Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 900-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 30th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Fighting the Disease

Although this is supposed to be a blog about recovery and ways to do recovery I keep finding myself gravitating toward the sad tales of those who have succumbed to the coronavirus.

A few days ago I mentioned a group of college students who were throwing "coronavirus parties." Reportedly, the prize for the winner of one of the party games was that they got to throw the next party. In other words, they had to go out and find someone who had been exposed to the coronavirus and bring them to the party and see if another member of the party would contract the virus. It saddens me to report that the "winner" of one of the parties – as she was dying – was quoted as saying that she didn't realize the seriousness of what they were doing. And thus a number of people at the party she went to were exposed to the virus, including her. At first I didn't believe that people were doing things that stupid, but when you hear things multiple times there has to be some kind of truth in it.

Some of the reports I have heard is that the majority of people getting the virus are under 40 to 45 years old. That runs counter to what was reported initially when health authorities released information about who is most likely to get the virus and die from it. At that point, the reports were that 75% of the people who succumbed to the virus were in the 65-year-old and up age group. I recall that here in Arizona there was a huge spike in cases immediately after the bars and fitness centers were open once more – businesses that cater in most cases to a younger crowd.

Here at TLC we have been following government mandates as close as we possibly can. At the moment we have two or three people on our team who have the virus and a couple who have been recently tested are awaiting results. With such a large group of people our staff is having a difficult time enforcing social distancing – but I have to compliment them because they are doing the very best they can. As anyone in recovery knows, addicts and alcoholics are often very difficult people to deal with in the best of circumstances. However, in this situation it seems like most everyone is taking the situation about masks and social distancing very seriously. On a deep level I think we all are starting to realize the seriousness of what we are facing.

I think when a person is facing two battles – both recovery and this virus – it's much easier to understand that life today is a real challenge, one that we have never faced before.