Omg! I believe, I just might have attended a Super-Spreader Event! And no, this does NOT excite me.
The mere thought of attending a Super-Spreader causes me to break out in hives, night-sweats, and insomnia between the hours of 12:30am -3:30am. This culminates in uncontrollable bouts of anxiety.
Hallelujah girlfriends! This happens every day, but at least I finally have a good excuse.
Y’all know that I am vaccinated. But I wonder… is the person standing next to me vaccinated? I just don’t know. At night, anyone can tell I am vaccinated because I glow in the dark since I received my 2nd dose. Although, during the day, you just can’t tell.
Interestingly, a friend of mine, told me since they received their 2nd dose, their brain is now wired to a certain radio frequency and speaks to new friends on Mars. I had no idea. You just don’t know.
My point is…you just don’t know who is vaccinated.
The Memorial Tribute
The event I attended was a ‘Memorial Tribute’. Yes, it was very sad. We lost the beautiful Sistah Hillary.
The Memorial was a celebration of life amidst the tears. For selfish, personal, mental health reasons, I shall attempt to inject some humor into this period of mourning. In my heart, I know Hillary would have appreciated some smiles and laughter.
How to Host a Memorial Tribute During A Pandemic
I know what y’all thinking… how do you host a Memorial during another resurgence of COVID? Well, if the Eagles can perform indoors at Madison Square Garden with thousands of fans, then you can welcome people into your small home.
But really? Can you?
COVID Super-Spreader Criteria
Did you ever wonder…What criteria determines a Super-Spreader Event? I am an attorney. I view this as a legal question. I want to know the following:
1. Is there a magical number of attendees required to be classified as ‘Super-Spreader’?
2. What exempts an event from Super-Spreader status?
3. If all attendees are vaccinated and wear masks, is the event exempt from Super-Spreader status?
4. Was the Memorial a Super-Spreader?
5. What would Judge Judy rule?
The Spreading Event
Let’s set the scene. The Memorial was in New Jersey. I know. Don’t ask. I never go to Jersey. I go to Jersey to drive to Philadelphia. And I rarely go to Philly. I am just not a Jersey Girl (sorry Bruce).
I currently live on Long Island, New York. The drive to/from New Jersey is never, ever good. You must travel on an Expressway, or Turnpike, or Parkway, or a Highway, or sometimes, all of the above if the traffic is really bad. Then you must drive on a Bridge or through a Tunnel.
And the girlfriends in LA think the traffic is bad there. Now that is a joke. But really, what do they know?
The Memorial was scheduled for a Saturday and Sunday. A reasonable thinking person (a legal standard) would think the traffic from Long Island to Jersey on a Saturday or Sunday would be ‘light’, as compared to a weekday. Remember, despite popular belief, we are still in the middle of a pandemic.
And guess what? I drove on Saturday from Long Island to Jersey, and the traffic was terrible. Unbearable is a better word. Yes, I drove for a total of 6 hours that day.
Did anyone receive the pandemic A.K.A. COVID memo? Where you goin’? I suppose everyone is goin’ everywhere! Pandemic, schmandemic!
The weather was picture perfect. A delightful summer day…at least 96 degrees, not including the heat index that gave it a ‘real feel’ of 102 degrees. Stagnant Jersey air. Help. Me. Please.
As a result of the oppressive heat, the Memorial had to be held indoors. Question to the reasonable thinking person: ‘You servin’ tuna salad sandwiches on your picnic table outside in 102 degree heat?’ I don’t think so! Judge Judy would concur.
Excuse me…You Vaccinated?
The hosts of the Memorial, Mark and Shelby, were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love for Sistah Hillary. However, they were shiattin’ in their pants by the amount of folks that showed up in-person to their home. Yes ma’m.
A nice home for a family of 4. Does not quite work for a Memorial of at least 30 folks during a pandemic.
Excuse me…are you vaccinated? I just don’t know.
Keep in mind, these folks are not strangers. They are close friends and family. They are sad. They are grievin’. They want lovin; they need touchin’. They want to hug and kiss you. And directly talk to you, right in yo’ face. Forget the COVID 6 feet distance rule. We be conversin’ 1.5 feet apart. Indeed. All these peeps be standin’ in your personal COVID free space, which is all happenin’ inside of a house in Jersey.
Let me remind y’all. There is a pandemic goin’ on. Yes ma’m.
In a perfect world, Mark and Shelby could have erected a sentry post on their driveway. You betcha baby, why not require all guests to show Proof of Vaccine via CDC Card, NYS Excelsior Pass, or QR Code. But that could prove to be difficult to execute — they would have to determine which cards were made in China and counterfeit.
Alternatively, they could have administered a PCR test. The good news, is that test is a nasal swab, and thankfully NOT an anal swab. No matter, still too invasive- I can’t imagine Mark telling 88 year-old cousin Murray “to hold still” while he sticks a swab up his nose.
