Une Petite Grippe: A COVID-19 Dispatch from Mauritius

My mother said her meds made her fat. She’d only take them when she thought she was about to die, unable to breathe, constricted as if her ribs had grown and interlocked across her chest. Only then would she reach for her inhaler.

“When it’s my time, it’s my time” she’d say, until I had my son. Now she’s feverous for living. Doctors in Mauritius were unable to give her an accurate diagnosis, so she flew to Singapore; there, she was informed that her lungs were only working to 50% of their capacity, that she had a long-term infection, that her medication would be tripled in strength. “I’ll grow fat for my grandson,” she acquiesced, “and lose the weight afterwards.” We reassured her that, at sixty, there were still a good two decades in front of her.


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