Cancer, Covid, Masks, Risks, News

Another week another doctor visit. This time I actually wound up seeing my oncologist in person. First, the good news: my tumour marker remains very low, so low that he told me it’s the lowest he’s ever seen with someone in lung mets. I am a very lucky person. I’m trying a new blood pressure drug.

Also, it has been over three weeks since I had diarrhea. I think I got lucky and got into a rhythm with eating, excreting, and Imodium, and now if I take 2 Imodium at the right time, I can get through the day without discomfort. I’ve had a couple bad days with cramps and all the rest, but at least I’m not getting super dehydrated on top of it.

So it turns out that my in-person doctor meeting was sort of by accident because the College of Physicians issued confusing instructions this week. But we are sort of in that phase. Quebec numbers are down, hospitals aren’t overrun with Covid cases, and restrictions are loosening…a bit.

And yet, I can’t help resenting people who are not wearing masks indoors or not wearing them well. Almost everybody at the Jewish had one on (certainly all the professionals) but a surprising number of people pulled out their noses, wearing them “feedbag style,” to borrow a phrase. There’s still a pandemic on. Everyone’s waiting for a magic bullet, but this is one thing we can do that reduces transmission (along with staying apart). The New York Times had a typically moralistic headline this morning, “Not Wearing a Mask is Like Driving Drunk.” I couldn’t bear to read the piece, but I understand the sentiment. I look at someone indoors without a mask and it feels like they are telling me, personally, to fuck off. It feels like an act of aggression, or at least coercive. Are they asserting their rights to public space over mine? Are they daring me to say something?

But of course it’s not about me at all, which is part of the problem. It’s people thinking about themselves, and doing so in the most ideological way possible: “I am an exception”; “the rules don’t apply to me;” “I am willing to accept this risk for myself and it’s an individual decision.”

The doctor and I also had a long conversation about various activities and risk, with me asking him about various scenarios. We can expand our socializing a bit from what we are doing now without worrying too much. At the same time, it’s going to involve frank conversations with people. Carrie and I were joking that it’s going to turn our social life into a parody of S&M, complete with boundaries and safe words–“I’m comfortable doing this, but not this.”

But, alas, no indoor singing with people not in our household, at least not yet….