I had a doctor appointment today. As I hopped in the car with fifteen minutes to spare, I turned the radio on, started backing up, and caught a glimpse of myself in the rear view mirror. “My mask!” I said out loud. Followed by, “Damn it!” Because, you know, you gotta wear a mask when entering a doctor’s office now.
I didn’t have a mask. Not even in the house. I’m vaccinated. I had Covid. I haven’t worn a mask. “Shit. Shit. Shit.” I repeated. Then, I remembered the one spare mask in my center console. I drove to the office, pulling into the parking lot, and checked my handbag for hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer. Because this is a staple in my purse, now.
As I walked into the doctor’s office, I gave my name to the very pleasant woman behind the desk, and she informed me that I was supposed to fill out an online evaluation before coming into the office. What? You’re not allowed to just walk into the office anymore? Nope. There was an online questionnaire I had to fill out. Was I experiencing any Covid-related symptoms? Fever? Headache? Have I been in contact with anyone experiencing any of those things? Again I say…What?
After finishing my online questionnaire and reintroducing myself to the woman behind the desk, I was told to walk down the hall, through a set of doors, and find a waiting room, where I would sit until I was called.
Well, at least I can watch the news or flip through a magazine, right? I had a few minutes to spare before my appointment. Nope. The chairs were separated. No tv. No magazines. No human within 20 feet of me. So I sat, rather confused, and looked around. Is this what we’re stuck with now? Is this it? Is this how it’s going to be from now on? Isolated from everyone…alone.
When I was finally called, I was brought into a small room and asked to keep my mask on while I waited for the doctor to see me. You mean to tell me that while I’m sitting by myself, in a room, by myself, I can’t take off my mask?
I hate this. I miss the way it used to be. I miss seeing people’s faces. I miss lipstick and gloss.
I miss flipping through a magazine in a waiting room, and not worrying who touched it before me.
I miss being able to cough without having to apologize, that “It was just a tickle in my throat.”
I left the doctor’s office after making a follow up appointment, and headed towards the front door. As soon as that cold air hit my face, I ripped off my mask and took a deep breath in. Fresh air. Seeing the oversized trash can, I tossed my mask in, as I walked by.
“Oh shit,” I said, “I’m gonna need that.”
Day 4 of 365