I didn’t sleep very well last night.

Anxiety stirred within me.

My doctor urged me to get a flu immunization at the earliest opportunity. That communication was as we were marching into full lockdown. The medical center wasn’t getting more immunizations until Thursday, 26 March 2020 — the first full day of the lockdown — and when I called up to make an appointment, the next clinic was today: Monday, 30 March 2020.

I woke up before the alarm went off. I turned it off, slid out of bed, and snuck into the bathroom to prepare for the day.

By the time I got out of the bathroom, my husband was awake. I didn’t tell him how absolutely anxious I was to go out into the big, bad world, and I don’t think he noticed how panic-stricken I was.

I wore a mask, just in case. It made my glasses fog up a lot.

To avoid tempting fate, I took his car, which is newer than mine. The streets were pretty empty. The rain fell from the gray skies, sometimes lighter, sometimes heavier, all the while without a break.

There was barely anyone out, but when I got to the medical center, there were a few people around. A few people lingered near the entrance to the surgery room (which has its own exit) on the side of the building, but I wasn’t sure if that’s where I was supposed to be as there were other people loitering around the main entrance too. I asked a man standing at the other end of the building if that was the line for flu shots, and he confirmed that.

Several red crosses were marked in tape on the sidewalk along the driveway. There were a few people ahead of me. The nurse, a middle aged woman with a mask across her face, told the elderly couple second in line that their appointment wasn’t until 9:30-ish. This was at around 9, and my booking was for 9:06 AM (exactly).

When it got to be my turn, the nurse apologized profusely. She was running late, she explained as if I’d been on Mars and hadn’t witnessed it all, because people showed up out of sync with the schedule. Part of me wanted to say that, well, yes, but things would catch up once she arrived to 9:30 and she already had immunized those people, so her schedule would start to sync a little again. But she kept asking me about if I was feeling well (read: you are wearing a mask) to which I wanted to reply, “I’m wearing the mask in case I have been exposed and am showing no symptoms and I don’t want to get other people sick.” Again, before I could say anything, she started spouting on about me needing a flu shot because I have type-2 diabetes. I did correct her to say, actually, I’m asthmatic and have been for my entire life, and that was why I needed the flu shot. That blew over her head, and she seemed surprised I didn’t need insulin injections if I was a type-2 diabetic. It rubbed me the wrong way, and the words spat out that I was borderline diabetic, so of course I didn’t need insulin.

Despite that all, I wished her well and thanked her for her courage during this pandemic. And she sincerely wished me well too.

I went to the pharmacy, on the same plot of land, to pick up my husband’s prescription that he got before we were locked down but he didn’t get the time to pick up. I had to put sanitizer on my hands before entering, so I did. The man behind the counter, wearing a face shield and a surgical mask, laughed when my glasses steamed up for the millionth time. I pointed to them and laughed too. It emerged, after he searched a few drawers, that no, Noel’s prescriptions had not been sent through to the pharmacy even though the medical center’s Web site stated all prescriptions had been sent through to their respective pharmacies. I needed to go to the medical center to find out what was going on.

Back to the medical center I went in the rain.

There were people still lingering outside the door, and I didn’t want to risk it. Especially as one of the receptionists — a rather brisk but actually very wonderful woman named Anne — came out and told them no one could come in because there was a baby in reception. I took my phone out of my pocket and rang reception. There was a record of the prescription and… no it hadn’t been sent through. It was there. I could pick it up if I wanted… Oh. She saw me waving at her through the glass doors. Come in to reception and pick it up, the other receptionist said, but please use sanitizer after you enter.

In the meantime, while I was on the phone, Anne came out again. She was talking to some people in line, saw me, and said, “Are you okay, Scott?” I waved at her and put the thumbs up, and she smiled and walked back inside.

I put more sanitizer on before approaching (at a socially acceptable distance) the reception desk. The other receptionist and Anne smiled at me and gave me the prescription. I told them my husband would pay it online. I looked at them through my fogged up glasses and thanked them, and I wished them the best of luck through the pandemic. They smiled wearily but replied a hearty thank you as well.

Back through the rain to the pharmacy. I sanitized my hands again, then entered the building. Another pharmacist caught me on the way. She urged me to sit outside while the order was being made up and she would text me when it was done. I replied it was my husband’s prescription, he wasn’t with me, so it was his phone on the paper. I gave her my number, confirmed it, and told her I was in the red sports car (not mine) in the parking lot out that window (pointing) if she needed me. She told me they would text me in 10 minutes.

Out in the rain again from the pharmacy to the car. I pumped hand sanitizer in the car again on my hands before picking up my phone and letting Noel know what was going on. I waited 15 minutes in the car. No text. So I go out, into the rain again, and walked back to the pharmacy.

More hand sanitzier. My hands were slippery from all the moisturizer in all the hand sanitiziers.

Ah, the female pharmacist said as she saw me, at about 3 times the needed social distancing. We did try to text you but it wouldn’t go through. I quoted my number again, and she vaguely smiled. (I don’ think she had the right number.) We organized the prescription, I paid for it, and then I drove home slowly because of my foggy glasses.

Well, my foggy glasses and my anxiety had been so bad I was having a hard time concentrating because my mind was foggy too.

Once home, I worked for a while. The Moodle site seems to be fleshing out quite well for The Place Where I Work.

Around 1:30, I started cooking dinner. Before the lockdown, I started bulk buying meat and supplies to make casseroles. Two of the casseroles I make can last us for 3 days’ worth of dinner each, and I got enough to make 4 casseroles overall, so 12 days’ worth of food. I browned the onions and meat, put the sauce into the crockpot, and let it boil away.

More work. And also texting with my brother and sister-in-law. There was some funny shit in there too, which improved my mood a lot.

I started cooking rice an hour before dinner, but my foggy mind hadn’t left me. I put too much water in the rice, and the steamer made it a sloshy mush. We couldn’t save it, so I started over again with rice and less water. About 45 minutes after dinner should have been ready, it was ready. The rice was a lot better.

Yesterday around 1 PM, I hit 5 days in isolation without being close (at all) to another human except my husband. That got reset to 0 today by going out again. I’d be lying to say that hasn’t caused me a great deal of anxiety in itself.

But I am relieved I had my flu shot, and that is kicking in now. I don’t feel as unwell as I usually do after the shot, but I do feel a little tired and a little bit sore. Let’s hope that’s all the side effects I’ll get from the shot.

Tomorrow, I’m going to sleep in. I hope I get an excellent night’s sleep seeing as the anxiety has really knocked me for a loop.

Writer, blogger, actor, reader, singer, liberal, German, American, Kiwi, gay, Caucasian, educational administrator.

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