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  • Fritz Foss, Assistant Principal French Horn

Best of Times, Worst of Times


Gus Foss, leaf expert


Pandemic life at the Foss household feels like it’s been going on for a lifetime already. Since we’ve been on lockdown, Gus has learned to walk (and run) and talk! He has grown a couple inches and gained a few pounds. On weekdays, my wife Sarah works at Rush University Hospital on a general medicine floor in Case Management. She usually leaves for work around 7:45 AM and returns between 6 and 7:45 PM, so during the day, it’s just Gus and me. Weekends she has off and that is precious family time.

Gus is a pretty happy kid. I’d say he and I get along great! He loves listening to music, reading books, doing puzzles, playing with anything he can get his hands on... normal kid stuff. It’s amazing how fast he learns. We find time to get outside every day, going to playgrounds or for walks, and I’ve kind of taken the opportunity to explore the many forest preserves within 50 miles of here. Some of our favorites have been Moraine Hills State Park, Independence Grove Forest Preserve, and Willow Springs Forest Preserve.

Yes, I’ve managed to keep up my horn playing and Gus usually cooperates, he’ll just play with his toys or color while I’m practicing. Time has certainly become less mine and more ours. One unexpected thing he does is sing or even buzz his lips while I’m practicing. He even can play a few notes on my horn! He laughs every time!

Sarah really appreciates the opportunity to give our friends at Lyric a glimpse into her days in this time of COVID. Here’s what she wrote:

“My role consists of meeting patients and families to try to develop a safe plan for the patient after discharge from the hospital. While my patients, thankfully, are not on ventilators, many of them were before they transferred to my floor and some of them will transfer from my floor to intensive care to be intubated. I have discussions with my patients about how we are sending them home even though they feel horrible and still need oxygen to breathe. I also talk with family members about having to decide between taking a patient home providing 24-hour care for the patient, versus sending their loved one to a nursing facility for care where they won’t be able to visit.

I’ve had several colleagues diagnosed with COVID, most likely contracted from work, despite the PPE that we all wear diligently. The workload is unrelenting and getting worse. I’ve seen patients who first got sick in March and who have come back again and again. It is just plain hard to be a nurse right now. With that said, I am also fortunate because I come home every day to a smiling little boy screaming “mama home!” and a husband who waits there as I wash my hands to give me a hug. While I know Fritz desperately misses performing and worries when the time will come that he is able to do it again, we are cherishing our time and counting the days until the pandemic is over.”


Gus hittin' the road with dad Fritz and mom Sarah


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