Shared Experiences

            With this Covid thing going on, I think people are more aware of cleanliness and safety. We maintain distance and wear masks, wash hands, get vaccinated, and do all the other stuff we’re so tired of hearing about. We don’t want to catch it ourselves or share it with anyone else. As the advertisements say, We’re all in this together.

            I’m no germophobe, but there are things I was doing long before Covid entered our lives. Wiping off the handle of the grocery cart is something I’ve done forever. Being more cautious during cold and flu season just makes sense to me. Washing fruits and vegetables before eating or peeling them. Avoiding situations in which there’s a strong possibility of catching something.

            I’ve never been a fan of salad bars or hot food bars. When I see people in the grocery store taste-testing grapes or cherries I cringe. There is no way of knowing what chemicals are on the fruit, who walked by coughing or sneezing, who had handled them previously and where that person’s hands had been.

            And it’s not just the produce aisle. You’re constantly sharing with others. If you start thinking of all the places you touch that countless others have touched before you, it could drive you crazy. At some point you must trust your common sense and immune system. As I said, I’m no germophobe, but I ponder these things.

            However, one thing that makes me shudder is when I see certain cashiers counting money. He or she will be counting out a stack of bills. They’ll count out a few, lick their thumb or finger, count out some more, lick again, and continue.

            Years ago, in a place I used to live, there was a strip club around the corner and down the road a piece. I never went there but some fellows I worked with went every Friday after work and loved to talk about it. They’d stop by the bank or grocery store along the way and get a bunch of singles for their visit. Later, the strippers would remove the bills from the various cracks, crevices, and clothing. They’d either spend it or take the money to the bank, where it would be redistributed.

Whenever I see a cashier licking their finger as they count money I can’t help but wonder what experiences they’re sharing with all the others who had used that bill before them.

            We may all be in this together, but there are some experiences I don’t want to share.

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