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When My Brother With Down Syndrome Got COVID-19

Like many people, I’ve been highly anxious since COVID-19 changed our world, nervous that my husband or I, or one of my loved ones would contract it. I’ve been especially worried about my 46-year old brother and only sibling, Pete, who has Down syndrome. I knew if he got COVID, it would likely be a severe case — he’s immunocompromised and has a history of bronchitis, pneumonia and lung issues.

Pete lives with my parents in California, while I reside on the opposite coast in New York City, and living 3,000 miles away from my brother only amplified my concern. Even though there’s not much I could do from even one mile away, being far apart made me feel even more out of control, adding a deeper layer to my distress and vulnerability.

So that I

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