Tuesday, September 07, 2021

The Age of Paranoia

A sore throat can ruin your day.

Since it's the time of COVID, I decided I needed to get one of the rapid antigen tests, just to make sure I wasn't going to infect Eli 20.1 tomorrow on the drive to the golf course. 

The irony, of course, is that I'm pretty sure Eli gave me whatever this is, since he was sniffling and had a sore throat last week (he had two COVID tests, thanks to U of M, both negative). The problem, though, is that basically every student on campus is sick right now, because they haven't been around loads of people for a year and a half and they all have respiratory viruses. 

Eli doesn't fly to the UK until October 4, so he's spending quite a bit of time in Ann Arbor with his girlfriend. He's also going to some on-campus activities. Enter the plague pit.

I still needed to check, though.

The only place in the Grand Rapids area that had the rapid tests was a Walgreens in a suburb where 80% of the people think COVID is a government hoax (yes, that kind of suburb). 

So I hit the highway.

I don't believe in omens, but in the span of two minutes I saw the following:
--a truck hauling an RV with three times the square footage of my apartment. 
--a Port-a-potty truck, hauling many portable potties.
--another truck hauling something large, spherical, and black, presumably headed for Mordor.

In this case, I made the only common-sense decision possible: if I saw a circus truck hauling an elephant, I was turning around and going back home. 

I saw no elephant, although there was an unusual horse in a trailer. 

When I reached the Walgreen's, dark forces made themselves apparent. This was the same cursed Walgreen's where I'd gone to buy a brace after breaking my ankle a month after we arrived in Grand Rapids. 

Still, though, they had the tests in stock.

Steeling myself, I went in anyway. Double-masked and social distanced, because I didn't want to expose anyone in the highly unlikely event that I did have COVID.

The clerk, of course, had the mask pulled down to her mouth. Excellent, madam. 

I was out in less than a minute, then drove home through an apocalyptic thunderstorm, including some spectacular and disturbingly close lightning. 

The actual COVID test? Negative. Just a stupid sore throat.

I'm sure I'll take another test tomorrow. 

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