Fifteen Minutes

15 minute increments.
That is how I live
8 hours a day
five days a week
15 minute increments.
I watch the clock carefully
I must excuse myself
I need to go
I need to wash my hands
to keep you
and myself safe.
15 minute increments
this is not a game
this is my new reality
as I serve the public
who need to eat
who need their care
who need reassurance
who need a friendly ear.
15 minute increments.
I wonder
up to 14 days
to incubate
please wait I must sanitize
I am sorry I have to make you stand
this is for your safety and mine.
15 minute increments.
This is my new reality.
This is my new truth.
This is a new life for everyone.
We are all in this together.
There is no need
to push
punch
scream
like animals in a zoo
suddenly released
set upon one another.
Bloody massacre.
15 minute increments.
I hope you have a great day.
I need a moment please.
Stand over the sink
how many 15 minutes have passed?
Single tear drops.
Chin quivers.
Deep breath.
Stand up straight.
Smile on my face.
In my ear
your voice
reassuring
‘baby you got this
it is only 15 minutes.’
©March 31/20
Picture is my own

New Reality

I am not a first responder. I am not a nurse. I am not a doctor. What I am is a cashier.

I serve people day in and day out. I reassure. I talk. I smile. I smile some more. Reassure some more. No we are not going into a food shortage people. What has happened is that all this panic buying has sent suppliers into a tailspin as they did not have the stock required to suddenly replenish the store shelves. Were you to have shopped normally….maybe a little heavier on your dry goods or frozen but toilet paper? People continue to surprise me every day despite my thinking I have seen it all.

It is a ghost town. Everyone has put themselves in self-isolation. At least for two weeks. What happens after that who knows.

I am pretty certain that at one point and time I am going to be exposed. It has a 7 day period before symptoms start. For all I know I already have been exposed. I am pragmatic. Either I am going to get it or I won’t. There is not much that I can do.

We are washing our hands every 15 minutes at work. They are going to be installing shields to protect the customer and ourselves. Yet another aspect of the new reality.

When H1N1 first came to light sanitizer wipes were everywhere. And stayed. So am assuming that it is possible that these shields will also stay. I understand the need for protection but I am still bothered. We are instilling a fear that I do not think is going to be easily eradicated. Never mind that groceries can still be scanned by cashier but cannot handle cards.

Part of me is wondering how much is too much. How far is too far. In the days and weeks to come we will see. For today and tomorrow I have no plans to go anywhere. I am in isolation with T until Monday when once more I return to serve people of my community.

March 21/20

Picture via Pinterest

 

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