Didn’t Pass The Think-It-Through Checkpoint

, , , , , | Healthy | April 2, 2020

It’s -17C, windchill to -19C, but the cutoff for “don’t take the baby outside unless the house is on fire” is -20 including windchill, so I bundle her three outfits deep under her snowsuit, mittens, toque, and bunting, and catch the bus to an appointment. She’s asleep by the time we get there, but I’m wide awake, cheeks frosty, steps quick. Stepping in, I find an antiviral checkpoint just inside the front door, manned by a guy in a white bodysuit and a blue mask.

My first thought: “Oh, no, zombies!”

I might be very slightly drunk on sleep deprivation.

Checkpoint Guy: “Hi, there! Just before you step in, can I ask you some questions?”

Me: “Sure.”

[Checkpoint Guy] asks about travel and a list of symptoms. I answer each question the same way.

Me: “Nope.”

Checkpoint Guy: “All righty, then. Let me just check your guys’ temperatures — or I assume you’ve got a passenger in there!”

Me: “Yup!”

I crack open one of the hoods, displaying a bundle of cloth that has two cheeks, two closed eyes, a nose, and no other visible skin.

Checkpoint Guy: “Awww! I shouldn’t have to wake her up. Just that little cheeky-cheek should be good!”

I think of my own frosty cheeks.

Me: “Her cheek’s going to be pretty cold.”

Checkpoint Guy: “Yup! Little cheeky-cheek!” 

His remote thermometer beeps and shows 30.

Checkpoint Guy: “Okey-dokey! Now, I need to do you.”

Me: “Sure.”

[Checkpoint Guy] beeps my cheek.

Checkpoint Guy: “Yup! You’re good! Just have some hand sanitizer and you’re on your way!”

Me: “Sure.” 

I use sanitizer, go through, and push the elevator button.

New Voice Behind Me: “Aren’t you cold?”

Checkpoint Guy: “Nope! I’m good! I’ve got long johns, extra shirts, and warm gloves under the medical gloves. Standing right by the door all day — I’m prepared!”

Pause.

Checkpoint Guy: “You know, everyone I’ve checked has read really low, like 30 degrees. Do you think it’s because they just came in from the outdoors?”

Yes, I mentioned this hitch to the doctor I saw.

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