six degrees of infestation

as we still deal with the rants, racism, and riots, we have the other “r” to deal with…

…the ‘rona.

yep. we do still have a pandemic going on, ya know.

even though texas is sitting at (as of this writing) less than one half of one percent of our population effected, we are still considered one of the “hot spots”. and i’m constantly amazed at how people freak out over things, but that’s me. maybe i’m not taking it seriously enough?

in the waxing days of the pandemic i had a couple co-workers who were very vocal about being concerned about us even being open…

“why are we open?”

“why are we putting ourselves at risk?”

“is this worth it?”

it was all new to us. while we still have a LOT to learn about this virus, we knew even less then. it was scary. it was invisible. and it killed folks. what more did you need to know to be concerned about it, right? my company took the best stance i felt we could under the circumstances – the schedule will be re-written to keep us running, but on a skeleton crew…if you’re comfortable being here, speak up and i’ll schedule you; but more importantly, if you’re NOT comfortable being here, no hard feelings. we’ll see you on the other side.

a couple people opted out. as promised, nobody from the upper ranks said a cross word about it. didn’t stop some other blowhards, though.

i’ll tell you what…when some time passes, and these motherfuckers are out of money, and struggling to get food and pay their rent, i don’t wanna hear JACK SHIT because they coulda worked and chose to be little panicky bitches about shit… – one of the tattoo artists, referring to a couple of his fellow artists

interesting side note – the very NEXT FUCKING DAY his appointment cancelled, stating that she was self quarantining due to the fact they had a house guest the previous week that it turned out had gone to lunch with somebody a week prior that was now positive for the virus. that means at this point the friend was two weeks past exposure…and showing no symptoms. to me that says “fine” (keep in mind the whole asymptomatic concept wasn’t known at that point) but he (the artist that had bitched about his co-workers) freaked out.

“holy fuck, dude – that was almost me. i was two hours away from getting it!”

he left the shop within five minutes, asked me to remove him from my “viral schedule” (my nickname for it) and we didn’t see him again till the end of may. this was just before st patrick’s day.

again, that was a scarier time. but how many degrees of separation are enough?

for example, we have a guy (who was one of the original “why are we…” folks mentioned above) who’s in an organization away from the shop. the members are physically near each other drinking and chatting and shit often. one of the members in said organization found out he had a co-worker who was positive for it, and since he works maskless in close proximity with that guy, he told his other members. so our guy was around a guy who was around a guy, and now he’s not at the shop for two weeks.

that seems a bit extreme, but maybe that’s me?

how many links away to you need to be to feel safe? i may be ridiculously ignorant in saying so, but i feel like between my keeping distant from most folks anyway, being forced to wear a mask at work, and a shit ton of echinacea i was taking anyway, i’m okay. what’s your minimum to feel okay?

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