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Touched

At-risk shopping hours at Aldi, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30-9:30. It's supposed to be just for seniors and the immunocompromised and anyone else who's at a higher danger from the coronavirus. I'm sixty-something and fat, so I figure I'm invited, and I'm there once weekly.

Wheeled my cart, got my foodstuffs. Noticed a couple of frat-aged boys who looked a little hung over, and my guess is that their only "high risk" is that they're not social distancing, but to hell with 'em.

Ring me up and let me return to the safety and sanctity of my cocoon, please. I'm paying with plastic, for convenience and less chance of contamination. The cashier says thanks, hands me my receipt, and for just a moment his finger touches the palm of my hand. Office worker, 62, dead from COVID-19.

It's a joke. I'm not worried, and I always wash my hands first thing when I return home anyway. But I'm thinking back, trying to remember the last time another human physically touched me. It would've been before the pandemic, definitely, so — five months, minimum.

I'm a recluse anyway. Five months is nothing. I can go a year, maybe two.

 

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