IMO Joyce Carol Oates is the BALZAC of the American 20th century. As Balzac is to France, Oates is to America. In novel after novel she keeps up with the lightening fast changes that have gone on. THEM was such a wonderful book beginning with a woman just coming of age after WWII and all the changes she goes through.
Her husband gets sick in the beginning, coughing, wheezing, having trouble breathing. It is Sunday. By Sunday evening she gets him to agree for her to take him to emergency in the hospital at Princeton. He is admitted and diagnosed with pneumonia. She is relieved as that is not the terrible disease it used to be. Her husband is 77 and in good health. she does not mention any vaccination for pneumonia. I am puzzled by this.
He will be on oxygen and seems to be getting better. She is told by a doctor the next day, that they need to know exactly what virus they are dealing with so as to select the correct antibiotic. It turns out to be e-coli in the right lung so they give him the right antibiotic and dose him and he improves.
ME! I am thinking E-COLI and cannot understand the acceptance of normal infection at this stage. Then in another throw away sentence it turns out her husband has been on blood thinners successfully for quite awhile.