Who Are You Missing?

Oh, the cruelty of a virus that keeps us apart.

Sherry McGuinn
4 min readApr 18, 2020


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My “baby” sister. I love her with all my heart. Ten years younger than me and my hero.

When our parents were diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer, less than two months before my own breast cancer diagnosis, my sister moved them into her home and basically gave up her life to care for them.

I could never have done what she did. Never.

Our parents died nine months later, in side-by-side beds in a hospice room.

I haven’t seen my sister, Diane, in weeks and I miss her terribly. Viscerally. And I miss her husband and kids — my two wonderful nephews and my niece, their youngest.

DDiane works as a hiring manager at a large, upscale grocery chain and, to the best of my knowledge, they’re not yet required to wear masks. Because of this, I worry about her every day.

When the shit started hitting the fan, I thought that I’d be able to visit her, at her home at least. But now, that makes about as much sense as having a failed reality TV star in the White House.

My sister comes into contact with who-knows-how-many people a day. It would be irresponsible of me to hang with her for an hour or two and risk my catching something and bringing it home to my husband. And she agrees.

But it hurts. I can’t get a warm, comfy hug (redolent with the sweet scent of Pink Sugar) from Diane nor her from me. Nor can you take sustenance from the embrace of a parent, or an adult child, or a sibling or a lover who was perhaps a featured speaker at a seminar far, far away and now, is struggling to return home…to your hungry arms.

Ain’t that a bitch.

What a cruel, cruel virus this is, that keeps us from those we love. Partners. Parents. Children. Close friends.

I’m lucky in that I have my husband and our three cats for comfort. But what about those among us who live alone? I can’t imagine what they must be going through and find myself thinking about them on the hour.

To those “soloists” I say, “Please remain strong. You are not alone. People are with you. I’m with you.”



Sherry McGuinn

Long-time writer and big-time dreamer. Screenwriter. Cat mama. Red lip aficionado. sherrymcguinn@gmail.com