Sunday, August 9, 2020

Taking Care of Business During COVID


It was time for my six month skin cancer appointment, and I greatly debated whether or not I should go. After all, I wasn't seeing any new spots that I was concerned about. But with my history of basal and squamous cells - 14 of them to date! - I was justifiably concerned about putting it off. And frankly, as I mentioned in the last post, there is no end in sight for this pandemic. So I kept the appointment, keeping in mind that if I did not feel the waiting area was being handled safely, I would just leave.

Arriving at the office a few minutes early, I was immediately greeted by a masked nurse. She asked me a few pointed questions about whether I had tested positive for COVID, had I been around anyone who had the virus, was I feeling sick, etc. She then took my temperature before letting me further into the waiting room to sign in. Only four patients were allowed in the room at a time, and we were all more than 6 feet apart and appropriately masked.

Any additional patients who arrived were handled the same way by the nurse, but then were asked to remain outside until they were called. One older woman did answer affirmatively to the question about having COVID, so she had followup questions. How long ago did she test positive? Answer, July 2nd. Was she recovered? Answer, yes. Did she have a followup COVID test done? Yes, July 16th and it was negative. Whew, she was safe to be in the building!

The nurse who came to get me was masked, as was the doctor when she entered my exam room. She asked that I leave my mask on until she told me to remove it. The last thing she did was check my face, and I removed my mask and held my breath as requested while she did this exam. With my mask firmly back in place, I got the good news that she didn't see anything suspicious. Woo, hoo!

Another piece of business that has been hanging over us is getting North Carolina titles, registrations and plates for our vehicles. You must first get your drivers license before you can take care of the rest. We did that in June. The governor had issued five month extensions on all licenses and plates due to COVID, so we were not in a rush to get the plates. They do not issue appointments for plates, unlike for drivers licenses, and we had heard tales of the long lines at the DMV offices.

We first had to get the change of title forms notarized, which is tricky as banks are not allowing customers inside their buildings and that is where we normally would go. Luckily a UPS store near us offers that service for $5 per document signed. We did that last Monday, and then Tuesday headed to the closest DMV office, which is in Huntersville. We arrived at 2:25 to find about 20 people in line ahead of us. Everyone was masked and maintained 6 feet of distance from each other.

It was sunny and hot, but fortunately after 15 minutes we moved enough to be in the shade of the building. It took 30 minutes to get into the building, as they took about 6 people at a time. Once inside, a lady ran through the now-familiar questions. Are you feeling sick? Do you have a fever? Have you been around anyone with COVID that you know of? Then we were directed to the appropriate line as they separate regular plate renewals from those who need titles and registrations as well. 

We ended up with a kind, patient woman who didn't get annoyed at the fact that we had two cars and a motorcycle she needed to process. She did look relieved by the fact that we had our titles already notarized, however. That saved her a step with each vehicle. We had everything we needed to get the job done, and were back at our car, new plates in hand, by 3:30. Not too bad!

Jim put all the plates on right away, and I have to say we now feel like North Carolinians with our Real IDs and appropriate license plates. 

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