I observed with my keen eagle eyes, that most guests entered the house with a mask. So thoughtful.
Oh yeah baby, many guests entered the home with a heavy heart and a mask held in their hand. It seemed that no one knew if masks were required to be worn in the home, so they opted to hold the mask.
Think about it for a moment. Masks are the perfect accessory to wear at a Memorial. Men (and women in menopause) do not have to shave their beards; women (and maybe some men) do not have to wear make-up; and when you get weepy, you just blow your nose into your mask. Who needs tissues when you wear a mask? I certainly don’t. True.
I know. The things I think of…right?
Let me be the first to say, that Mark and Shelby, know how to host a pandemic event.
Oy vey! I am not talkin’ spread of germs. Although, I believe I have established that the spreadin’ of germs was rampant throughout their small Jersey home that day. And yes, the Learned Judge Judy would concur.
Forget about the spread of germs. Who cares? Germs, schmerms. Whateva!
I am talkin’ spread of food. Mark and Shelby said, “We have so much food. Go to the kitchen and eat…please… “. True.
In my tribe, food is the best medicine to treat sadness. Although my neighbor Linda, would politely disagree and toss you a Zoloft, a Valium, or a Klonopin and wash it down with a Gin and Tonic. In fact, if times are really tough, take ’em all!
Unbeknownst to most folks, Mark and John (Hillary’s husband) snuck out of the Memorial to buy a 2nd refrigerator to store all the anticipated leftovers. And yes, Hillary would have approved. I wish they asked me to go with them…anything to get out of that small house in Jersey in 102 degree heat.
Where’s the Kitchen
Where was the food located? In the kitchen, like duh?! And where was the kitchen located? In the back of the house.
You had 2 choices to get to the kitchen. You had to first walk through the entry foyer, where you were greeted by people. Then you could either walk through the dining room or living room to get to the kitchen. Certainly, there was no clear path to the kitchen.
Now, on the way to the kitchen, there were a lot of ‘social-pit-stops’. Keep in mind there were a lot of Jewish and Irish folk at this event. A very chatty group of people. There was absolutely no way in hell you could make it to the kitchen before speaking to at least 20 people. I felt COVID ‘safe’ when I spoke to folks who held their mask. Gave a wonderful, false sense of security. Mind you, Judge Judy would call me an ‘arse’.
Good news! I finally made my way to the kitchen. It was like making it to a finish line!
A nice size kitchen for a family of four. A small kitchen for 20 people, who were elbowing each other for food. Again, so wonderful to be crammed into a small space during COVID.
Oh, and by the by. At this point, no one holding their mask in their hand. It was probably shoved in their pocket. Like duh, you need 2 hands to hold a plate and pile on the food.
On the bright side, there was so much food. So many choices! Turkey, Roast Beef, Pastrami Sandwiches, all on Rye Bread. Is there anything better? Then there were spreads of mustard, russian dressing and mayo.
What? You don’t want a sandwich? Oh, you want a bagel. It was a quick sidestep to the bagel area. Remember, this is a small house in Jersey, you can’t land a plane in this kitchen.
Whatever! So many different kinds of bagels: you got your plain, poppy, sesame, everything bagel. Oh, and there were lots of spreads for the bagel. You had your plain, scallion and vegetable cream cheeses; white fish salad; tuna salad; egg salad. Oy, and then you need to add a slice of tomato and onion to your bagel.
But wait…there’s spreads! Gimme the coleslaw, potato salad, macaroni salad and pickles.
Last, but not least, there was the desserts. Oy!
I told you, this was a Super-Spreader Event.
Hillary was a beautiful human being, who was effervescent. Her zest for love, life, family, and friends was remarkable. She married a wonderful man, John, akin to manna from heaven. John was a package deal: he came with 2 kids, a girl and boy, and they became a family. These were exceptionally happy years.
Hillary was blessed.
Unfortunately, Hillary was taken to soon in life. She succumbed to the same illness as her mother, and grandmother. Although, one could say Hillary was lucky: she made it to age 47. She lived 8 years longer than her mother. But that was still not long enough. We all wanted more.
As her father so eloquently eulogized, ‘her passing does not follow the natural order of things in life’. As we all know, children, even adult children, should never, ever, predecease their parents.
In the last years of her life, she was fearless. And with her shining Knight by her side, anything could be overcome. Or at least she tried.
Hillary was blessed with a stepmother, who raised her as her own daughter. The word ‘stepmother’ was replaced with the word ‘mom’. Hillary’s mom loved her, cared for her, and was by her side to the very end.
Her brother Mark, 14 months her senior, loved her. And her sister, Lauren, adored her. In fact, resembles her.
Hillary’s family was her Village, her light, and endless source of love and energy. They all stood vigil by her bedside; taking turns to make sure Hillary was never alone.
May Hillary live on in our minds and hearts for eternity.
May her memory be a blessing.