In February 2020, I had some blood drawn done at a local hospital. Since I had a slight cold, the phlebotomist handed me a mask “due to an abundance of caution.” At the time, only a handful of COVID cases had been reported in the US, and I wasn’t particularly concerned. Still, when I exited the lab, I left the mask on and found myself riding the elevator alone. In the parking garage, people who spotted my blue-shielded face avoided eye contact and walked past as if I was invisible. It sounds callous to say this now, but at the time, I found the situation slightly amusing. I’d just watched the episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm in which Larry wears a MAGA hat as a “people repellent” and wondered if perhaps a surgical mask might have a similar effect. Something to remember next time I don’t want to be bothered, I thought.
These days, thankfully, masks are required for everyone entering hospitals and medical establishments. My immune system’s compromised, so I don’t take anything about COVID lightly. I’ve received more mRNA vaccinations than most people, and do my best to stay up-to-date on the latest news about new cases and treatments.
But one thing I’ve neglected–and perhaps you’re in this category too–is routine healthcare. A few weeks ago, I got a bad cut on my arm while moving some furniture, and when I checked my medical records, saw that I hadn’t had a tetanus shot in many years. So I called the local pharmacy and got a shot the next day. Then I realized I hadn’t had a mammogram in a while, and was surprised to learn four years had passed since my last one. Fortunately, I was able to schedule that this past week and all was good. Next on the list is a shingles shot and a colonoscopy.
Not fun, but important! Have you also let routine medical care slide during the pandemic? If so, please do the stuff you’ve put off. Thank you!