Missouri Adventures In Coronavirus

It's been too long.

Sorry about that. The world has decided to reveal its adventures. This is catharsis for me as much as it is update for the world as a whole.

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With the coming of COVID-19 in late March/early April, I've spent plenty of quality time with my red panda pal, Akito. He's been good, if mischievous company during the long solitary of social distancing.

April. That's when things got fun. I showed up for work and was told three things:

"There has been a positive case. You were exposed. You have to leave for at least two weeks."

Existential dread, anyone? My work exposed me to the pandemic, so I was pleased they were smart enough to send any potentially infected people home. Fourteen total people were sent away, two got sick.

When I returned, rules were set in place. Masks were to be worn, social distancing was to be maintained, only one person at a table for breaks. This is on top of isolating shifts from one another and stopping early to clean high-contact surfaces.

The problem was that all those policies slowly faded. Being told to work extra shifts via mandatory overtime didn't help. Luckily, I got to use the Cincinnati Writing Workshop (online for 2020) as a reason to skip out. Did some pitching for Ashes Of War, sent some pages, got some rejections.

People decide the plague was over. They went out to eat, they met in public. Masks slipped from faces, cleaning lost enthusiasm, social distancing grew exhausting. I get all of that. I'm the sort of person who tries to get out at least once a day. My only quality company was a stuffed doll and whoever I could talk to online.

At work, people got dumber about the virus by the day. The team lead who informed me that I was exposed later said I was overreacting when I told him I didn't want to do a task I wasn't trained for only a few feet away from a group who'd abandoned their masks weeks earlier. The mask/social distancing policy hasn't gone away, mind you, those in charge have elected not to enforce it. Doesn't matter if people are going home sick with coronavirus symptoms, those in charge where I work still elected not to enforce things regarding pandemic safety.

I sent a letter to corporate. Corporate was mad, the area bosses were mad. A forceful memo with mask-wearing diagrams was distributed--

And went unenforced.

Also, they want me to show up more often. Not overtime, just a change in my schedule. We don't have the people to cover four shifts, so that will mean overtime on top of that.

No thank you. I'll be leaving promptly. I have books to write, a life to live, health to maintain, and a pandemic to avoid.

Wear your mask. It protects others from anything you might be carrying.

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