Hell Week

When it rains it pours, right?

Yesterday, the 25th of August, is generally what I think of as the shitty conclusion of what I’ve come to call my own personal annual “hell week”, bookended between the date of my mom’s passing and her birthday. The 25th is her birthday, which is not exactly the easiest day, as you can imagine. So then yesterday morning I get the call that my grandmother, my mom’s mom, has died from covid. That was a kick in the gut, universe. You can stop kicking me, I’m already down.

This is the first time covid has hit so close to home for me, even though I knew by the sheer rule of numbers that it would happen sooner or later. You know when’s an extra shitty time to have it happen? On my dead mother’s birthday. To her mother. Dying in a nursing home in Mississippi. A strong proud fiery woman who worked hard her entire life and certainly didn’t deserve an end like that. So let’s have a real talk, because I’ll be honest… I’m pissed off.

I know we’re all getting tired of this covid crap. Everyone is itching to return to normal, people are starting to get more lax and not take the guidelines so seriously. I see it every single day. People are tired of staying home, they wan’t to go out to eat and have a drink at a bar and go shopping and have parties (looking at you, neighbor behind us who has parties every damn weekend) and go back to school and go on vacation. Everyone’s patience is wearing thin, and I get it. I understand. I feel the same way. There is absolutely nothing fun about a global pandemic and I hate it too. The fact that this whole thing has been politicized from the beginning makes my blood absolutely boil. But this isn’t over just because we’re tired of it. It won’t be over for a long time.

So I ask you to please wear a damn mask (correctly). Please wash your damn hands. Please socially distance. Please avoid unnecessary gatherings and travel if at all possible, and if you truly must, please for the love of god be smart about it. Stop getting on airplanes because you found cheap tickets and need a weekend away. Please do everything within your power to avoid being the link in the chain that passes this disease on to someone vulnerable. Please don’t be the reason someone’s Mammaw dies of a brutal virus on her dead mother’s birthday.

I have had it up to my last millimeter with the “we’ve just got to get back to normal, we can’t keep doing this forever” and “but the death rate is so low” arguments. I just freaking cannot. Don’t even get me started on the people who won’t wear a mask. Which friends and family members are y’all willing to sacrifice to an end like this, you freaking sociopaths?

Horse show people, I’m peering extra hard over my theoretical glasses at you right now since y’all are the ones in my social circle. Please think long and hard about everything you do and why and how you do it. It’s easy for things to start feeling more normal again now, let your guard down, and start taking more chances or being less diligent. What we do is a luxury and superfluous, so if you’re going to do it, it’s up to you to 1) accept the very real that fact that you could be putting people in danger even if you do everything right 2) actually DO EVERYTHING RIGHT. All the time when you’re traveling or at the show. Every single thing in your power to be very diligent and minimize that risk as much as possible. So what if other people think you’re ridiculous. This isn’t a joke and it isn’t over and there are very serious repercussions.

Don’t be the idiot that kills someone’s family or friend.

21 thoughts on “Hell Week

  1. I am so sorry this happened to you.

    I really cannot fathom people saying the death rate is low, because I have to say when I look at what is happening in the US I am terrified. We haven’t had even close to the number of cases you guys have and parts of the country are in Stage 4 lockdown.

    It’s just sheer madness people aren’t taking this more seriously.


  2. Amanda, I am so very, very sorry for your loss.

    For all of those who are tired of lockdown. Yes we’re all tired of lockdown and pandemic and that things aren’t normal. Guess what? A global pandemic is a NOT NORMAL event and it does last for longer than the average attention span. The longer they screw around the longer things are going to be not normal.

    Again, I’m so very sorry.


  3. I would virtually hug you but I read you often enough to know NO TOUCHY.

    I’m sorry for your loss & the way that if occurred during an already very rough time for you.

    I lost my dad last year and lost a family friend (31 with two little kids) to Covid 6 weeks ago.

    I still had a friend and neighbor lie to me about their positive Covid status and expose me and my SO “because she knew I would be mad (as we constantly told her to wear a mask and stop doing unnecessary things, flying, going to bars and restaurants, etc. and wouldn’t let her store some things in our garage”

    Needless to say that woman was excommunicated from our lives. She just put her house on the market this week. What an a***wipe.


  4. What is THE OLD SAYING?…. “what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger???” Well Amanda, you have met that one and still your life and mine are in danger. This period of time has become a benchmark in your life that you will carry forever. I am so sorry for yet another loss in your life. Please make a special memory with Henry and Presto this week that will overlap the sadness that will always be with you during this time. Yin and Yang…


  5. The ones who really set me off are the people who say “I don’t know anyone who’s had Covid” or they ask YOU that question. As if that makes it OK to act like it isn’t an issue.


  6. I felt like the asshole asking my family to move my grandmother’s funeral to after my last show. But also, I’m not traveling to the midwest and then coming back to show without quarantine and a negative test. That’s just not fair to anyone, and it’s dumb. My show circle works so hard to follow all the rules showing, and we’re incredibly careful. It’s the biggest risk we take, and only bc Maryland IS getting better and overall doing well. (And we’re not doing any championship type shows bringing in lots of out of town people.) Luckily the funeral was moved (she’s been gone since April, so there wasn’t really a huge rush anyway), and I can continue to feel as safe as possible. But yeah… It’s a slippery slope.


  7. I am so sorry for your loss, and during Hell Week, too! I had COVID in March and even “mild” cases are hellish. I have a short fuse with folks who try to downplay it or call it a hoax. Hang in there, and I hope things get better for you!


  8. I’m so sorry for your loss Amanda. The people I see every day treating covid casually because it hasn’t effected them personally yet just enrages me.


  9. Amanda, I am so terribly sad for you. I think it is good that you feel you can share your grief with us here. Even though I have never met you in person, I am probably about the age your mother would have been so I can relate to you both as someone the age of my son and as a fellow horsewomen. Sooner or later, we are all going to be affected by this wretched virus, in one way or another, mainly due to people’s impatience and selfish attitudes. We are all sick of it but must be vigilant. Losing a loved one is difficult in ‘normal’ times but even more so while dealing with all the rest of the sh*t happening. My heartfelt sympathy to you.


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