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April 10, 2020

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s intelligence, leadership, compassion, and generosity have earned my complete admiration. Wasting no time, he’s taken this novel coronavirus beast by its spurs and is working relentlessly to keep it from going viral. Stay-at-home mandates, strict social distancing – and fierce residents of this nation-state working together -- are proving to be significant factors that are keeping Covid-19’s spread at bay. I can’t help but liken him to Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow leading the crusade against the White Walkers.

As we shelter, we’re grateful that important doctor visits were taken care of before the end of last year. But we’re most thankful that a malignant tumor in Louie’s upper palate was discovered last summer. With two surgeries, the mass was successfully removed. It had not spread. For almost a year, Louie’s had check ups every six weeks to closely monitor any possible return of the cancer. So far, no sightings. But now with sheltering at home, Louie’s next visit (this week) would be virtual, something he’s not done before.

At 9:08 a.m. two days ago, Louie’s cell phone rings and I see his doctor’s name on the screen. I answer. “Hi, Athena, Louie and I have our virtual appointment this morning…” I run to hand Louie his phone as he’s sleeping. “Hi doc,” Louie says. “I’m so sorry, I was up until 2:00 a.m. working. But don’t worry, I’m going to my office to open my computer…”

I watched from the doorway as Louie signed in following the step-by-step conferencing instructions. His doctor appeared on the screen. Then Louie had to fiddle with the audio – all while shirtless with his fresh-out-of-bed hairdo. And just before starting the meeting, Louie said, “One more thing, Doc…I have to go to the little boys room…” Doctors are so patient.

It goes without saying that each and every day we say a prayer for every single person on the frontlines sacrificing their health and welfare to save the lives of others – and for those who have lost the battle.

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