The Price of Fear

Earlier today on Twitter I asked you for your own stories of how lockdowns and travel restrictions and vaccine mandates have touched your lives.

So many of you have emailed already, and I must admit that the intimacy of these stories stuns me. Some of my closest friends are friends no longer, so I understand your sense of loss firsthand.

Still, the raw pain and in some cases open bewilderment in these stories is stunning. Marriages torn apart, grandparents who will no longer see their grandchildren, kids with special needs ruined.

Giving these a proper hearing means running them at some length, which means I can only run a couple at a time. I’ll run them from time to time, grouped by subject.

Tonight, marriages:

On a post-vaccination miscarriage and the pain that followed (warning, this is particularly dark):

I had thought she was refusing the shot, and dealing with all of the work-related pressure (wearing a mask in the office and being branded an anti-vaxxer, despite her pregnancy excuse) because she believed what I was telling her.  Ultimately, I came to find out that she would have gotten the shot earlier except for my strong stance against it.

…she received a call from HR.  HR informed her that “someone” has reported her for not wearing a mask despite her unvaxxed status.  She panicked, and following encouragement from vaxxed coworkers, signed up for a shot that evening.  She called me hysterical at about 6pm to tell me she was getting the shot at 6:30pm.  I pleaded with her not to do it, and tried to convey the impact it would have on our relationship, but she went through with it anyway.  

At home, later that evening, she told me that she was not against the shot but had only refrained because of my position.  I felt betrayed that she didn’t value what I believe to be one of my greatest strengths and passions, the pursuit of truth.  But it was not until she admitted she would consider shots for our two kids that I became livid, and told her that my kids would only receive the shot over my dead body…

A few days later, the damage got worse when she suffered an awful miscarriage.  It was so bad, and she was bleeding so much that she had to be rushed to the hospital for blood transfusion and D&C.  And I wasn’t a big enough person to look past her betrayal to provide any support whatsoever.  I couldn’t feign concern because I knew she had brought the miscarriage upon herself. [emphasis added] Rather, I felt for my loss, both of a relationship where my views were considered and valued and of my unborn child.  I let her mom take her to the hospital, when she felt like she was dying, and I tried to leave her later that week in the hospital, after she was stable, but instead agreed to give it another chance.  

I am happy to report that we have worked through some of our issues and now have a happy and healthy third child… but I’ll never forget what the mandates took from me: (1) a relationship of unlimited potential with my wife and (2) my unborn child.   

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