It’s Thursday, Nov. 5. I just returned from my second COVID-19 test and I have to say it was not as uncomfortable as the first. I did it from the comfort of my car, with very little waiting and somewhat easy registration. It took no more than 15 minutes from my day and I was back at work, typing this.

Someone with whom I had a short interaction with over the weekend informed me that they had been told by County Public Health that they had contacted a person who tested positive for COVID-19.

While I knew our outdoor interaction was only about 15 minutes and we were no closer than about 8 feet, I still wanted to be tested and get the results. As before, I find myself waiting for the results and wondering, “What’s my plan if it comes back positive?”

You should also know I’m the person here at the paper who’s been compiling the numbers of COVID infections and deaths in Northern California counties every week since about May. I’m also the guy who goes out to local public events to take photos. Lastly, I’m engaged to a Public Health employee who never misses a chance to remind me to wear a mask and keep my distance.

Week in and week out, these parts of my life give me a certain insight and make two things strikingly clear: 1) Not everyone here takes COVID-19 seriously, and 2) everyone should. The lack of masks I’ve seen at two recent public events, the press releases by the Public Health Department and the rising numbers of cases and deaths around us should cause concern to anyone paying attention.

Yeah, testing is uncomfortable, masks are a pain, social distancing sucks and we all miss our community traditions and family holidays. Personally, I’d rather skip the holidays this year so we can celebrate them in 2021 without having to mourn the one-year anniversary of a COVID death. I can tough it out for a year. Hopefully by this time next year, we can all look back on this pandemic and say, “that sucked, but we got through it.”

At the end of the day, I don’t care who or what you believe when it comes to COVID. I care how you act. Get tested and follow the directions of Public Health officials. Wear the mask in public and keep your distance because it will show you care about your community, your neighborhood, your town and those who live and work here.

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