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Cause and effect

I’m writing this as I sit patiently in my car in a very long queue to get a COVID test. My actions that resulted in me being here are the result of a trip to a shopping centre on Sunday that an infected person had visited at a similar time.

The thing was, it wasn’t necessary for me to go out on Sunday. I could have been patient and waited for the items I wanted to be shipped to me in the post, but I thought a trip to the shops would be fun, get me out of the house (which I’m in all day because I work from home) and the 45 min drive to get there would give me a chance to listen to an audio book I’ve been meaning to get finished (two birds with one stone).

So I visited a couple of other shops whilst I was there. I didn’t really need to, but because I was there I thought ‘Why not? Who knows when I’ll be coming this way again in the next couple of months.’ And it was those two additional shops that the affected person had visited too.

So now, as I wait in this queue, I think about how I convinced myself that going out was necessary (when it wasn’t) and how this has led me to where I’m waiting for an interminable amount of time for a test I wish I didn’t have to get for a virus that no one wants to have.

I thought I had been pretty lucky with it all. Living in a regional location with a small population, I had felt safe. It’s interesting how quickly things can change and impact so many.

There are hundreds of cars in this queue. People who would normally be going about their day, all waiting to do the right thing — get tested, go into quarantine and find out what their immediate future holds.

I’m actually glad to see so many people in this situation because it means people are using the technology to check in when they go out and the contact tracing system actually works. Admittedly, I went into stress mode this morning when I received the text from SA Health. However, I’m glad I used the check-in app so that if I am infected, I know exactly where and when it happened.

For me this is a lesson in not taking things for granted and staying vigilant. COVID isn’t going away any time soon. Had I really thoughtfully considered my choices on Sunday, perhaps I wouldn’t be in this position, spending over three hours now in my car waiting to get tested.

The universe works in mysterious ways. Perhaps this is what I needed — an opportunity to write (this post), to get away from my desk (and put the stress of work aside for the day), to see different surroundings, and have the opportunity to ponder life and my place in it.

Inconvenience aside, I appreciate that I’ve been inspired to write about it and share these thoughts with you.

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