The last time someone outside my family was in our house was March 13.
Outside of walks or runs, on which it’s easy to keep our distance from others, our main exposure to the outside world over the past 25 days has been through food. My wife and I go to the market about once a week — wearing masks now while ducking from those who don’t — and get takeout or delivery a couple times a week. And then there’s the mail, which we bring six days a week, though it’s been easy to forget. (Maybe we shouldn’t take it for granted.)
Whenever we get products from the outside, we take precautions while bringing them into the house. We disenfect the packaging in some manner, and if it’s not perishable, we will then leave our purchases untouched for 48 hours or more. We wash our hands promptly and try to take care not to touch our hands to our faces, at least until our hands are seemingly safe.
We still get print delivery of the Los Angeles Times on Thursdays through Sundays, and — almost for the heck of it — I go out to the front lawn, kick the paper to our front steps, squeeze it between my shoes and jump-toss it with my feet up to the front door before kicking it inside.
So, I mean, we are fully conscious of guarding our house against that insidious little visitor, that uncoveted covid. I think we’re on the right side of the road between precaution and panic.
I am someone who lets things slip through the cracks. I am not a perfectionist. I am not scrupulous with my cleaning. I am not a wall. And for all the times I handle my cellphone, I can’t possibly be sanitizing it enough.
I am also someone who can be, well, dumb. A couple weeks ago, my wife and I were near the end of a long walk, and I absent-mindedly pressed the button at the crosswalk with my forefinger. My better half was nearly apoplectic. I couldn’t explain it — it was like Larry Walker handing the ball into the stands with only two out.
Why aren’t I better? I don’t know.
It might be improbable that these sins will come back to haunt us, but then again, the whole point of these safeguards is because the smallest infiltration could come back to haunt us.
That’s the thing — some people are getting the coronavirus through heroic acts on the front lines, whether they are professionals in medicine or food service. It would be just like me to get it through sheer sloppiness.
It’s not a paralyzing thought, but it’s a prevalent one.
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