I clean exam room 22 with Clorox bleach and paper towels.
LEXINGTON, S.C. — I’m living and reporting out of my childhood home in a suburb of Lexington County, a county with 18 positive coronavirus cases, a number climbing daily.
At night, I work in my family’s business as a part-time janitor. Each evening, I clean a family doctor’s care office, which is treating patients for routine ailments and testing for COVID-19. I wear gloves and a face mask, although I’m aware that the surgery-style face masks may not be effective against the virus. I wear one now to prevent me from touching my face during work and I wash my hands more than five times during my shift just to be safe.
My mom, an anticoagulation nurse in a physician’s office has continued work as usual during the pandemic. She specializes in seeing patients who have been prescribed coumadin medication, an anti-blood clot medication commonly prescribed to the elderly.
Her office was converted into a COVID-19 testing room so she moved across the hallway. When she’s done working as a nurse, she too converts into a janitor by night, cleaning the doctor’s practice she works in during the day.
Aware of her double exposure, she’s remaining up to date on the status of the virus and safety precautions. She is worried about her job security if she becomes infected.
My dad has begun working from home as a facilities manager of his bank’s multiple branches across the state. My brother, a right-of-way agent, is having trouble meeting with landowners in-person and is mostly working through phone calls and emails from his home office.
With my gym closed, I’ve tried to work out daily; however, it’s difficult to do so when snacks are feet away and streaming services tempt me.
As I lace up my sneakers and prepare for a morning run, I put in my earbuds and start up the New York Times’ podcast The Daily. It provides my daily update on COVID-19 and other virus-related stories. As I run, I notice many houses with multiple cars in the driveways. My neighbors have also converted their dining tables and bedrooms into home offices much like I have.
One of the few positives I’ve taken away from the pandemic is the extra time I’ve been able to spend with family and hours catching up on shows and documentaries. With no live sporting events to watch, I’ve ramped up my podcast consumption and reverted to watching boxing and MMA fights on ESPN and YouTube in my free time.
I’m praying this pandemic doesn’t last until July or August. With the economy taking a dive and possibly nearing a recession in the coming months, I’m praying the job market rebounds either before or shortly after I graduate.
Until then, I’m keeping my face mask and gloves at the ready.