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Steven Greydanus: Holy Week is Almost Here, and I Have Coronavirus

When the nurse practitioner said, “Your test was positive,” I almost involuntarily burst out, “Oh, thank goodness.”

I had been fearing a negative result for days.

I wouldn’t have trusted it, for one thing — I was pretty sure I had COVID, and that my lady Suzanne did as well, along with at least half of our kids. (I now think all six who are currently living here got it to one degree or another.)

A negative result probably would have been a false negative. Probably being the operative word. But how could I possibly have known?

We had been so careful since the beginning of this thing — staying home as much as possible, enforcing regular handwashing, trying to avoid touching our faces. Starting the first week of March, I began working from home, well before my employer officially started urging employees who could to do so.

Suz is a registered nurse and already trained never to touch her face unless she’s just washed her hands. Her attitude is that the whole world is dirty and you just have to assume the moment you set foot outside the house that your hands are dirty too — which isn’t something to freak out about, but it does mean never touching your face. She’s always Purelling the kids’ hands (“I was using Purell at the playground before it was cool,” she recently joked on Facebook).

All of which, it seems, was too late. The fix was in, I suspect, just before things got bad and we started really clamping down, when one of our kids went on an out-of-state trip. Well, that’s what you get with a 14-day incubation period.

The last Sunday we had public Masses in our archdiocese, I did something I’d seldom if ever before: I washed my hands not just immediately before Mass, but also immediately afterward. I also tried throughout Mass to be conscious how I was using my right hand, to avoid touching anything (the sacristy door handle, etc.) that might be contaminated.

I’ve never Purelled my hands right before communion (I know that’s almost a quasi-liturgical rite in some parishes, but we’ve never done it at St. John’s), but I made a mental note to have Purell for the following Sunday. I didn’t foresee, of course, that there wouldn’t be a “following Sunday” in the sense that I imagined.

Watching the cascading consequences of this thing has been an education.

Early in March, bringing communion to the elderly residents of a nearby assisted living facility, I found myself thinking, I mustn’t get COVID — it would kill these people! Later in the week it hit me: Oh. I’m not going to be able to continue bringing communion in any case, am I.

Read more at National Catholic Register

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