I woke this morning with a cough. I also have shortness of breath and fatigue. I recognize the feeling of fatigue. Having lived my life with a PFO, I know how it feels to be oxygen-starved. Is it Covid? I don’t know, but it woke me up to something I hadn’t considered.
Ever since I found out my granddaughter had exposure to someone that wasn’t social distancing, I’ve become cautious. My granddaughter works for me and I help her make sure her homework is done. I had a moment where I thought we should do this remotely, but I decided to just be careful instead. I wear my mask to the store, and I use a lot of hand sanitizer. However, I made an even bigger mistake this week than not deciding to keep my distance, and it made me realize how quickly a mistake can spread.
I needed a break a couple of days ago and decided a walk to the store would be the perfect way to take it. Halfway there, I realized my mask and gloves were in the car. Walking to the store is not my habit. I usually drive. I decided not to turn around. I would use my canvas shopping bag to cover my face and only grab soymilk. It seemed reasonable.
When I arrived at the store, they had a no reusable bag policy, so I chose to walk through the store with my shirt over my face. It wasn’t until checkout that I remembered the gloves. I had touched the handle to the refrigerator and used my knuckles to manage the checkout screen. When the clerk ran to sanitize the station after I was done, I felt like a criminal. I also thought he didn’t need to worry. I had been so careful. Now, here I am, only two or three days later with symptoms. Whatever I have, I was contagious with it when I walked into that store.
I’ve been so upset to see the people who aren’t taking this seriously. For those of us who are healthy, it is not our own health we risk. It is the health of others. I thought I was being careful. I thought, because I didn’t have symptoms, I didn’t have Covid-19. I thought I was doing what I could. I wasn’t, but I am now.
That one moment of inconvenience I had—the moment I decided I had gone too far to turn back for my mask and gloves. It could take a life. I can’t imagine what would have happened if we hadn’t begun social distancing, and I don’t want to imagine what might happen if we don’t continue. The mask isn’t for me, neither are the gloves. I’m canceling my schedule for the next two weeks. I won’t be hiking or gathering with others at a respectable ten feet.
The choices we are making have nothing to do with convenience. There are lives at stake. This virus is likely no danger to me, and that’s what makes the decision to be responsible so important. We are all potential carriers of that loaded gun, and by the time we realize we have it, it may be too late to take back our mistakes.
Be safe, be well, be responsible… please.