Getting There.

Source: Pinterest

On Friday I had to drive to work. Or rather I had to drive to the parking garage where I normally park, the one next to a hospital. On a normal day, or at least what was a normal day a month ago, I would have parked in the parking garage and walked past the hospital on my way to work. This time I was going to the hospital, to the pharmacy just past the lobby, to pick up some prescription refills. And I was nervous. No, let me be honest. I was scared. I haven’t been enjoying the lockdown but, you know, you can get used to just about anything, and any trip out just reminds me that I have permanent lung damage from chemotherapy. Whether that really puts me at a greater risk from COVID-19 I don’t know, but I’d rather not, you know, risk it. I wondered if they could mail my prescription refills, or maybe send them via drone, and drop them into the backyard in a package with a little parachute, like in The Hunger Games. Since that wasn’t an option I got in the car and set out.

What should have been a familiar drive felt strangely unfamiliar. It’s only been a month and yet there was something unsettling about driving along roads I knew so well and yet hadn’t been down in so long. As I turned onto and crossed major intersections there were lots of cars on the road, more than I expected. What are all these people doing out? I wondered. And I remember reading somewhere that in other places under lockdowns from epidemics or for other reasons the number of car accidents actually went up because people were so stressed and distracted. I tried not to be distracted by such thoughts and focus on, you know, the road.

Normally I park on the roof of the parking garage. Not that many people park on the roof so it’s easier to get a spot close to the elevators. Also in the winter the sun warms the car throughout the day, even if it’s cloudy, so it’s nice and warm when it’s time to head home. And in the summer the sun warms the car throughout the day, even if it’s cloudy, so it’s unbearably hot when I first get in, but, you know, you can get used to just about anything. The air conditioner works pretty fast too. There’s a door into the area where the elevators are, though, and even though I was wearing gloves I was trying to avoid touching any surfaces, so I parked on a lower level. There weren’t that many cars in the parking garage so I was able to get a spot close to the elevators. I pressed the buttons with my elbow, went into the hospital lobby through the revolving doors, holding my hands close to my body, and was stopped by a nurse.

“I need to take your temperature,” she said. I pulled down my face mask and she stuck a metal thermometer, covered with protective plastic, in my mouth. Within seconds she told me my temp was normal and then said, “And I need you to leave that face mask here because that is awesome.”

Yeah, my mother-in-law made it, and I wasn’t giving it up. Sometimes I just wear it around the house, even when I don’t need it, because I like it, but that’s another story. It felt good to laugh with a stranger, something I didn’t realize I’d missed.

After I got my prescriptions I waved to the same nurse on my way out. I still felt anxious about the trip back home but I was already feeling better, like I was, you know, getting used to it.

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14 Comments

  1. Ann Koplow

    I can relate, my friend. It’s always better getting there with you.
    Ann Koplow recently posted…Day 2696: The Age of AnxietyMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It’s the journey, not the destination, that matters, but it’s the people who make the journey enjoyable, and I’m glad you’re on this journey with me.

      Reply
  2. Pat

    My 9-year old daughter is fascinated with your pink panther mask. And she said, “What! His mother-in-law made it.” LOL! ∠( ᐛ 」∠)_

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Even funnier is that it’s some spare fabric that she just happened to have around.

      Reply
  3. Kristine Laco

    That face mask is amazing! Glad you stayed safe. It is freaky when I have to leave the house for my every two-week grocery run.
    Kristine Laco recently posted…Love In The Time of CovidMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I feel lucky that my wife is the one who makes a weekly grocery run. The last time I went to the grocery I was so nervous I got in and out in a matter of minutes. When I got home she asked me if they were out of certain things and I said, “I don’t know. I didn’t look.” Normally I dawdle around and look at things.
      I know this will eventually end but it’s going to be weird getting used to going out again.

      Reply
  4. Allison

    I like the face mask. I don’t like going out. But I also feel completely trapped if I can’t leave the house. It’s a total Catch-22.
    Allison recently posted…Clown SexMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I think I know what you mean. I’m finding being at home enjoyable but I also think, oh, I have some free time, it would be nice to…uh…walk to the kitchen.

      Reply
  5. giacmc

    or you could order one of these: https://it.newchic.com/hats-and-caps-4192/p-1661279.html?rmmds=category

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      In college I wore a visor like that while writing a paper on the Marquis de Sade. When dealing with de Sade protective gear is an absolute necessity.

      Reply
  6. grace

    You are not able to do mail order for your prescription? In alot of ways my life has been on lockdown since december because of the wheelchair thing, so I guess I have gotten kind of “used to that” as well. I can tell you that I am very nervous about walking again, because I know I touch everything 🙁

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Unfortunately because I have to hand over my ID for one of my prescriptions I can’t do mail order. There might be state restrictions too that I’m not aware of. It’s funny, though, how a change in our situation like this can make us aware of little things, like how much you touch.

      Reply
  7. Arionis

    Love the mask! Mine is a boring Dallas Cowboys one. Although, as I’m told by numerous memes, I won’t catch anything while wearing it.
    Arionis recently posted…The CarsMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m just speechless because, damn, that is funny. Funny because it’s true.

      Reply

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