A Contemporary Pandemic Whodunnit

I Have Caught COVID-19 for the First Time, and I’m Going After the Son of a Gun Who is Responsible

Tracking down where you caught COVID-19 is harder than it looks. Graphic by Paulo Landez

I have been fortunate to not contract COVID-19 up to this point; yet, testing positive for it proves that I am not invincible.

Nevertheless, it is now time for me to utilize my five quarantine days by sleuthing out who is responsible for giving me the virus. I’ve narrowed it down to a few suspects. In my opinion, these are no-good, disgusting, horrendous detriments to public health.   

I now utilize my imaginary corkboard. It is punctured with metaphorical thumb-tacks holding up the string connecting each fever-induced hypothetical I conjure to one another. A cigarette is inappropriate. So, I shall rely on Vicks VapoRub vapors to set the smokey film-noir-like atmosphere in my cramped Lachine bedroom. 

Suspect #1: The end of mask mandates 

The mouth and nose covering requirement was lifted in mid-May. So, to blame the Quebec government for my illness nearly three months later is a stretch.

That being said, there are members of the public who have voiced their frustration with the directive made by Health Minister Christian Dubé. 

In fact, with the recent surge of COVID cases coming from the seventh wave, media constituents reporting no new safety restrictions is a surprise to me. Therefore, the three-month no-mask period does not exclude the safety measures from arousing my suspicions. Thus, it earns a spot up on my pretend board of shame.

Suspect #2: Public transport

I mean it with every fiber of my being when I say that, pandemic or not, public transportation is repulsive. Whether it’s the claustrophobic enclosure where diseases fester, only to hopefully be expelled through the two-inch gap between the windows, Or the frequent game of guess the seat liquid many passengers have grown accustomed to playing.

The funny thing is that I have been using the Société de transport de Montréal over the entire course of the pandemic. For me to get sick as a result of the STM is not abnormal, but I also don’t believe that public transport was working alone in this endeavor to change my diet to soup and multivitamins.

The mask mandate for public transportation was lifted on June 18. It makes forgetting a mask as I sprint to catch the bus less of a concern. That being said, there is still an evidently grave risk to not wearing a mask in these petri dish-like surroundings. I would not be surprised if a bus filled with maskless passengers is the reason for me having to swab my nose daily.

Suspect #3: Myself?

Ah, yes. A twist resolution that Agatha Christie herself would shed a tear at.  

I said it earlier; I am not invincible. Nobody is. All this talk about “who is responsible” comes down to just that, responsibility. Having received two vaccinations and one of two possible boosters is only a partial necessity. Public safety comes down to the perceived little things as well. Regularly sanitizing hands and surfaces, wearing a face-covering whenever necessary, and staying physically distant from others are all things that, at times, I have disregarded the further the pandemic has progressed.    

I believe that it is within my power to protect myself and those around me against the virus. Catching COVID was a harsh awakening for me. The nulling of health and safety mandates has brought forth a return to normal, but in taking advantage of these societal liberations, I have jeopardized the welfare of myself and other people. In feeling this way, I have resolved to stop neglecting my commitment to the well-being of every citizen I come in contact with.  

For now, I sit in my silly little room and sip on my silly little ginger and lemon tea. But, just so the scumbag out there knows; You gave COVID to the wrong six-foot tall sports journalist, and I’m coming for you.