To say I have known no one who died of COVID would be as much as to say I have not known anyone who died of AIDS or HIV related causes. It would most honestly be a lie.
In San Francisco long before cocktail drugs saved the day, my own sanity and extremely active sex life I knew a half of dozen of people who died of AIDS. Their unexpected deaths left me shattered. A piece of me died right along with every one of them.
Of COVID I now know two people met here in Florence who have died. Most recently Miss Annie who lived down the hall. Her friends and family called her Queen, but I never asked why they called her Queen. Perhaps, I was afraid of competition and didn't want to know or that the name Queen evoked memories of another Queen, my grandmother, I cherished more than life itself. But yes. Miss Annie is dead, and I can hardly believe it. She was a wonderful woman, the cheerleader of our building who often made me laugh a lot about the silliness of life and took me on joyrides to see places she knew and loved. The towels, shower curtains in the guest bathroom (and my some of my socks! she called stockings because she said I needed a mother, which is true) is from Miss Annie because she knew in truth I could care less about decorating or household crap. Functionality is my greatest concern; the rest petty and meaningless because I can't take it with me when I am gone. Hearing she had passed tore me apart when I did not think I could ever cry again or even grieve for another, that my heart had grown hard and uncaring in the times we live, but I that is not true, for I cried, can still weep and grieve.
A few days later at one of three local WalMarts where I went to buy plant food for my sad indoor plants, my spirit lifted at a sight of artificial Christmas trees all over the plant department.