On my way to work today, I was overwhelmed by the prospect of working with the public and endeavoring to keep myself free of the coronavirus. My anxiety made me physically ill.
My husband texted me, saying there are more positive cases in our immediate area. He told me to quit my job and come home. We’ve been going round and round, considering the pros and cons of my continued work as a cashier.
The manager of my department was at his desk when I arrived. I told him that my husband was strongly encouraging me to quit due to the pandemic. He suggested I take a personal leave of absence for months rather than quitting. I hadn’t known that was an option. He said I probably wouldn’t need a doctor note, because it’s not medical leave, but it may be helpful.
After getting home, I called one of my doctors, explaining my anxiety about the coronavirus, given my underlying medical history. She asked me to remind her of what, specifically, was of concern to me. As soon as I mentioned I’ve had bilateral viral pneumonia, she responded, “Oh, no, no, no. You can’t be out there!” I added that there is scar tissue in my lung from a biopsy. She became even more adamant, “You cannot be out in the public until this is resolved!”
Words cannot express the feeling of relief, a heavy weight lifted from my shoulders and chest. I appreciate my coworkers who are remaining on the front line.