Page 10 - ActsCOVID-19_and_Me
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                purchase but because somehow awareness of the seriousness of the pandemic came as I stood in that store and clutched the toilet paper as if my life depended on it.
Another event that helped me better understand the challenges of living through a pandemic was the illness of our eight-year-old cat, April. She, along with my dear husband Clinton, is an important part of the household. April had grown lethargic and constipated, and one morning she took to her bed and did not leave all day. Although telemedicine provided access to care, the veterinarian concluded that our pet should be seen in the office. The veterinary medical facility had established a series of protocols to protect
its staff and to ensure that the facility remains virus-free. For example, only animals are allowed inside the facility; pet parents must wait in their vehicles except for unusual circumstances. As Clinton and I waited in the parking lot on that warm day in early March, a woman drove up in a sporty blue car and retrieved a fluffy little pup. Then there was a young man who walked an old German Shepherd under the trees. Occasionally, the two would stop to give the dog a chance to catch its breath. Time crawled until a staff person beckoned to the man, and he and his dog moved together toward the building and disappeared through the door. A respectful “quiet” rested in that moment.
Moments later, two clinicians picked up a hot and uncomfortable April in her carrier and whisked her away. Clinton and I waved goodbye and waited, moving from the car to a bench in the shade close to the building. It was not long before the two returned with a disappointing report. April, a rescue who had spent time in a feral colony, was unhappy about being separated from the two people whom she had learned to trust, and she had refused to be examined. She hissed at and attempted to scratch and bite anyone near her. She then fled across the room and only allowed herself to be crated again in a trade for tuna-flavored treats. Although April’s illness was undiagnosed, a laxative was recommended. If she needed to return for care, she would have to be sedated. Since office hours were reserved for emergencies, our best prescription was hope. But this experience of using a medical facility and

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