For the past week I’ve been on vacation and haven’t been reading, which is not the norm. But I wanted to make the most of my time with the relatives. (Actually, I did listen to several favorite audiobooks in the car, but since I’d already read and reviewed them, they don’t count.) Now back at home, I have started a new book. This morning I woke up with a throbbing ear and a bad headache. Fortunately my doctor’s office has walk-in appointments on Saturdays, so off I went.
When I got to the office, the first thing that greeted me was a box of disposable face masks and a sign asking patients to wear one if they had a cough or fever. Since I do have allergies that cause some coughing and sneezing, I put one on. At the check-in counter, there was another box on the counter urging people to wear a mask, in case they didn’t get the hint at the door. After signing in, I joined the other patients in the waiting room, and pulled out my book.
The next person to come in was a woman in her 60s. I watched in amazement as she had a long coughing fit, and didn’t even bother to cover her mouth! She had apparently ignored the masks at the door, and was now spraying her germs all over the waiting room. She continued coughing throughout her check-in with the receptionist, and sat down behind me, where she continued hacking away. The receptionist said nothing. I turned around, looked at the woman, and said, “You should be wearing a mask. There’s a box on the counter.” The woman just glared at me, and did nothing. Nothing.
Ten minutes later, I was in one exam room and I would hear the woman being escorted to the room across the hall from mine, still coughing her lungs out. Soon enough, the doc came in and confirmed that I had severe allergies as well as a nasty ear infection, and sent me on my way to the pharmacy for antibiotics.
It’s hard to believe that there are people well past the age of pre-schoolers who won’t cover their coughs with their hand or a Kleenex, and that refuse to wear a mask when it is offered. There’s no beauty contest at the doctor’s office, only sick people trying to get better. Well, I guess you can’t force folks to have common sense.