*I wrote this in March 2020. I’ve had it sitting on my desktop ever since. I’m not sure why. It never seemed like the right time to post it. Everything about how we live right now is different, it seems. But, this is a representative snapshot of a moment in time for me, so I’ll share it now.
I don’t know what to think about the amount of stress I felt going to CVS today.
My state is on lockdown. No one is to be out unless for food or medicine. I needed the latter.
I had to psych myself up before getting in the car. I gathered supplies: my remaining stash of Clorox wipes, my own pen, and I had my credit card out and at the ready so I could touch my wallet as little as possible before disinfecting it.
The one mile drive to the store was like driving through a ghost town. I half expected to see tumbleweed roll by. I don’t live in a very happening place to begin with, but this was downright eerie.
When I pulled up to the store, I headed straight for the drive through.
Last week, I was greeted with a smile by the pharmacy technician. She handed me a clipboard and a pen, that I reluctantly used to sign my receipt. Not so, today. The tech barely opened the window, talking to me the whole time through an opening of about six inches, using the glass as a shield. It was off-putting and reassuring at the same time. I was startled at first. Then, oh right. The contagion.
He looked me up in the computer, and found my order. “That’ll be $25,” he said with a pinched face. He must hate this part. The touching money part. He extended the metal drawer, and I dropped my credit card into it. “Oh, wait! I also have…” I started to say that I also have cash. Then I remembered that cash actually isn’t better.
He ran my card, and returned it back in the drawer. I really didn’t want to pick it up.
But I did, and then cleaned it as much as I dared with a precious Clorox wipe. Does getting the magnetic strip wet damage it? I didn’t know, and didn’t much care.
The tech handed my rather large bag through that very small opening. I took it with two fingers, touching as little as possible. No clipboard or signature needed. Thank goodness for electronic receipts.
I wiped everything I could think of, my credit card, my hands, even the pen I didn’t use.
I drove home and tried to touch as little as possible. I put the bag in a back room and washed my hands, then cleaned the doorknob, my car key fob, my leather wallet, my phone. I washed my hands again.
This is not typically how I live.