Many of you know me as host of Beyond the Mic with Sean Dillon.
I always believe in talking to actors, authors, athletes, artists and people you need to hear. But today I want to tell you my story.
Where do we begin? March 13th of 2020 is as good a place to begin.
I had a remote at a local supermarket before the shutdown of the city. As for any normal remote, I had brought prizes, prepared for the usual 2 hours of listening and entertaining.
Beginning of COVID-19 insanity
I didn’t see much of any of that.
People rushed in, grabbing whatever toilet paper, water they could find. Panic had set in. I saw people fighting over the last case of water and shelves emptied like locusts had invaded. Kindness was gone.
As I left the store I was told we would be working from home till further notice. I wasn’t worried. I had plenty of toilet paper, water and hand sanitizer at the house. My wife and I try to be prepared for any eventuality, a global pandemic wasn’t on our list.
For weeks I did my job from home watching families around the world deal with the tragedy of COVID-19. Staying at home with my wife other than the occasional trip to the store. We stayed away from people and got to know each other again. Yes, the pandemic strengthened our marriage. Both of us tried to understand each other’s work that we hadn’t before. Living in the same house without an escape to the office for either of us was trying. I didn’t believe that the virus would affect me, or those I love.
I was wrong.
Months later in July we were trying to get back to what we thought was normalcy. People were meeting in small groups with masks, socially distant. But it was the people I craved. I was able to see my friends in person. Though socially distant, there were people that zoom meetings couldn’t replace.
I need to take a side trip for you to understand the next major incident so bear with me.
I had joined the Kiwanis Club in 2018 after much encouragement from John Robison and Ashley Wirz. Though I was the youngest member by a bunch of years, I was welcomed by all as one of them.
I joined because of their efforts to help the children of the world and those especially in my city.
At the first meeting that I went to I sat next to this older man who found out I covered Texas Tech sports. His name was Don Wickard, and he became a good friend. I found out he was the retired Texas Tech registrar. 99% of our conversations started with Don asking me what I saw during whatever practice I last saw. Don always asked me about my thoughts about the team. When Don didn’t make a couple meetings in a row, I’d check up on him. Most of the time it was a sick grandkid or a doctor’s appointment. I would always sit next to him because he’d keep my seat for me and would shoo everyone away. “Sean and I are causing trouble”.
Don was a friend and I now digress.
I never saw Don after we went into isolation. He and his wife both got the virus and entered the hospital. She left the hospital but he didn’t make it.
Back to the main story
I’ve lost others to this virus and I was cautious about it. But I thought if I washed my hands, wore a mask, and stayed away from people I wouldn’t get COVID-19.
I was wrong.
I won’t bore you with my temperature spikes or drops. Nor the inability to take a deep breath, the lack of smell / taste or the other issues I have had with COVID-19.
I will tell you to doubt this virus will affect you or the ones you love is a mistake.
Right now some thanks…
Dr. Pena at UMC has been incredible, checking up on me and making me comfortable at home.
Dr. Morice at the Mayo Clinic has checked in on me as well and I am blessed for his friendship.
Special thanks to the Ham, Kerns and Upp families. They have helped me along these tense days dropping off medicine / food.
I would have gone crazy without the video calls / texts / messages / calls from my friends. Shawn Sparks, Christopher Gabriel, Reid Forrest, Dusty Rhodes and Todd Borek, thank you. I call you my brothers from another mother for a reason.
Though they are distant, my parents & family on both sides have been checking up with me on a daily basis. My wife was in Fredricksburg Texas helping her parents for a week. After my COVID diagnosis, she’s been forced to stay there until I leave isolation. Joanna has checked on me hourly, reminding me to eat, sleep and take meds. I’m blessed to have her in my life.
My fight is not over as I am still suffering with COVID-19 side effects. But my parents didn’t raise a quitter and I will be here continuing to tell stories and share my life because it is who I am.
Stay safe, wash your hands, stop touching your face and most important love each other.
We’re not done with COVID-19 yet.
What’s next and how can you help?
So I’m feeling 75% and I had a bunch of great stories in backlog before I fell ill. So why don’t you sit back and relax. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
If you could do me a favor:
Share episodes that you like with your friends.
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And finally, people have asked how they can support more of Beyond the Mic. If I do an interview with an author and you would like to buy the book, if you buy it through the link on each show page would be thanks in itself.