questions. Thankfully I don’t have to add my birthday every time. Their concern and questions are out of love. Laura did the same thing: asking questions, hoping for a different answer because she didn’t want it to be COVID. I understand that because I don’t want it to be that either.
I feel for my mom. I can’t imagine having to be across the country from your son during this. She watched me grow up, struggling to breathe, I imagine this brings back some of those cruddy memories. There’s no fix but to “ride it out” as the doc said.
Through all of this, I am grateful and empathetic. Work has been great in letting me take time off. I know there are folks a lot worse off than I am, I am fortunate. I see all of my healthcare friends on Facebook fighting the good fight. We see the numbers come in, sometimes forgetting there are people behind those numbers. Life is hard enough without fighting to breathe.
I’ve been stretching. It helps when it feels like I got drop-kicked in the ribs, that beat-the- hell-up-a-few-days-ago-and-still-recovering kind of sore. I can smell. I can taste. The throat still hurts. I’m tired. And boy, am I tired of not being able to breathe all that well but I’ve got exercises to help with that. I watched Koufax pitch Game 7 of the 1965 World Series and napped in and out of it. I watched Jackie Robinson steal home from Yogi Berra with my Jackie jersey on. You may have noticed that I miss baseball and the Dodgers in particular. Laura and I started “The Wire” and we watch it when my mind is clearer and I have a lot of energy. I’ve lost seven pounds just from eating healthier and smaller portions. I’ve read Pericles and Vonnegut. I’ve slept when I could and rested when I couldn’t. When my breathing goes to shit, I sit upright, nice and tall and play “MLB The Show” to relax my mind. “Brian White” plays for the Dodgers and hit 90 home runs last season, all while Brian White fought for air on the couch. I watch M*A*S*H and empathize with doctors in terrible situations who try make the most out of their time. There are a lot of wonderful people in my life who send pictures and videos and cards and lemons and puzzles and milk. I’m going to be okay.
It took me a few days to write this because I have trouble focusing for long periods of time. I went into some detail, more detail than I anticipated, because I wasn’t sure how many folks knew what was going on in the tents. I wasn’t sure if folks knew what is happening outside of their zoom calls. Please isolate. Please take care of yourselves so Becky the Nurse doesn’t have to give you an EKG in a tent and then possibly need one herself.


Written by
Brian Gene White
Playwright, Dodger Fan, Hope Enthusiast