Still Life #5: My hands and Your Future

I don’t experience my hands in the same way. I am suddenly self-conscious of what they touch, how much they touch and the extent to which they randomly, habitually touch. I increasingly fear and value this human touch.

For now, we have more questions than answers. At best, science can give us a reasonable, worst case, statistical guess. In these scenarios, those of us who might have touched the same till counter, paid the same car guard or driven through the same toll gate; might only show symptoms just as lockdown ends. We might only become alarmed enough by our own symptoms five days after that. All the while, we would have infected between 3 and 6 other people with a simple touch. We have to hope that none of those people were too old or vulnerable to survive our embrace. We have to hope that they didn’t unknowingly touch too many others.

The places we went, the things we touched, the coughs we could not suppress in the past, will dictate the number of deaths in the future. As I sit here gazing at the clearer than ever stars, what we are seeing now actually happened in a yesterday. The things, people and places we have touched are making a deathly ripple through time.

Please touch me, I’m petrified.

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