So… I’ve been driving for Uber these past few months, and surprisingly (as not only an introvert but a recluse) I’ve been actually having a terrific time. No stress, and when my Inner Introvert has had enough, I turn off the app and go home. I get out, get fresh air, meet people but without the social obligations that are so intimidating, I get to be a good hostess while they’re in my car, and then I drop them off, plus I’ve done something helpful, getting people to the place they want or need to be. Plus it pays for the gas, dinner out, and gives me some extra income. Win/win.
Now, the coronavirus and everyone in a panic. Honestly, I’m not inclined to panic. I mean we have 2 cases in our city. Two. The chances of getting someone with coronavirus in my car is really almost impossible, and due to my reclusive nature, that’s pretty literally almost the only contact I have with actual people face-to-face (as opposed to online). Because I am disabled and can’t get around very well, I already have groceries and supplies delivered, I send my laundry out, and Amazon loves me, LOL. And since going out to dinner alone with my Kindle has gotten old after all these years, I tend to send out for a meal (not fast food or pizza) rather than go to a restaurant.
Still… I’ve been following the news carefully, reading up on the coronavirus, and seriously struggling with whether I should keep driving or not. It seems silly and paranoid to stop driving when there are all of 2 cases in the entire city. But at the same time…. am I missing something that should be obvious to me, why I should *not* go out and drive, at least, until things escalate here? It’s been a struggle, the see-saw of what to do, and I’ve really been inclined to keep driving while keeping a watchful eye on the situation.
Then last night I ran across this Boston Glove article by a reporter in Italy. You can go read the article, but two things he said, struck me with intensity (emphasis mine):
So here’s my warning for the United States: It didn’t have to come to this.
We of course couldn’t stop the emergence of a previously unknown and deadly virus. But we could have mitigated the situation we are now in, in which people who could have been saved are dying. I, and too many others, could have taken a simple yet morally loaded action: We could have stayed home.
Wow… and then, in the next paragraph, that’s where he got me… me, personally. About the choice *I* make.
What has happened in Italy shows that less-than-urgent appeals to the public by the government to slightly change habits regarding social interactions aren’t enough when the terrible outcomes they are designed to prevent are not yet apparent; when they become evident, it’s generally too late to act. I and many other Italians just didn’t see the need to change our routines for a threat we could not see.
Me. That is me… exactly what I was doing! I was considering not making a change, because I couldn’t see the threat. And then and there, my decision was made. For the time being, I will not be out driving for Uber. And at least I have the option to make that choice. Millions of people cannot choose, because they have jobs, families to take care of, responsibilities that require them to be out and about. I’m on Disability anyway, and I don’t need, never needed, the extra income from driving; it’s been nice to have some extra, and save up for vacations (that I’ll never be able to take anyway, since I left RWA and won’t be going to the annual conference anymore).
Ironically… I only started driving for Uber, to make everyone else happy! My doctors, therapists, family, friends, who are always pushing me to get out of the house, be social, meet people, etc. I was always perfectly happy to stay in my girl-cave and read, write my novels, and play on SecondLife, with the occasional binge-watching of CSI and NCIS episodes. So now I get to go back to doing exactly what makes me happy, without having to defend myself for my choices, and those very same people will be applauding me for my smart decision to take myself out of the equation by staying home and not taking the risk of contracting (and then spreading) the virus.
It’s a strange old world.
I do have to say, I came to love driving and meeting folks for the brief period of time I was in their lives. I’ll miss it… but… I can go back to driving later when hopefully this is under control.
P. S. And as an Uber driver just pointed out who *has* to drive to make a living, my staying home is also one less driver to compete for the fares… of which there are fewer also.