June 23, 2024
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Our COVID-19 Experiences and a Note of Gratitude

Eric and I were married in November 2019 at Congregation Ahavas Achim in Highland Park, in the presence of all of the people we love and cherish. We thought it was truly amazing that we came together, because neither of us had any idea that our initial meeting would lead to our future as man and wife. (Eric often jokes that the bookies in Las Vegas would bet that he would never marry.) For many years Eric and I resided in Highland Park, going to different shuls and never meeting.

Many people who attended the wedding said that they thought it was like a “fairy tale.” It was a magical day. The rabbi spoke with love and emotion about how amazing it was that two older people would find each other, fall in love and marry. We were simply overcome with gratitude to Hashem to begin this new chapter in our lives.

Just two weeks before March 2020, we moved into our “dream home.” Then COVID-19 “shelter in place” orders turned our lives upside down. Eric and I were still in a “newlywed fog” before our first anniversary, when we both became ill with the COVID-19 virus. We were horrified and in shock. We had very different symptoms. Both of us experienced the overall exhaustion that made it difficult at times to get out of bed.

Then on the eighth day, we both took a turn for the worse. Eric needed to go to the hospital with a high fever, chills and shortness of breath. Fortunately, he was released in a matter of hours, without being checked into the hospital. We both had the metallic taste in our mouths that made all food taste bitter.

We did not leave our apartment from October 2 through October 28. What a way to discover the strength of our new marriage and learn that we could count on our community. The three weeks of food provided by community members, a doctor who made house calls, and a police sergeant who personally drove over to our apartment and delivered our prescriptions (while informing us that we tested positive for COVID-19), are three examples of the help we received. We have never-ending support from people in our town, friends and family. We will hold this knowledge in our hearts forever.

COVID-19 is many awful things. But one silver lining for us is that it has deeply underscored the importance of kehilla and the chesed its members perform constantly.


Kay Burin Silverman is a retired telecommunications executive who worked at AT&T. She and her husband live in Highland Park.

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