We’re Fine, We’re Fine, We’re Fine

I’ve been on straight OT the past two weeks, and it’s starting to show. Some days, I feel worn-out and miserable, so I’ve been cheering myself up by looking forward to another adventure.

If only finding a hotel was like playing pin the tail on the donkey; just slap a blindfold on and aim at whatever. Sometimes it feels like that. But hotels cost money, and spending it on a less than desirable one is like throwing your money away. And I’m poor. I’m not in a position to just blow it on whatever. So I end up obsessing about finding the perfect hotel – strategic location, non-shady area, decent digs, affordable price, you know the drill. If there’s anything agonizing about planning a trip, it’s always trying to find the best place to stay.

Lord, here I go again.

What a whiny, privileged post. Who has time to complain about work and how hard it is to find a place to stay, when people are dropping like flies over in China? I guess I do? I mean, what else do I have to write about? How I had sudden onset vertigo two Saturdays ago, and it freaked me out so much, I went to the clinic and ended up side-eying everyone with even the slightest hint of a cough, twitchy as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs? How I watched at least two people drop in to help themselves from the free surgical masks out of the courtesy box right beside a giant bottle of hand sanitizer, and scurry away without so much as a thank you? How it made me have to tamp down a bout of slightly hysterical giggles, the same way I did seeing Rexall’s “SORRY, OUT OF SURGICAL MASKS” sign, because what is this, a Gwyneth Paltrow movie?

I stopped checking my Facebook feed even more than usual. For a while there, it was nothing but arguments as to the correct way to wear a surgical mask (blue out/white in? white out/blue in? Jesus.), self-righteous, virtue signalling reminders not be racist in Chinatown and elsewhere, ridiculous articles seeking to pinpoint where the virus possibly originated (civet cats? rats? pangolins? bats?), and just fear, fear and fear. It’s only February! What is happening?

It’s never been easier to fall victim to mass hysteria than now, when we are all connected and hearsay is a tap and a swipe away.  Sometimes it’s best to rely on common sense. Observe proper hygiene. Eat well.  Don’t be a slob, wash your hands before eating, or rubbing your eyes, or picking your nose, or sticking your fingers in your mouth. Disinfect your phone. Take precautions. Don’t cough or sneeze on people. Wear masks if needed in public areas (who cares if it isn’t Hong Kong, this thing is potent). Common sense may only go so far in the face of what looks like a literally virulent sickness, but hey. Anything is better than being careless. (And, from the looks of it, being in Wuhan. I know, I know. Too soon.)

It wasn’t the best time to be at the clinic, that’s for sure. Not when the headlines were – and are – all about some worse-than-SARS virus that’s ripping through mankind like wildfire. Not when one of your closest buds is busy telling you how she’s made sure to Lysol everything including the kitchen sink, and you’re all agreeing that it’s best school stay suspended and keep the kids home – better safe than sorry- and all of a sudden you’ve taken a hard left into absurd territory by  swapping selfies of yourselves wearing masks, because apparently, that’s the takeaway. The world may be ending, but Hello Kitty masks will always be cute.

Be safe out there, you guys.

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