Letter: My father died alone

Graphic by Lori Deaton

My father died Easter morning alone. His name was Allen Hope, and he lived in an Asheville retirement community. I could not be with him because he wasn’t allowed visitors because of the restrictions. I will never get over this.

I was in Ingles yesterday and saw several people without masks. The virus is not a hoax; it is real. The leader of our country lives in a world of denial and falsehoods. The president is one-handedly destroying the human race.

I hold every person who doesn’t wear a mask responsible for my father dying alone. My father was a Korean War veteran who fought for this country.

Shame on everyone who doesn’t wear a mask.

— Mindy Brennan


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20 thoughts on “Letter: My father died alone

  1. C-Law

    Sorry for your loss Ms. Brennan. Your father must have been at least 85 if he was a Korea veteran.

    FACT: Masks against Covid-19 do not work becasue under the laws of physics they can’t and the President, Congress, State governors and mayors know this too, yet they have and continue to kill your father and other people’s fathers, mothers, grandfathers, and grandmothers for political reasons.

    Your bitterness and anger is understandable but misplaced.

    • Mike

      How is the veteran’s age relevant to this discussion? Mentioning it implies- at least to me- that you think the loss is less because of the veteran’s age. If so, I have to say that the idea, which I have heard some people express, that most covid deaths are somehow “less” because they effect the elderly and sick- that is a truly shocking lack of compassion.

      • C-Law

        The age was mentioned because I think it’s a damn shame an octogenarian had to die apart from loved ones due to political posturing and unscientific garbage political edicts.

        The author says this is cause to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

        For how long? Forever apparently!?

        Why? Because.if there is no durable antibody response then no vaccine will work either. Vaccines work by building antibody response. If it wanes then the vaccine is worthless; you get the shot and two months later – you get the virus. Oops.

        I said long ago, indeed, based on the science, that there was no reason to believe that we’d ever have a vaccine. This is why, along with the fact that no previous coronavirus vaccine has ever worked, and it’s not like we haven’t tried either.

        No, we will not “social distance” or wear masks “forever”. In fact, we should tell leaders to stuff it right here and now on the strength of the evidence; there is no durable antibody response and as such a vaccine is a waste of time and money; it will fail. We cannot maintain “mitigations” forever, yet without a vaccine there is no time at which we will be able to drop it without the virus coming back. Therefore the only means of suppression is to allow it to circulate on a continuing basis so that you will get it and, as the antibodies wane, you’ll get it again before the antibody protection disappears entirely. Which, by the way, we already know happens otherwise that only 17% of the people on Diamond Princess got infected would be impossible.

        Is that a great situation? No, but it leaves us with only one answer: Suck it up and deal with it like an adult; viruses have been with us forever, and will be with us forever. Exactly two have ever been eradicated in the history of humankind. Covid-19 will not be the third.

        • luther blissett

          It doesn’t have to be “durable”, it has to be durable enough. It doesn’t have to be eradicated, it has to be controlled and mitigated.

          Your combination of junk-science swagger and nihilism is unbecoming of an adult. You do not speak for ‘we’. But exemplify one reason why the US has handled this terribly, and why people still can’t say their last goodbyes in person, and you should feel bad about that.

    • Mindy Brennan

      I place blame where it belongs. My Father was 90yo. What difference does age make?

      • C-Law

        Ms. Brennan,

        Scientifically proven to be pointless face masks had absolutely nothing to do with your father passing without you being there.

        There is never a guarantee that any of us might not pass from this earth in the company of anyone…we all ultimately face mortality alone.

        The only guarantee that you would have had the opportunity to be there for your father’s passing is if you actually cared for your father personally in your home or his. Either you or your father chose to live apart from each other. That choice came with opportunity costs and benefits. You were both consenting adults in that decision, no!?

        Your bitterness and anger ARE misplaced.

        Keep working through the process, your bitterness will pass.

        Masks are not to blame and will not be an answer to whatever you are raging against.

        • MINDY Brennan

          Maybe you will get the virus. I feel anger towards misguided fools like you C-law.

      • JTRILEY

        I am so sorry for the loss of your father,Allen Hope, and your inability to be allowed to be with him in the retirement home. Despite the raging arguments about the effectiveness or not of mask wearing, I understand your anger and frustration in seeing those who refuse to do so. We do not have the definitive answer on so many aspects of this virus and if mask wearing is a possible deterrent in communicating the virus; LET’S DO IT. Your compliance may simply ease the fear and anxiety someone is feeling when out and about~ and that alone, to me, is worth the price of admission.

      • C-Law

        “Luther”—serving up some free schooling, just for you.

        Here’s the punchline, but you have to read the whole thing and not just the abstract:

        Leung, N.H.L., Chu, D.K.W., Shiu, E.Y.C. et al. Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks. Nat Med 26, 676–680 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-0843-2

        “Among the samples collected without a face mask, we found that the majority of participants with influenza virus and coronavirus infection did not shed detectable virus in respiratory droplets or aerosols, whereas for rhinovirus we detected virus in aerosols in 19 of 34 (56%) participants (compared to 4 of 10 (40%) for coronavirus and 8 of 23 (35%) for influenza). For those who did shed virus in respiratory droplets and aerosols, viral load in both tended to be low (Fig. 1). “

        Wait….. what?

        The majority of confirmed coronavirus infections without a face mask did not shed detectable virus in respiratory droplets or aerosols? And for those who did, the minority, there was very little virus present?

