COVID Close to Home

 I\’ve known about the pandemic for months. I\’ve been a careful mask wearer for months. But I hadn\’t encountered a person with Covid in real life until this month. It scared the shit out of me and my co-workers.

It turns out that an infected girl in the time frame of being contagious was at work. Where I work we wear masks, but we are not able to social distance from each other. And we touch each others tools and work stations. The girl was at work on a Monday, and experienced symptoms a day after being at work, a Tuesday, and did go to a doctor. Her initial Covid test was negative (taken too soon in the cycle), so the doctor gives her some medicine for symptoms and antibiotics (really? Doctor doesn\’t know shit). The girl develops a heart condition due to the medication and ends up in the hospital for 2 days. A second Covid test is positive. (Have these doctor heard that Covid affects the heart?) Sad situation for a 23 year old woman. 

This time line so far took 9 or 10 days. So the manager at work doesn\’t know about the positive Covid test until 10 days after the girl was at work and contagious. At first, the positive test has to be reported to a district manager (time taken). Then the approval was given to send home anyone in direct contact with the sick girl. Well, crap. These other people were at work, not social distancing for 10 days, not knowing anything about the sick girl. (Luckily, no one else got sick. Masks work I guess).

I didn\’t work with the sick girl, but I did work with everyone else. I heard about the exposure on day 11 when a guy on my shift was sent home. Even then, it wasn\’t the manager who told me. I heard parts of the story in the form of gossip over a head set.

That afternoon when I left work, I was pissed. I couldn\’t figure out the time line at that point but I knew it was 10 or 11 days when I finally heard the second hand information. I stayed by myself for 2 days. I was concerned because many of my friends are in their late seventies or eighties. Finally on a Sunday, day 13, I call my manager and ask her to explain the time line details to me. I need to know if I can go around other people safely. She explains what I wrote above.

My next work shift is that Tuesday at 11:30. At about 8 in the morning, I realize I am terrified to go into work. I look at all the pieces of this puzzle. I realize that there is not a chance in hell that our workplace can really be safe. Does a person know if they have contacted the virus? How many days are they contagious before symptoms? How many days until you can get a valid test, and then results? 

Now I\’ve known about some of these facts, but you don\’t really understand how all these features play out until it happens in front of your eyes. Then you realize that you can\’t be safe at work. My answer was to quit.

I will also say that this girl turned up at work again on day 16. She still had symptoms. They let her come back because of a negative test. But actually, we don\’t know for sure that she was not contagious.

My co-workers were hot about this. The manager wasn\’t there today, so tons of conversation went on. I wasn\’t the only person to be afraid and angry.

Covid really sucks. It is a squirrelly disease. This time line will happen again because thats how the disease plays itself out. That is why I decided I was done with that work place. (Luckily, I have other options).

Everyone stop and think about the time line. Realize that you will get caught up in this Covid cycle at some point. It is inevitable that you will be exposed at some point. Lets hope you have a mask on and you wash your hands alot. Or you will be sick.

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