Three years later, looking back on Covid-19

After three years of Covid-19, it’s time to look back at all the protective measures:

Wipe off everything: Tried that once. The moisture warped the book covers.

Let deliveries sit outside: Pizza deliveries just did not taste all that great after sitting on the porch. I opened our mail every day. But then during the anthrax hype, I was the one a News-Times co-worker asked, “would you open this? It might have anthrax.”

“You think it might have anthrax and  you want me to open your letter?” I took it and slit open the anthrax-free envelope.

Wash your hands. The smell of antiseptic assaulted my nose and dried my hands every time I went to the clinic. Just before Covid-19 stalled the world, I frequented the orthopedic clinic for check-ups following hip surgery and therapy.  Before letting me enter, the staff pointed me to the antiseptic soap dispenser. I followed the routine that doctors and nurses have followed since long before Covid-19.

Don’t touch your face.  So read the woman on national TV who then reached up and brushed hair away from her face.

Stay home unless it is essential. Essential workers got extra pay for showing up. Physical therapy seemed essential to me. After PT I bought groceries. Checking out I saw terror lurking behind the eyes of one clerk. Not even all the extra pay kept her there. Many who stayed home cleaned house, sorted out their excess and did home repairs. After a week of that, my son found a job in retail. He wanted to do something besides sit at home. He did not test positive for Covid until a year after the shutdown.

If you have symptoms, get tested. Sound advice but useless for folks with the disease and no symptoms. Sounded odd until I learned some were required to have weekly tests, whether they had symptoms or not!

Not me. The first time Covid-19 came to our my house, I asked my doctor, “Do I have to have a test?”

“No, you can just stay home an extra five days.” I gladly skipped the test and welcomed an extra five days to work on my quarantine quilt.

We may have been casual about contact and staying at home, but we did comply with those suffocating, irritating masks.  I know some folks felt the masks were useless. They knekw more than medical professionals. I always wonder how many of them in the future will tell their surgical teams, “You can leave your mask off during my open heart surgery.”

I met one nurse who worked in the Covid wing at the hospital who had heard more than her fill from the anti-maskers. She wore her mask faithfully, even when picking up groceries after work.

One of the “mask experts” stood behind her at the checkout line. He commented, “That mask does not do anything to protect against Covid. No one can make me to wear a mask. This is a free country.”

After a long shift on the ward tending patients struggling to breathe, the nurse turned around and looked right at the freedom rider.

She said, “You are right! I do not have to wear this mask. I just got off from working at the hospital with Covid patients. I can take this mask off any time I want.” With that she reached up, ripped the mask off to prove her challenger’s truth. His taunting face dropped in shocked horror. He stepped back, practically ran to the farthest available check-out line and never said another word.

That incident summarizes three years of Covid-19 and all its protective measures. There were a lot of loud opinions shared aout masks, vaccines and social distancing, but coming face to face with the worst symptoms of Covid-19 is sobering.