        Oh, it gets better…

        “The major limitation of our study was the large proportion of participants with undetectable viral shedding in exhaled breath for each of the viruses studied. We could have increased the sampling duration beyond 30 min to increase the viral shedding being captured, at the cost of acceptability in some participants.“

        So over a space of 30 minutes they were unable to capture any viral shedding in a large proportion of participants with confirmed, known infections?

        Excuse me?

        Indeed they go on to explain that perhaps forced coughing might have helped.

        Wait….. forced coughing?

        So the issue, as is explained in the study, is that non-coughing or sneezing people are by and large not shedding virus in their ordinary breath. If they’re coughing, well, then the game’s different. That’s not unexpected; someone who is actively sick is, well, actively sick.

        And shedding virus.

        But many coronavirus infections are not symptomatic for cough. And among those actively sick but not coughing they had great difficulty in finding virus expelled under lab conditions with extremely sensitive equipment even though all of the people they studied were actively sick as every one of them had a fever.

        There goes the theory of asymptomatic shedding of infectious virus out one’s mouth or nose, the entire premise on which the “MaskHole” nonsense is predicated.

        “Luther”…these lessons have been free so far, but I’m kinda thinking about starting to charge you tuition for all the schooling I’m giving you!? Haha!

        I’ve made my living and been able to sell my company and retire early leveraging my knowledge, skill, and experience in physics, computer science, and engineering. You can’t win “Luther” cause all you have are ad hominem and straw-man attacks….nothing real. Its frankly boring and intellectually tedious.

        I’ll be you’re huckle bearer, but if you’re gonna throw down, your gonna have to come at me with some real science bruh!

  2. henry

    I am touched by your letter of grief and grievance for the loss of your father. He served this country in war, yet died alone, without the presence of your loving comfort. We are in a sad time when a few selfish people believe they have a right to expose others to their ignorance. If they could feel your pain, we can hope that they would have cared more to share in protecting others.

    • Kevin Paxton

      I’m sorry that had happen but you need to know there is Lots of people that cannot wear a mask and I am one of them I’ve been a firefighter for over 30+ years I have inhaled a lot of smoke and chemicals throughout my years as a fire fighter and I’ll top of that I have asthma and cannot wear one there is people out there that’s got health reasons and that will not explain yourself and I don’t blame them so you can blame all you want but you have to realize that a lot of this will be over at election and you know that go back to the story that our parents and grandparents always told us before we were born why when they were young back in the day they had all type of diseases they were a mask no they did not they only had one Doctor No hospitals no EMS no 911 System the doctors had to come to their house I’ll Topsey viruses and sickness was all there and you know it’s true because they felt to be a life because my great grandparents that I saw before they died tell me what they went through and they survived until they died of old age I remember going to them at their house when I was little and I would hear stories from my great grandpa about all the stuff that he’s been through from his childhood on And I do not wanna hear from that one person today complaining about shit like this because you know darn well that if those people back in them days can survive soaking way and you know it’s true so don’t jump on people that don’t wear a mask because they’ve got good reasons not to wear one and start believes of everybody’s got raises and no one has to say or anything to our local government or nothing because our local government don’t give a damn what we do they’re not running our lives they don’t put the food on our table we pay them as their get their paychecks like they pay us it’s a one one situation as I sit here and think back of the times when I was a kid growing up of all the sickness and disease is that were out there did we wire mass then no we did not he won’t even thought of now this day our constitutional rights has been taken away from us because of some damn virus and we can blame argument for that not the president and the president had nothing to do with it because I tell you one thing in Watertown bowls down to is they tried to impeach the president and it never happened so they started this corona shit and you know it’s true then all of a sudden the right started they want to blame everything on the present do you think a trap no it’s notAnd I will stand behind our president and if you don’t like it then you can leave this country go to a foreign country somewhere is all halfway around the world and what I say is the truth is the gospel truth if you don’t believe me get on your hands and knees and pray to God he will tell you. Set do not sit there and blame people for not wearing a mask or one of these days it’s going to come back on you just remember watch your ancestors told you remember what they went through and they made it this far but I got soaking away.

  3. Marjorie Perrelli

    So sorry for your loss. I have been alone in a hospital near death and I want you to know that there is a transformation of pain, anxiety and aloneness into a connectedness of love. I hope you will find some comfort in this.

    As a person who has had many hospitalizations, I am angry over the far right non mask wearing nonsense. It is purely selfish and irresponsible. I have severe asthma and I wear a mask. If you can’t wear a mask, have your food delivered. We need to care for each other. In 1918, people went to jail who didn’t wear a mask. I don’t think that is reasonable at all to not wear a mask. I do believe these people who ignore the mandate should be forced to do community service by cleaning rooms in health facilities. They need to see the reality of Covid 19 and not just the narcissistic politics of “no masks and misinformation” . My physician friends are worn out with anger and stress. Just wear a mask please. No more politics in keeping people safe

    • NFB

      Thank you.

      Unfortunately until Alex Jones and Rush Limbaugh give them permission to wear masks, the far right sheeple will continue to politicize basic health measures in their continued solipsism.

      • Marjorie Perrelli

        Mindy it is hard but I promise you that your father was not alone. I hate to say how decent death is because nature has a kindness in the end. We are more connected than proximity. Trust me, he felt your love in the end. God bless you and my heart is with yours. Vote for people who believe in commitment to common good. That will honor his passing. Stay safe and I wish you love and peace.

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