Underneath my yellow skin


I had to go to my pharmacy yesterday because I needed my meds. It had been surprisingly painless to get my scrips, and I got the call Monday morning that my prescription was ready for pickup at the pharmacy. First time in…two weeks? Three? Quite some time that I’d interacted with someone not my brother face-to-face.

Before that, however, I had an online taiji Zoom class. It was a form class, which I prefer to the basic taiji classes. My teacher mentioned that the studio was going to be closed for May as well as April (which I think is a good idea), but said that her teacher was hoping once the weather got nicer, classes could be held in a park. My teacher said we would practice six-feet social distancing and all, but I immediately thought, “FUCK, NO.” Six feet is the very minimum, and there are reports that the virus can travel up to a billion feet. I’m exaggerating, obviously, but no one can say exactly how much distancing is safe.

When my brother was over two days ago, we kept roughly 10 feet apart, and I still felt it was too close. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel it’s ok to be close to someone again. Physically, I mean. I’m already wary of getting emotionally close to people, and this isn’t helping. On the other hand,  I’ve talked to my bestie more during the pandemic than we had before. I had been thinking of going to visit her this month because we both have April birthdays, but obviously, that didn’t happen. When all this mess is over, then we’re going to get together and have a big celebration. I don’t care about my birthday, but I do care about her. And, it’s fun to get together regardless of the reason. I also planned on flying out there (Philly) for Halloween because they have a really neat haunted house in an abandon…wanna say jail. Maybe an old insane asylum.

Back to the pharmacy. There were four women working and one other patron in the place. It’s a rather small pharmacy, and there was a yellow police tape (without ‘crime scene’ written on it) across one area so you couldn’t go that way. They also had yellow tape on the ground asking patrons to stay behind that and to keep six feet between people. No one was wearing masks or gloves except me. I was surprised by that and concerned. They had installed Plexiglass to block the person at the counter from the patrons except for the space for the handing over of goods. They had the credit card machine on their side, and they signed for me. Once I got home, I realized that they had only given me one prescription and not the one that was necessary (scalp cream for psoriasis. I have little patches right now). I had to go back, and there was some kind of computer glitch, so I had to wait like ten minutes for them to fix it. The whole time, I was quietly freaking out, but I managed to keep it inside.

I was spent when I got home and ate my final gluten-free, vegan mochi ball by my/mo to self-soothe. It was glorious. It’s expensive, but I bought it for my birthday and ate one a day to make it last. I had been debating going to the co-op, but the stress of interacting with people was too much for me. I’ve mused about how we all have our own lines as to what we will and won’t tolerate, and mine is going out. My mom’s is wearing masks (she’s obsessed with it), and I finally had to yell at her to get her to understand that my line, not going out and not having people in the house, was just as fucking valid as hers. In fact, it’s more valid because if there is no contagion around, then I don’t have to deal with the masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, etc. I can touch my face with impunity and not have to worry about touching and being touched. i can keep my anxiety as long as I’m in my bubble.

It’s funny because that’s how I feel in general. Not the physical aspect, but the emotional aspect as I mentioned earlier. I find that interacting with people even in the best of times is exhausting, and I don’t mind saying that one of the positives to self-isolation is that I’m able to breathe. I don’t have to deal with my inner chatter about how I’m fucking up every interaction, and I can just go about my day One thing I like about social media (and email) is that I can totally control the interactions in that I can just ignore them if I don’t want to answer.

Now, with the added tension of if the other person has the coronavirus or not, I just don’t want to deal. Delivery is my acceptable answer, and I accept the minimal dangers that come along with it. I minimize them as much as possible, but I know that there is a tiny possibility that the virus will come inside with my food. I let packages live in the garage for days before bringing them inside, and I make sure to wash my hands after touching them.

One thing I’ll say about washing my hands is that my OCD traits come in handy here. Now that I’m committed to it and have decided that is one thing I’m going to keep on top of, I’m doing it all the time and the full twenty seconds each time to boot. As I’ve written about it before, I just simply count to twenty as I scrub, then wash it off with very warm water. It’s killing my skin, but it’s better than alcohol as hand sanitizer.

I really don’t know what it’ll take for me to feel comfortable being around other people again. An antidote would help, plus a sharp decrease in the amount of cases. Neither of which will come any time soon.

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