I was sitting in my veterinarian’s waiting room the other day when I couldn’t help but notice that there was a man who kept coughing. He didn’t even cover his mouth. I was wearing a mask, so I felt more protected, but I thought to myself that in this day and age of covid, who just coughs without covering their mouth? He didn’t seem embarrassed, even though I kept giving him dirty looks. 

It reminded me of an incident that happened just before covid, and looking back, I’m glad that I did what I did. Here’s what happened. I was in a grocery store in Dutchess County and I was in line to check out. I had my groceries all ready to go, when the cashier kid started coughing and sneezing. He actually did cover his mouth with his hand. And then he was ready to check me out. Not so fast, buddy. I said to him, aren’t you going to sanitize your hands? He looked at me like I was crazy. I said, you just coughed and sneezed into your hands, and I don’t want you to touch my groceries. Again the weird look.

Finally, another cashier offered to check me out. Was I being a Karen? Maybe, but I did not want to get whatever crud that the cashier kid had. My friends were surprised by my reaction when I told the story. At the time, they said they probably would have just sucked it up, even though they may have been turned off by the cashier’s actions. Really? I’m the only one? As it turned out, covid struck less than a month later. In hindsight, I’m glad I demanded another cashier, even if it meant being a Karen, which wasn’t even a thing at the time. 

Before you knew it, everybody was sanitizing and masking and being super careful. But, how soon we forget. That was evident with the coughing guy at the vet’s office. Which is why I still wear a mask when I’m out. Covid, the flu, common cold. I’m not fond of any of those things, and if people aren’t going to do something as simple and considerate as covering their mouths when they cough, then I will continue to protect myself.

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