Dorothy died from COVID on Dec. 21

This is to remind everyone that the 20,000-plus COVID dead are not numbers.


Dorothy died from COVID on Dec. 21

Dorothy died on Dec. 21, 2020 from COVID. When she was a little girl she would visit the horses in a corral at Edworthy Park in Calgary, hand feeding them the tall grasses from outside the corral, getting them to trust her and eventually riding them bare back. She thought horses were the most beautiful animal on earth.

In later years she would run a trail riding outfit and barrel race her daughters with her horse Yoyo. But horses weren’t her only passion. The four-legged love of her life, her dog, Toto, was No. 2 in North America in his category at flyball. She was a letter carrier for Canada Post for 28 years, after that, a cashier at a major grocers for over 10 years.

She was so looking forward to retiring in the Cowichan Valley this summer, in what her granddaughter called “the most beautiful place on earth”. Despite her being “careful”, she caught the virus near the end of November, in the hospital 21 days in December, keeping the nursing staff in stitches, each vying to be her caregiver. After first assessing they might be able to save her hand but would have to amputate her foot, she was pulled from the ventilator when they were sure she wasn’t going to make it and half an hour later she drew her last breath with her youngest daughter holding her hand. When the pandemic is over and it is safe to travel (so family and friends can be there), her ashes will be scattered where the wild horses of Alberta run, at which time she will be able to ride the wild horses forever.

This is not an obituary, that would be much longer. This is to remind everyone that the 20,000-plus COVID dead are not numbers. Each is a human being with a story to tell, leaving behind sadness, sometimes unbearable grief. It can take the old and the young, those with underlying health conditions or the healthy. Those that escape death are sometimes left with lingering symptoms as the body continues to fight itself, sometimes leaving permanent health conditions that will undoubtedly shorten life expectancies.

Obey the health guidelines and think of the deaths as too high a price to pay compared to a temporary inconvenience and that just because you caught it but didn’t die, that you have escaped its consequences. Be safe. Don’t be sorry.

Mervin Steg



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