Drive up, get reality check

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Drive-thru service — at a doctor’s office?

I never seriously gave it any thought until I recently went for a routine checkup.

I turn into the parking lot and am greeted by the check-in nurse.

I roll down my passenger side window.

Balancing a laptop on her left arm and adjusting her mask, she pounds me with a series of questions.

“What’s your birth date?”

“Are you in any pain?”

“Have you traveled out of the country recently?”

“Have you come in contact with anyone who has the virus?”

“So, you’re here to see the doctor because…?”

On to the next tent a few feet away.

Up goes the passenger window, down comes the driver’s side window.

The nurse took my temperature, blood pressure and pulse — all twice.

The numbers were a little elevated because of my high anxiety, and the fact that — like most people — I can’t stand a doctor’s office. Even if I’m in the safety of my own car.

“Are you sure you’re OK?”

I entertained her question with a “yes.”

Surprisingly, there were no objections. She said my doctor would see me shortly and I pulled into an empty parking space.

“All this to get a script filled?” I think to myself.

After a few minutes, the doctor comes out.

We talk for a bit and she hears some congestion in my voice. It’s pollen season and my allergies are having a field day. I thought to myself I sound like this 90% of the time.

Still, she’d rather err on the side of caution.

I’m eventually handed three scripts and said that one “isn’t necessary” unless my symptoms develop into something else. She talked about working outside for the last six weeks and how this is a dangerous virus that people need to take seriously.

Tears well up in her eyes.

Her emotions struck a chord.

Not that I needed a reality check, but I instantly became more aware of my surroundings as I backed out of the parking lot and headed toward the pharmacy.

I looked at drivers beside me.

Some wore a mask, some didn’t.

When I got to the pharmacy, I noticed more masks and social distancing as I waited for my scripts to be filled. I walked down an aisle or two, and stepped aside each time when someone came in my direction.

It wasn’t my intention to write another virus column this week.

But I had to because this is my advice to you.

Be safe.

Access good, correct updates about COVID-19.

Focus on what you can control and take a long-term outlook.

Remain realistic about the present and optimistic about the future.

We will bounce back.

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