COVID-The Unwanted Friend

I’m blessed that I have not had to deal with having COVID-19. With having a disability, I was always cognitive of the whole social distance and mask thing.  I knew, if I came down with it, my life would be even more difficult. Having a disability is challenging, let alone having to deal with other difficulties that COVID-19 brings; and potentially have deadly consequences. That’s just too much to fathom. Although I didn’t have to deal with COVID, a friend with a disability did and I am glad that she is in recovery.


Here is Linda’s story.  Thank you, Linda, for sharing.  Sincerely, Shari.


This past year of navigating a pandemic has been challenging for everyone. We didn’t receive a playbook on how to live our lives in a way that balances compassion for others with needed safety precautions.


I am a blind woman who travels with a Seeing eye dog.  I was living an organized orderly life. This past year has forced me out of my comfortable bubble. It has impacted how Abby does her job as my guide. She did not learn the concept of social distancing in school. And people in masks can look scary to even the most well-trained pup.


I found ways to adapt, and thought I was rolling along with the punches, getting life tasks accomplished. Then… bam! I smacked headlong into a wall. I received a positive COVID test. Now I was in quarantine with my pup and becoming sicker than I have ever been in my life. Thankfully, I had a strong support system of friends and family who assisted me.   I received many porch drop-offs of food: and loads of messages cheering me on to recovery.

This virus is a difficult experience for all of us to face. When you live with a disability, the barriers can be overwhelming. I couldn’t drive myself to get a COVID test, and the thought of asking a friend, would be too daunting. My greatest fear was that I would infect another person. I just wanted to curl up into a ball till I was well. I resisted seeking medical attention because I just knew I could take care of myself. I felt so sick that the idea of being a blind patient in a COVID unit caused me an attack of anxiety.


This virus forces us into isolation. I can’t imagine getting through my COVID journey without my remarkable support system. Still, as a patient, I had to advocate for myself. Under ordinary circumstances, I have no trouble speaking up for my needs. In this case, I could barely put a sentence together. Educating health professionals about blindness simply was not on my agenda. I was lucky that those who cared for me treated me with respect and compassion.  I am thankful.  At the same time, I know that having COVID and being disabled has led to tragic outcomes.


I am now on the other side of this experience, and I do life much differently these days.

I joke that COVID is “the gift that keeps on giving.” COVID brain fog is real, and disconcerting. I have chosen to be vulnerable with friends and family by telling them what is helpful to me as I continue to recover.  I process small pieces of information better than too many details at once. I have slowed down so I can “find my words,” while speaking and writing. I compile lots of lists, and take more time getting ready for my day.


I recognize that Abby and myself have many good people in our world. At the same time, I pause for a moment of silence when I hear the name of one who we lost to COVID.

I am still my snarky silly self: with perhaps a touch more compassion as I do life after COVID.



15 comments on “COVID-The Unwanted Friend

  1. Tracy Hunter on

    thank you for bring Linda’s story to light. It’s insightful and educational at the same time. I thank Linda for letting us share her experiences. Its been a tough year but I believed it has brought forth many true heroes who go about their jobs unnoticed. Lets remember to be thankful to the angels that are amongst us every day.

  2. Mike Koesters on

    Linda: Your comments on the virus are spot on. Having been thru this experience myself I could not imagine what it must have been like for you. I was in denial for several days till one afternoon I passed out at home and my wife found me, called the squad and off to the hospital I go for a couple of days. There were 4 or 5 days that followed that were the darkest of my life. When people ask me about the virus I simply tell them that I would not wish it on my worst enemy. It’s like nothing I’ve ever been thru. All the while my wife took it serious from the day I told he that I thought I had a cold coming on. From that point on we social distanced for the next 21 days and she never got the virus. And yes, I am very much aware of the Covid Brain Fog, the gift that just keeps on giving. I’m glad you made it through and that you had Abby there to help you.

    • Linda Pelfrey on

      Hi Mike: I so appreciate your comment. Sometimes, when I meet another who has walked through this experience, I think to myself… we are part of a club no one asked for.Only a person who has experienced this virus understands its impact. Abby and myself send you good wishes.

  3. Gussie Jones on

    I too have been spared the virus and now have had both shots. But I have several friends and a Granddaughter who have fallen ill because of COVID. All had different levels and fortunately all have survived. Although their recovery has been on different levels also.
    I pray each day that these vaccines will truly spell an end to at least the severity of the illness. I am not optimistic enough that mask wearing and social distancing are a thing of the past. I hope I am wrong.
    Take care of yourself – and I’ll add Linda to my prayer list that her COVID brain disappears gradually.

  4. Melissa on

    Linda, I’m so glad you made it to the other side and sorry you went thru this. Shari, thanks you for sharing. I have my own COVID tale for you both when we talk again.

  5. Shelly Hulce on

    I am blessed to work with two very inspiring (and tenacious) individuals! I am a chronic complainer and when I hear what they go through, it centers me. I am so thankful for Shari and Linda’s willingness and transparency. We all benefit from it!

  6. Krystal Rains on

    Thank you for sharing your experience and may you continue to find healing and good health at the end of this. The virus is definitely no joke.

    • Linda Pelfrey on

      Hi Krystal: Thanks for reading and commenting. I am thankful that I have people like you in my corner. It feels much less lonely and scary.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *