“Here’s your mask! I’d like you to drive. I love you.” My girlfriend handed me an N95 with her medical-gloved hands. No kiss hello tonight.
I loaded my luggage in the trunk, put on my mask, and got behind the wheel. This was Sunday evening, March 1st, and I was returning to Utah from a few days in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was a dark and stormy night, but the scary part wouldn’t come until later.
“I love you too, and I’m fine. I’m just really tired and a bit of a headache from all the vitamins I’ve been pounding lately. Nobody coughing or sneezing on this flight, unlike my flight out.” I had been vigilant about watching for sick people as my Southwest Airlines flight loaded up. Due to some research a pilot friend sent my way that morning, I now knew I didn’t want to pick a seat within two rows of a sick person as there’s a much better chance that you too will get what they have if you’re that close on such a flight. Too bad I didn’t know this earlier.
“And your throat? Your voice doesn’t sound so good.” She knows me well.
“Yeah, I definitely strained my voice in the last two days. That gig was a haul and I took it to the edge. I don’t have the vocal endurance I once did, that’s all.” I had done 6–8hrs of pretty intense singing for both of the previous two days, and left every ounce of energy I had on the stage Saturday night. My throat was sore indeed, but it didn’t feel sick.
The truth was that simply I couldn’t tell.
“I got you some food, that veggie burger you like.” We had both converted to a plant-based diet a few months ago for health & longevity reasons, which seemed delightfully quaint given our current context. And while vegan fast food doesn’t exactly comply with our health food intentions, I was very hungry and appreciated the gesture.
I put the burger up to my masked face and looked over at her. “Um…now what?”
She laughed “Well, we can take turns with masks and eating, I guess.”