Ward Visit

靖博 阅读:74 2021-01-14 14:10:02 评论:0

Yesterday I paid a visit to a friend in hospital. He’d just been through a life-threatening operation, a real near miss.

As an old friend and former colleague, I had come late, much later than those WHO were active in the industry socializing activities. It was not until 10 days after he had been sent to the ICU when I learned it from a friend.

Not knowing what to bring along for the ward visit, I have had to consult my wife about the appropriate gift for him. Showing up at a hospital ward “barehanded” would seem counter-conventional or even nerdish, after all. A money envelope was finally agreed to be the most proper choice.

The COVID-19 vigilance was non-existent at the hospital. Unmasked people, health and sick, visitors and patients alike, were milling everywhere. I was not even asked by anyone at the entrance to the ward floor.

How would the vulnerable patients cope with the viruses brought along by others, I wondered.

Everyone looked nonchalant, at least to me, as though the hospital had become a safe haven ignored by the virus.

He was lying in bed, as though unconcerned, his wife waiting on at bedside, warning him to drop the cellphone. I felt a relief, a genuine assurance after seeing him in an ok condition.  

Many of his friends had offered to take turns as watchmen at night, with an elaborate shift roaster. That was quite a scene, touching and heartwarming. I felt happy for him – with true friends in need, he seemed somehow contended with his misfortune.

When I passed him the red envelope to bid farewell, he made a slight mumble as if disapproval of my money gift. I know, I know, it is a little cheesy to give money to a friend. I felt somewhat weird too.

But I envy him indeed – would I be surrounded by as many friends as he had been if I was in his situation? I simply don’t have so many friends, and that’d made me feel empty and desolate.