Exposed

President Biden noted a sad occasion on Friday, February 4, 2022. The President marked the death of 900,000 Americans from Covid. Each death is not just a number but an “irreplaceable soul – beloved mothers and fathers, grandparents, children, brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends,” the president said in a special statement issued by the White House. “Get vaccinated. Get your kids vaccinated.”

According to data released by the Washington Post, 64% of Americans are fully vaccinated. 42% of those have received a booster dose. The unvaccinated are 53 times more likely to die.

An incident occurred to me this week, proving that point. I had to get tested for Covid prior to a medical procedure. So, I went to a lab nearby that tests for Covid between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. There were so many who needed testing that the lab collected our information, gave us a ticket, then sent us outside. We were directed to drive our cars around the hospital to the employee parking lot where we lined up – in our cars. When everyone was in line, the tests began. One by one, we inched our vehicles forward.

Dressed like beekeepers, with what looked like Q-tips in their hands, the techs told us to lower our windows, lower our masks, and tilt our heads back. In and out – quickly. I can’t say that I enjoyed having a swab stuck up my nose, but it wasn’t that unpleasant. The entire process took an hour and fifteen minutes. The results arrived the following day. Negative!

Later that day, I ran into a friend, a neighbor, near our mailboxes. Both of us were barefaced, after all we were outside. We talked. Did we violate the social distance requirement of remaining six feet apart? I don’t know. We were close.

The next day he found out that his spouse, despite being vaxxed and boosted, had come down with Covid. My friend called to advise me that he hoped, hoped, hoped he had not been exposed and exposed me. My friend, like his spouse, had been vaxxed and boosted also.

Panic set in for both of us. My friend raced to get tested while taking precautions in his home so he wouldn’t be exposed to his spouse, who also quarantined. It took a day for my friend to get the results of his Covid test, but he too was negative. Sighs of relief! Both of us!

In the meantime, my friend’s spouse began to recover from the Omicron strain. Being vaccinated and boosted helped in fighting the virus. Indeed, this case was mild because of following the rules.

Across the country, covid cases and hospitalizations seem to be dropping despite the rising death toll. We’re still masked, cautious, and too often cranky because of the pandemic, but there is a moral to my story. We must think of each other and work together. Even when you do everything right, you can be exposed. This sneaky virus is out there, everywhere – looking for a home.

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