So…I’m entering another comfort zone challenge…

As you know, I have a huge crush (my zoom speed dater) and he appears to share the same level of enthusiasm (smart man)!

The other day we were talking about when we would actually meet…

…it got me thinking…

I haven’t gone out to meet anyone…in three months.

I know life must go on, but it all feels so fast. Even though for so many the three months has felt like an eternity.

I just met my Mom and family a few days ago (and they live UPSTAIRS), with masks adorned and all, with my son.

It was a celebration after three months of not being in each others’ space but still felt really uncomfortable for me since I couldn’t do my usual hugging and kissing. It was like we were there, but not really.

Going out has been the farthest thing from my mind.

It’s kind of funny that I chose to date in the middle of a pandemic.

Maybe a part of me thought it was going to go on forever and the safety net of a screen would prevent the abandonment I’ve been used to?? Or I didn’t think I’d actually meet someone I really like…

What I really think is that I strongly believe in living large and a pandemic wasn’t going to be in my way.

I’ve been front and center of the pandemic’s illness and suffering. It’s really hard for me to see others not wear their masks, go out and meet friends, walk around the city and actually plan to sit outside and eat in restaurants (not judging anyone here, just expressing my worries for our planet).

I’m not an anxious person at all. This is all new to me.

I live life with ease and a huge amount of trust that I’ll be coming back home, the car will drive and I’ll make it back, that I’ll see my friends and family again. I have never worried about the inevitable, because I welcome death when it’s ready to meet me.

But this pandemic has been different.

I’ve seen myself in the middle of what people must have experienced during the initial outbreaks of the plague, measles, TB, influenza, to name a few. When an illness wasn’t there before and treatment wasn’t yet available because it was new.

We’ve just been lucky to have lived through the benefit of those generations’ losses and medical developments, so far.

Now, we are a part of medical history, but it’s terrifying as a doctor since I can only advise so much.

I have the desire to protect everyone. I don’t want anyone to get sick. I want to keep everyone from the possibility of ending up in the hospital. That’s the reason I’ve stayed away from my family and friends. (I realize my reach is not the entire globe-I’m just exaggerating to make a point)

I’ve been testing COVID patients, so I’ve been worried that I’m a carrier. And, I probably am. What I don’t know is what that means. Can I get others sick if I meet them?

None of us in the medical world really know what it means.

We have medical knowledge that gives us reasonable logic to assume it means we are immune and if we haven’t gotten sick yet, we are probably really well protected by the PPE we wear (walking condoms, I call ourselves) and should not be able to make others sick, assuming we’ve got antibodies by some exposure.

But we don’t know any of that stuff for sure.

That’s why everyone is being told to wear masks. To protect everyone outside of your face.

To get the answers I want, I need to wait.

We need studies that last long enough to tell us what our immune response specifically to COVID looks like.

Will the immune response match other viruses, how long will the immunity last, what prevents others from becoming immune (there are some phenotypes who get more sick than others), will the virus mutate, if it does will our memory cells kick in and create an immune response, will the antibodies created be able to predicate long lasting immunity and can we test for that effectively.

Those are just a few of my questions…!

Why am I listing those?

Because my zoom crush and I want to meet…and he doesn’t want to wear a mask.

It’s like the olden days (3 months ago)…when the bra came off.

Now it’s the mask.

But there’s no fondling!

So, I have to talk with him about the risk/benefit of taking off the masks.

How comfortable is he with the idea that I’ve been exposed and how exposed has he been? How many people has he met with? I don’t think he’s dated but I know he goes out to do stuff. That would be exposure, as well.

It’s that question all daters (and people) have to ask themselves at some point this year.

None of us will get the straight answers we are usually used to. Not until next year…and not sure when next year, honestly. It’s going to be a judgement call.

Today friend told me if we’ve lasted through a pandemic, the masks need to come off. He was crystal clear.

I guess there’s a certain ‘amazingness’ to finding someone dead middle of the pandemic, when we are at war, and then create this sizzling connection.

I’ve become that teen looking at his last text to me and imagining that with my extra glance there will be more words.

That anticipation of when I will hear from him next. His sexy and deep voice, energy, challenge through his thought processes and totally opposite experience of this pandemic draws him further to me.

My experience has been to protect, heal and care for others with huge hesitation to get out.

His has been that many more are familiar with-feeling trapped in a home, not sure if he believes it’s needed to be that safe any longer, needs to get out and do his thing, thinks we’ll get herd immunity if we are out in numbers (he’s not wrong).

Right now, our options are to play badminton (I’ve decided that’s my new thing for the summer-it’s easy to keep distance and we can meet people we love, play and laugh outdoors-my son was thrilled)/have a tail-gating picnic in two different cars (one of my friend’s ideas)/6 ft distance walk (personally I think that’s really hard to do)/meet at his porch and stay at opposite ends (eating without masks).

I think the porch is what’s going to happen, honestly, and I’m thinking we can call each other on our phones and just oogle and flirt with each other across the porch.

That would be a first! Meet in person…but yet still communicate through a phone. Talk about a different version of abstinence…!