Your responsibility going back to work is to not infect others with Covid-19

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I have a friend who has a compromised immune system. One that means if he gets the coronavirus, there is an almost 100% chance he will end up in the hospital — because that is what happened to all the other patients of his doctor have done.

So, he’s been very careful. He rarely goes out of the house, he grocery shops every couple of weeks, he wears a mask when out of the house - even outside with no one around. He hasn’t been in his office since January, working from home.

Last week, he needed to go into the office because of the normal laptop replacement cycle. In the office, should take ten minutes, back home. 

In he went. Except the technician got hung up on working on some executive computer problem. He ended up being there for an hour, not the ten minutes planned. Mask, extra careful ten-foot spacing except with the technician for entering passwords. Finally, out the door.

Then he got the phone call

Today he got a phone call saying that one of the people in that office has Covid-19 and, by default, he was exposed (it’s not that big of an office). Fortunately, he has no symptoms. Tomorrow is five days since being in the office and, hopefully, no symptoms will show. Certainly, all the precautions were taken.

But the coronavirus, in spite of what the CDC says, carries best indoors. It can float around in the air - aided by poor ventilation that keeps the air internal and blows the virus around. 

And he’s pretty ticked off. All of this work, isolation, following the rules, hell- boredom, all that is thrown out the window because someone at work caught the virus. And, for all I know, didn’t even know they caught the virus. 

But I will bet that person was not as careful as my friend. And, even unknowingly, that person threatened my friend’s well-being, if not his life.

There is no end in sight

We’re in the time of the coronavirus with no end in sight. I know people are tired of the restrictions and, at least where I live, the return of University students has lit a fire of new cases; the highest in my county and State since the pandemic began.

But we need to live a new normal. We need to protect others. If we don’t do our part to protect others, there will be no end to this thing. And people will distrust interactions with people even more than they do now while missing the personal contact we all thrive upon. 

Thus, the most important thing about returning to work is to ensure you are not infected with the virus, do the practice of limiting contact, wearing a mask, washing hands, and giving your coworkers the best chance to make our way through the pandemic.

Your returning to work gift to others should be your happy (covered) face. Not a gift of giving your coworkers a life-threatening disease.


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