I don’t know about you but I’ve really tried to avoid the doctor’s office during this pandemic. Since it was my annual GYN time, I decided I waited long enough to make an appointment. The appointment was for Tuesday at 11:15 am.
I got in my car at 11 am and drove to Mineola Blvd in Mineola. Going up the spiral parking lot, the attendee told me to go to the third floor. “That’s where patients park,” he said.
The garage was tight. As I was inching my way up to the third floor, other cars were coming from the opposite direction. This is a good place for an accident, I thought. I passed the third floor and continued to look for a spot. “Oh, there’s one,” I said to myself and then noticed that the entire area was flooded. “Nah, I’ll pass on that one,” I said out loud.
I kept inching my way up. Now I was on the fifth floor and found a spot. It was by a staircase that was on the opposite side of where I needed to be. After walking down two flights, I crossed the parking lot and went to the opening on the third floor. As I entered, I was asked a series of questions about whether I left the state of NY, if I had COVID symptoms, and if I knew anyone with COVID. My temperature was checked and I was on my way.
There were elevators. I needed to go to the first floor. “Can I use this staircase to get down to the first floor,” I asked the guy who took my temperature. “Oh sure,” he said.
I wasn’t going on an elevator. My friend told me her son got COVID on an elevator so I did not want to be there. Opening up the staircase door and walking down two flights led me to a garbage dump. “Oh great,” I thought. So, I walked back to the 2nd floor and opened the door. I guess I had no choice but to hop on the elevator. After pushing the down button, I waited. Finally after several minutes, the door opened with three people inside. Having a hard time controlling my anxiety, I said, “this is where COVID happens.” An older woman said, “Oh don’t worry I’ll move away from you.” But there was no place for her to go.
We stepped off the elevator and entered the same door on the left. There were about 15+ doctor’s names on the outside of the door. I stood back to let other people check in. When it was my turn, I had to touch a computer screen to input my information. (How many people have touched this screen before me? How many people had COVID?) I quickly washed my hands with sanitizer and sat in a chair that was not socially distanced from the other chairs.
Packed Waiting Room
The waiting room was packed. After working myself up into a frenzy, I stepped outside. When I re-entered the office, the woman behind the desk asked me my name. I gave it to her. “How long of a wait is it?” I asked her.
“Oh, it will be a while,” she said, “the doctor is running behind.”
Really? I was surprised that he was running late with COVID so bad in our area. I figured I would be in and out.
“We can take your number and you can sit in your car until he’s ready,” the woman told me. But, the thought of walking up the five flights again and crossing the parking lot to get to my car was not appealing. I told her I would stand outside.
After about a half hour, I walked back into the office. It was cold outside. “He’s got three people ahead of you,” she told me. It was now 12:15 pm. “Look you can reschedule and I’ll give you the first appointment after lunch,” she said.
I agreed and took that 1 pm appointment for a week later. But as I was sitting in the car driving home, I thought, “who has a lunch break?” Then, I thought, “if I stuck around, would he go on lunch? Wouldn’t I be cutting into his lunch time???”
Hmmm… The fear of going to the doctor’s office during COVID is real. I looked it up online and it said that was one of the places to get COVID was waiting in a waiting room. I was glad I left.
And now, I need to find all new doctors!