Yesterday, I finally broke down and went out for a beer. The microbrewery has outdoor seating and social distancing. I’m not sure they’re as diligent as I’d like about cleaning the living crap out of everything after each person leaves. But we don’t live in Manhattan. We live in Pasco County, Florida.
And as soon as I got back to the car, I washed my hands with sanitizer, then went to Publix with a mask on.
The risk is miniscule, pretty damn close to functionally zero. For me to get the Covid, someone with the Covid would have to sit in the same spot–extremely unlikely considering the numbers here. Then I would have to come in contact with the exact spot where the Covid cooties are. Then I would have to pick it up in enough concentration to infect myself. Then I would have touch my mouth, nose, or eyes.
And yet…my wife is in a high-risk category. Ninety percent of the people hospitalized with the Covid are high risk. While the risk of my potential actions is extremely low, the impact is very high.
Going out, being around people, having a beer–all of that helped my mental health. But the truth is, it could’ve brought back the Covid to my house. Ninety-nine percent of me is certain my actions functionally carry zero risk; that other percent speaks very loudly.
To be clear, my trip to get a beer put myself before my wife. It was probably selfish. In three weeks, I could be lamenting my action. In three weeks, I could be dead from my trip to get a beer.
If that happens, then no, a single beer wasn’t worth my life. Then again, neither were the running shoes I got because my current kicks are reaching the end of their useful life. Neither was the last time we sat with the neighbors six feet apart in the driveway. Neither is getting the mail.
But I really needed this yesterday. It was like a magic elixir.
There’s a reason solitary confinement is used as an enhanced punishment in prison. we’re built to be around each other. Next week, we’ll enter the fourth month of Covid-related isolation.
You can’t expect people to live their lives without getting out forever. The toll it takes on mental health isn’t a fiction.
But the risk I took yesterday wasn’t just for myself. My wife and son, who lives with us, took that risk, too.
I hope it was a reasonable risk.
If not, it could kill me. And others, too.