I like my job. It is work that needs doing and I enjoy doing it.
I have worked through several public health crises; I was a lab tech and phlebotomist through more than one hepatitis outbreak. I was working when AIDS first began to blossom, before we really knew anything about it, before gloves, before universal precautions. I worked through SARS and the Ebola scare.
But this one is different. Sure, the constant reminders of mortality are fatiguing. The social isolation is depressing. But what really gets me is the lack of cohesiveness, the lack of public will to get through this. The only thing which has changed since last March is more people around us are sick, yet people are demanding to open the bars, refusing to wear masks, insisting the kids go back to school.
No matter how hard we try to be careful, to slow the spread of the virus, to stay well, to keep others well, there are mobs of people willfully flaunting the precautions, denying the necessity of care, obstructing the efforts to contain the virus.
It takes a toll. The pandemic is worse now than it needs to be and it will last longer because of these Covid deniers. I feel fatalism setting in. I feel my empathy slipping. I find myself wishing these people would just crawl under a porch and die, like a sick cat.
On my way to work I saw an osprey, clutching a fish, flying in the morning sun. I have my mask on. The first patient needing an x-ray will arrive any minute now. Stay safe.
Vernon, you are one of the smartest people I know. I didn’t know your dad, but I know you. I suspect, like that hat you wear, I know him now. I admire your ability to speak your unyielding truth, your humor and now these heartfelt writings. Tell it like you see it Vernon. You’re a good writer.
Thanks, Brenda. I appreciate your kind words. Say “Hi!” to Doug for me.