A Short Story

by Roger Rabbit

The family has gathered around grandpa’s plastic-enclosed hospital bed, maintaining their social distancing. The ventilator whirrs, barely audible. His eyes are open, but he can’t talk because of the tube in his throat. His teary-eyed wife squeezes his hand through the plastic sheeting. “Hang in there, dad,” one of his sons croaks in a hoarse voice. “The doctor says you’re going to make it.”

Just then a respiratory therapist comes in, shuts off the machine, disconnects the tube, and wheels out the machine. “Sorry, folks, but we need this machine down the hall” and hands grandpa’s wife a sheet explaining the hospital’s triage policies.

Soon the machine is whirring again. The patient can’t talk, but the three doctors surrounding his plastic-enclosed bed are reassuring. “Don’t worry, Senator,” one of them says, “you’re going to make it.”

(Note: This story is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual persons or events is purely coincidental.)

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