Really? Has it come to this?
Hand sanitizer under lock and key?
I saw on my way out of the big medical facility where my doctor works. The telltale pump, sticking out of some sort casing.
I approached slowly, fearing an alarm might go off if I got too close. Nothing happened. Except I had to take a deep breath (yeah, I was wearing a mask) and stand still for a minute. Gob-smacked and shaking my head.
Theft-proof hand sanitizer. In some kind of acrylic (perhaps bullet-proof?) display case. With a hole at the top just big enough to allow the pump to stick out and, well, you couldn’t possible stick your hand in. Or maybe you could figure out something, if you were a professional jewel thief. Or MacGyver.
It could be opened, of course, to be refilled. But only if you had the key to the lock. The lock that was the exclamation point on the tacit message:
We don’t trust you.
I took some pictures of this bizarre sight, this snapshot of the time in which we find ourselves.
Nobody looked at me, nobody turned to at least agree with my wonder at the theft-proof sanitizer. That seemed odd, too. I was, after all, taking photos of hand sanitizer. Even the two men working on the nearby elevator didn’t react to my clearly audible mutterings, like “sheesh” and “this is crazy,” and “what have we become?”
No reaction. No surprise.
I guess they were used to sights like these.
I guess I should have been too.
The first time I went to my doctor after COVID raised its ugly viral parts, the nurse said that when no one was watching, some patients would steal the protective gloves from the dispensers. On this, my third visit, the dispensers were empty altogether. They’d been moved to some secret location — my nurse had to go off to get a pair….
Whatever happened to all that cheering, all those signs: “Thank you health care workers!”
Are we really that desperate?
Haven’t we learned a few things in these months of crisis?
Like: Plain old soap will clean your hands of COVID.
Like: You can wear gardening gloves or even washable Playtex gloves,
Or, most important, like: We will only get through this if we work together and care for each other.
After considering the hand sanitizer from a variety of angles, I realized that putting the bottle in the thick acrylic box elevated it to another level. Made it look important, rare, a relic of a special era in human history.
Like something you’d see in a museum.
And perhaps, some day, it will be just, and only, that
I have two passions: animals and words. And I have managed to spend most of my life combining those two lvoes, using words to create awareness, to touch hearts, to help alleviate suffering, and to just make the world a kinder kind of place fdor all living things. I spent more than 30 years as a jo0urnalist at The Bergen Record newspaper, and have t a lifetime een using the power of words to XXX