An Argument over CO VID Rules

I live in a senior residence facility. Ever since March 2020 we have been in one form of lockdown or another. The rules are clear and inflexible, if you don’t like them, you can move out. Many did.

I bumped into that inflexibility recently and am relegated to social isolation as a result. This means I can go nowhere in the facility, participate in no activities, cannot partake of any meals in the dining room, or even walk down the hall to deposit my garbage in the appropriate bin.

What happened?

I got a call on Monday that I had an appointment with my eye doctor on Tuesday. This brought up the argument I had months before – how do I get to the appointment without breaking a rule?

RULE: Residents can go to doctor’s appointments only if the valet drives the resident in the facility’s vehicle.

I point out to the Powers That Be that I cannot ride in their cars/busses because of my physical handicaps. I cannot get up off the bus bench or out of the SUV without great pain – which I avoid as much as possible.

I suggest that I drive myself in my own car since I bought the car to deal with my handicaps. I promise to come and go directly to the doctor’s office with no other stops.

Answer: No!

Me: Why not?

Answer: Someone might see you and demand the same privilege.

Me: If I drive myself to the doctor’s office, what do I do about parking my car when I get back? My reserved parking lot is behind building three, but you tell me I cannot walk through the halls to get to building one. Can I park my car out in front in the visitors parking area?

Answer: No!

Me: Why not?

Answer: Residents cannot use the visitors parking spaces for long term parking.

Me: Can I leave my car for the valet to park it?

Answer: No!

Me: Why not?

Answer: Because your car is filled with CO VID.

Me: How about if the valet drives me to the doctor’s office in my car?

Answer: No!

Me: Why not?

Answer: Because your car is filled with CO VID.

Me: Then what do you suggest?

Answer: If you drive yourself to the doctor’s office you will have to go on social isolation. No contact with anyone within the residence for the next 2 weeks.

Me: So where do I park?

No answer.

That is the problem with inflexible rules. Problem solving disappears. If there is no rule covering the issue, problem solving breaks down.

Fortunately for me, and other residents, there is a member of staff who is willing to confront the inflexible PTB and offer a solution that breaks a minor rule to accommodate a major rule.

I am grateful to her. The administration has agreed to her compromise solution.

I can park in the visitors parking area in front of the facility which means I can access my rooms from my car without walking through halls. With the CO VID restrictions, there are so few visitors, there is room for me to park my car. An unheard-of permission prior to the CO VID lock down.

Nevertheless, since I drove myself to my eye exam, I am now in social isolation for the next two weeks, whereas, if the staff had driven me in the facility’s car, I would not be isolated.

This still makes no sense to me. But it is the rule.

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