Saw my wife, Lisa, yesterday. First time since the beginning of March. It was glorious. She surprised me from the back door, where the outside table was, with a bag of bagels and lox spread. She arrived with mask, no gloves. She appeared during our now usual boozy brunch with the rest of my family that we host on Zoom. It was a fabulous moment, you see, because it was our fifth anniversary and we hadn't really been able to celebrate.
Oh we had Joe's Stone Crabs that she had shipped up from Miami, memories of another old celebration, the night before, but it would not be like seeing each other for real, in the garb of the Covid age.
We devoured our bagels and lox spread and rejoiced about eight feet apart, because we judged that the safe distance. We don't trust the six foot rule and think that everything is pretty unknown. I had passed up a gathering of friends in similar circumstances the day before, if only because I figured I'd just get it by not being careful.
My wife stayed for about an hour, with her mask on except to eat the bagel and while we felt vulnerable, during those moments it was otherwise safe right down to the elbow shake goodbye. Yes at that moment I wondered if that was too close and whatever quarantine we both had been under was now broken.
Welcome to the new era. The era of being careful, the era where we don't give a darned about people foolish enough to go to the beach together, unless they have had it or even then who knows? The era where people can protest to be open for business, some of which should be open -- like contractors who wear masks anyway and doctors and dentists who can do the same -- and some of which seem, sadly downright foolish, like hair cutters and nail salons.
I had told Lisa that without being tested, we couldn't get together beyond the craziness of social distancing and really good masks, not the bogus kind. I had the really good one, she had the simple one, which made me think that perhaps we were taking risks.
Oh you may think we are being overly cautious, but I am in my sixties so I really don't care what you think. I have seen the ads that say I am more at risk and I don't want to bank on remdesivir or whatever that's been anecdotally tried and successfully used in one small test in Chicago.
I had said that we could see each other when it is simple enough as going to the gas station and filling up, but, of course it isn't. And I marveled about how Germany seems to be testing like it's going out of style, because it is opening up without a lot of risk -- or it seems like it, who knows? I don't have any friends out there and I don't trust the press conferences with the president to find out, because the antipathy is so astounding that it is other worldly. Can't you just ask questions to the health care professionals for heaven's sake, I found myself yelling in frustration before turning it off.
We would have loved to have been tested, each of us, because we could have stayed with each other and even touched each other on our fifth anniversary.
In truth, as long as we don't have an Abbott Labs (ABT) machine with a five-to-fifteen minute machine done properly, we had it about as good as it gets, with the only real at-risk moments being when we took off our masks. We didn't kid ourselves. If we stayed away from everyone else for fourteen days, we could have stayed together, but we hadn't as I had gone to work last Thursday with a plethora of people wondering where I was on Friday: A glorious day off, my first in ages.
So, here's the real truth as we actually know it. If you want to be safe, I mean safe enough not to have to go to the hospital to beg to get tested -- not that it wouldn't be the single most stupid thing in the world to get a test in my part of New Jersey -- that's about as good as it gets. If you have testing or you have had Covid and you think you are immune, then go get 'em. I didn't want to be one of the statistics of the ever-rising New Jersey body count.
Don't kid yourself. If you really want to be more bold than I was and never consider bravery as a factor. Eat your bagel and get out of Dodge. That's safe, that's the way it really must be without a vaccine and just hope Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) , or Moderna (MRNA) or Pfizer (PFE) is closer than they were when they started with ebola, because that was five years in the making, record time for a job well done.