For three months now, my commutes to work have been a quick shuffle across the living room to the writing room where, with dogs sleeping at my feet, I log in and work online.
I’ve only driven to Columbus once during this time for a meeting that could not occur virtually. Otherwise, I’m only firing up my Buick chariot once a week to travel to the big city for immunotherapy, and then there are the occasional local runs to the grocery store or pharmacy — always with mask on, and always reminding me of the song My Silver Lining by First Aid Kit.
“I don’t want to wait anymore I’m tired of looking for answers. Take me some place where there’s music and there’s laughter. I don’t know if I’m scared of dying, but I’m scared of living too fast, too slow,” the lyrics are hauntingly surreal.
I’m fortunate to work from home — breaking it down, I’m fortunate to have work and to have a home. I’m grateful to be alive. I may be far behind the scenes, but as a hospital employee, I carry the obligation of respectfully adhering to the guidelines provided by medical and science experts. I ache to go for hikes, to run on a path instead of on a treadmill, to go “where there’s music and there’s laughter.”
Unlike the lyrics to the song, I do know that I’m scared of dying. Like the lyrics, I am scared of living too fast. And so I keep my distance. I wash my hands for 20 seconds. I take my temperature daily. And I wear my mask. I do these things to protect me, my loved ones, and you.
As careful as I have been, I could be like so many others who are asymptomatic and yet test positive for COVID-19. I hate wearing the masks. And I admit that they make me panic a little. Perhaps it is because, as an asthmatic, I’m a bit claustrophobic about fabric draped over my nose and mouth. But I would rather be uncomfortable when I run my errands than risk the chance that I could be part of the spread of Coronavirus.
It’s difficult when you go places where the workers are also masking up to protect others and are offering overhead announcements to encourage social distancing, but where many of the customers are unmasked and uncaring about keeping their distance.
It’s true that masking is a choice in many establishments. And I get that there are plenty of folks who are unconcerned about the spreading of the life-threatening pandemic. But the facts about the virus are undeniably evident. And COVID-19 might be invisible, but it is a murderer all the same. So, like many others, I’ll keep following the guidelines.
Until we can go where there is “music and laughter” and jubilantly hug each other without risking becoming severely ill or dying, I’ll work from home when I can, and when I need to be out and about, I’ll keep my distance. And I know that some may not care, but I’ll also wear my mask for you.
Written and submitted by Amy Randall-McSorley for The Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.