Tuesday, March 31, 2020

COVIDiary: The Gathering Storm

I work in a museum. As word of COVID-19, the dreaded novel coronavirus, starting wafting our way in late January/early February, those of us on the front line at the Admissions Desk had an inkling that a tsunami was about to hit.

Every day as we greeted guests from all over the world, took their cash, swiped their credit cards, and leaned in close to hear or answer their questions, we wondered. We wondered how we could possibly escape the effects of this thing making its way very quickly around the planet.

As February rolled into March, new procedures about hand-washing, face-touching, and safe cough and sneeze protection were posted. Hand sanitizer was everywhere. Clorox wipes and Lysol spray showed up at every work station. The second week of March disposable gloves were provided. All that money we handled. All those credit cards swiped. All those surfaces touched. It was exhausting trying to figure out the best way to protect ourselves and our visitors.

The museum decided to close March 14 until the virus danger passed.

How had the past six weeks affected my health? My co-workers' health? Hundreds of school children had been in and out. Hundreds of patrons and guests had been in and out, visiting the museum or attending special events and meetings. Had we managed to keep ourselves and them safe? We'd certainly done our best, everything by the guidelines provided.

Only time will tell.