What even is acceptable risk anymore?

This will probably make no sense to those in other countries, where folks are taking coronavirus seriously and are staying isolated in order to reduce cases. Here, many people are trying to resume their “normal” lives as much as possible even though we never go through the first wave, and now we’re seeing cases rising again.

So now as one meme put it, I feel like I’m being gaslit all the time. On the one hand, I see people going to the grocery store, going to the beach, and doing all kinds of things, and it makes me feel like I should be able to take on a little more risk. But then I remember just how nasty COVID-19 is. Even if the risk is small, getting this thing could be disastrous, and it’s just not worth taking a chance.

Prime example: dogs. Recently I pet a couple of neighbors’ dogs and it made me super happy. Each time I was near my apartment, the owner stayed at least 6′ away, and I washed my hands carefully immediately afterwards. I think that was ok. I feel pretty sure, anyway. But now someone wants me to watch their dog for a few days and I’m so torn. My friends mostly say it’s fine. My doctor says it’s fine. But I’m worried. Because even if the odds of me getting sick are slim, is it worth taking that tiny chance? I just don’t know!

And that last sentence is the key: I don’t know. Because no one knows. We don’t know how risky anything really is. There’s so much unknown about this virus. While it has turned our lives upside down, it’s still new, and we know very little about it.

I hate playing these guessing games. The safe thing is to say no, and I could do that easily. The problem is, I haven’t gotten within 6′ (or really, 10′) of anyone in more than 3 months. I haven’t hugged my parents. I haven’t gone on a date. I haven’t seen friends. Nothing. Having a dog visit would be wonderful company. It would be good for my mental health, but only if I can relax. If having that little cutie here would stress me out, then it’s not worth it.

So while I continue to debate, I would love to hear your thoughts. What do you all think I should do? Watch the dog? Turn them down? Take the dog but provide my own dog toys? (I would still have to touch the food and treat containers, the leash, etc. And I can’t wash the dog – he’s too big for me to bathe him.) What would you do?

4 Responses to What even is acceptable risk anymore?

  1. Deb Dorgan says:

    I know how you feel. I have an immune deficiency that makes me high risk. That said, I asked my doc about whether I could get my teeth cleaned (yes), if I could have some skin stuff done (yes), and if I could go swimming at our Rec Center pool (absolutely not). I know that the research is showing dogs don’t carry the virus to humans, but being careful about petting is good. I would probably agree to pet sit, as long as I “wiped off” the dog’s coat when I got it just in case. I have three dogs and they are so much company. I’ve gone to the store now twice with mask on, no cart, quick trips, and I think you just have to suss out what your level of comfort is. Good luck.

    • chronicrants says:

      It’s great that your doctor has been able to give you so much guidance. I’m curious where you’re located, if you feel comfortable answering that. my doctor said the dog sitting should be okay but suggested that I ask a vet for their opinion. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that – so smart! the vet made it sound like it should be okay so now I just have to make sure I can do it without too much anxiety. Otherwise I won’t be worth it. But I would love to have dogs around for comfort. It’s great that you have yours.

  2. Ami says:

    If you feel worried, then kindly decline. Easier said then done, I know – but it’s not worth the stress and anxiety (albeit no matter how cute the dog is!) 💚

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