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COVID-19 Vignette

As she takes my temperature just inside the first set of doors, my eye wanders to her interrupted sudoku puzzle. She makes a point of conspicuously sterilizing the thermometer as she asks about my symptoms, or lack of symptoms in my case. Voices muffled by our masks, she asks about my health, the health of my close contacts, of my family.

It reminds me of our visit to Uganda, when people we met greeted us, inquired about our health and the wellbeing of our families. Maybe that is our new custom, our new normal. “Greet your family for me. And do any of them have an elevated temperature?” She picks up her sudoku, and I pass into the building, a walled garden where everyone has been greeted, and no one has an elevated temperature.

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