Confessions of a COVID-induced temporary OCD victim
Never finicky and otherwise blithely unaware of the zillion germs sharing human existence, I freely embraced life. Washing one's hands was a necessary pursuit at certain times but not, as now, a compulsive ritual that leaves one with chapped hands and use of nitrile gloves when venturing out. That was in the before-times — before the invisible scourge known as the Wuhan virus, the novel coronavirus, AKA COVID-19, that has invaded the world and upended civilization as we knew it.
Zap — gone air travel. Zap — gone cruises. Zap — take that, restaurants, movie theaters, Broadway, and Hollywood studio lots, you houses of contagion, you! Schools and colleges — closed. Office buildings — locked. Boom — don't leave your house, humans. Bam — wear a mask, wash your hands multiple times a day, clean surfaces.
One went from daily commutes, meeting with clients, and going to court and board meetings to staying at home, viewing funerals and meetings on Zoom, and other platforms with dial-in numbers and a string of codes for your attendance PIN. Yes, one attended, but without the human element of emotion, hiding behind a screen.
Shopping, once a trivial pursuit of scoring the best clothes and handbags at discount prices, shifted to pathetically pursuing the holy grail of 99% disinfectant wipes, face masks, and hand sanitizers. The current shopping pursuit is akin to Harry Potter grabbing the golden snitch in a game of Quidditch or, as a child, grabbing the brass ring on a merry-go-round to earn one exultantly another ride.
Who knew that Clorox and Lysol disinfectant wipes, cloth and disposal tiered face masks would become more valuable than jewelry and gold?
So here's the routine to avoid "cross contamination." In one's car are a box of nitrile gloves, paper disposable or cloth masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes. One goes into a store with nitrile gloves, or not, but wearing a mandated mask. When one returns to the car, with packages, one removes the gloves, if worn, and disposable mask, and the gloves and mask are thrown into a plastic trash bag. If cloth mask was worn it is put in a separate bag for washing. Hands are washed with hand sanitizer, and credit card, if used, is wiped with disinfectant wipe, which is also used to clean door handle, ignition button, car key, and any other object touched getting into the car. The disinfectant wipe is then thrown into plastic bag for disposal.
Please, someone tell me there is a cure for this addiction, and that it is, indeed, temporary.