Saturday, April 12, 2003

Carpet Salesman

One of our Sabbath School teacher answered the phone when I called his house. It was my mistake not to identify myself immediately. I simply assumed that he knew my strange and singular voice in this city with so many accents different from my own. I asked instead, how he was. He would not answer. Finally he asked WHO I was. When I told him, he said he was fine. His confession was then that he had thought I was a carpet salesman.

Our son Richard was admitted to a hospital in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, on Wednesday of this week with SARS. He was immediately quaranteened, and his clothes whisked away in a red bag. His girlfriend was also isolated, eventhough as of yet she showed no symptoms of this atypical pneumonia. When Geoff went to visit (the hospital had already called the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia) he was also immediately sequestered in a room by himself.

Richard called us that night from his room. He was, naturally, distressed with worry for a now uncertain future. I tried to calm him by telling him that he left Hong Kong from his brief visit here in mid-February, nearly 1 month before SARS arrived in Hong Kong. I assured him that he could not have SARS unless he had invented it.

On Thursday, Richard was released. Apologies came in great abundance. I am not sure if his clothing was returned or if is being tested in Atlanta. When I asked what the diagnosis was, he said it sounded to him something like RSVP.

Blessings are wished to each of you from the carpet salesman in Hong Kong.


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