In a disconcerting development out of Manhattan, NY, this COVID survey at the oral surgeon’s office needs you to indicate that you have not experienced “fatigue” in the last 14 days.
Oh no! Who knew this was even possible?
“I understand that the purpose of these forms is to screen for COVID,” you say. “But they’re putting me in a real ethical dilemma, forcing me to say I haven’t been fatigued in weeks so that I can have my teeth cleaned.”
“I’m fatigued more often than not,” you add. “I’m fatigued right now. I mean, who wouldn’t be at the dentist before a full workday and after staying up till 2 am watching YouTube conspiracy videos about Koko the gorilla. It’s just unrealistic.”
The questionnaire, clearly designed to bring on dread and create uneasy fibbers, also asked if you’d experienced nausea, headache, or diarrhea.
“Of course I’m nauseated, headachy, and have semi-regular diarrhea,” you say. “Isn’t that just the burden of existence?”
“The only thing that I can honestly answer is that I haven’t traveled in the last two weeks,” you add. “And traveling is the only thing on the list that would actually be fun. This is bleak.”
When you thoughtfully explained to the receptionist that you had, in fact, felt fatigued, but believed it to be more a result of burnout, productivity culture, and being a renter/human under late-stage capitalism than the novel coronavirus, she was unmoved.
“What we’re asking is: did your dumb ass come to the dentist with COVID?” says front desk person Mariana Vasilakis. “Obviously we’re all fatigued. You think I’m not fatigued? I had to be here at 7 am and I live in Queens.”
You ultimately decided to circle both “yes” and “no” on the fatigue question, with a frantic note on the margins about our society’s inability to truly rest, however Mariana still took your temperature and let you into the office.
“I’m not sure how to feel about the whole thing,” you say. “But I’m double vaxxed, boosted, and doing my best.”
At press time, your dentist had his hands inside your mouth while he told you about the vacation he and his family just took to the Bahamas.