A Covid-19 Testing Tale

Posted: April 6, 2020 in Livin' in the USA
Tags: ,

I had an unsettling experience a few days ago: a friend of mine who lives way down on the southeast side, who’s been getting chemo and radiation for prostate cancer, appears to have the virus. He’s without transport, his truck having thrown its timing chain, so I took him to the testing station which is way out on the northwest side near Oracle and Ina, about 22 or 23 miles one way from his place. He had to lie down in the bed of my pickup on a foam mat for the trip, and once we got to the site it was like a scene from a disaster movie. It’s really odd talking with folks in head-to-toe protective gear where you can only see their eyes through a shield.

I used one of my standard deadpan laugh-lines when one of the moon-suited nurses told me I was a “good man” for helping my sick friend: I said, “Yes, I am.” It didn’t even get a chuckle. I was quite disappointed.

The weird part is that they have this rigid protocol where they want those tested to be inside of their cars. And, yes, they asked me if it was okay if Julio got out of the truck bed and into the cab with me while they administered the test. (Yes, they actually suggested this.) Of course I said “No!” and they eventually relented and did the test away from their prescribed area.

While they did it, it was unnerving to hear Julio scream while they pushed a swab up into his sinus cavities.I looked up at the rearview mirror, saw him writhing, and immediately averted my eyes.

Jesus. I had a couple of stiff drinks once I dropped him off and got home.

At least I’m getting a lot of practicing and writing in. The latest song, finished off last night, being “You’re always right, especially when you’re wrong,” inspired by an ex-GF and an ex-neighbor.

(The ex-GF is dead, sad, but not a surprise — the world’s worst driver — got T-boned while pulling out at a red light in front of an 18-wheeler a few years ago; and the ex-neighbor is still wearing his MAGA hat up in his compound around I-10 and Ruthrauff. Thank god he’s an ex-felon and is prohibited from owning firearms.)

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