It’s March 2020 and the world begins to shut down as COVID-19 spreads like wildfire, sending hundreds and thousands of people to hospitals, some recover, but not everyone can be so lucky.
After moving to Ireland, Lanegan is discovering his new surroundings, getting settled into his new house, and connecting with nature again, until he falls in after contacting the virus upon completion of a photoshoot the day before.
As his body weakens and he feels dizzy, he hits his head on the windowsill and falls down the stairs, only to end up at a hospital 20 minutes from his home, unable to breathe. He also lost his hearing, completely.
Symptoms worsen. Broken bones, bruises, and collapsed lungs. He can’t breathe. He’s terrified, Intubated. He can’t speak and he shares a room with two other people that are 20 years older than him.
Is this the end?
After years and years of drugs, drinking and partying. Is this the disease that will take him? This can’t be it. Can it?
Lanegan struggles with this idea, as the days and nights go by (mostly sleepless) as he stares out the window at the hospital that has become his home for months now, as doctors struggle to find veins to test his liver levels, and nurses are unable to feed him anything other than milk.
He’s part of the rising numbers of COVID-19 that ticket on the side of your television sets every night. One by one, these numbers just keep going up.
Am I ever going out of here? He thinks. Is this the end for me? Lanegan sure didn’t think COVID would be the thing to take him out. Most of his friends have died, most in his 20s or early 30s but he’s survived them all. Now here lies the devil, in a coma, unable to know when he could ever see the world again.
The book is a fast read, completed in only a couple hours. It’s a combination of poems and short excerpts as he goes in and out of consciousness. It’s terrifying, it’s heart-breaking, and its a window into the live of someone that has no idea if they will live or survive.
Long Covid is a beast, and Lanegan still lives with the side effects of a disease that took everything away from him, including his passion for music. When you are lying on that hospital bed nothing else matters. You just try to breathe – in and out – and hope that the next morning you can open your eyes and still be there, because every minute counts.