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See You Next Tuesday At The Polls

Hill Country Living
By Coulter Fussell

As I write this column it is 6:20 on Monday morning and I only have one more weekly column to write before we find out the results of the 2020 Presidential election. Somehow, this soothes me. It’s like when a parent tells an anxious toddler, “There are only three more sleeps until Santa Claus gets here!”
Cutting time down into segments of familiar actions makes the waiting seem doable. Except, of course, in this case Santa Claus is either going to be four years of a living nightmare or four years of a little bit less of a living nightmare, depending on your perspective.
I’ve volunteered to be a poll worker on the day of the election. I’ve always wanted to be a poll worker much in the same way that I’ve always wanted to be on a jury. Sometimes a person’s nosiness can come off as altruistic. I’m not saying nosiness is why I look forward to opportunities to perform civic duty but I am saying that it isn’t entirely not a factor.
I heard that poll workers sit at their assigned precinct from 6 in the morning until 8 at night on Election Day! I had no idea! If I had known that this kind of endurance test is what we’ve been putting our senior population through, I would have volunteered a long time ago; years before I myself was nearing senior status. I’ve worked doubled shifts at restaurants that were less hours than that. Next time you see a poll worker (hopefully next Tuesday!) give them a gift certificate to Turnage’s for a cup of coffee. I imagine they will be very weary.
The main reason I volunteered this year was because of Covid. I don’t want people who are especially susceptible to serious fall-out from contracting Coronavirus to be the ones sitting there so that I can vote. I’d rather sit there myself so that they can pop in and vote and then skedaddle on home where it’s less germy.
Speaking of germy, my 10-year-old son got a Covid test a couple of weeks ago. He was coughing, sniffling and his breathing was labored to the point that his teacher said he sounded “like Darth Vader.”
I was pretty sure it was allergies but I got him checked out just to be safe, knowing full well that the results of that test could affect the lives of his teachers, classmates and his classmates’ parents’ jobs for at least the following two weeks. The poor kid was visibly stifling coughs until his eyes watered and was stealthily leaving the room to cough quietly in an effort to not appear sick. These kids have a lot of pressure on them to stay healthy for their classmates’ family’s jobs! Despite his best efforts, I took him for a drive-up test at the Main Street clinic. When the very kind nurse put a 12-foot-long Q-tip up my son’s nose he acted like he’d been tased in the brain. But the results case back in a few minutes and all he tested positive for was being a drama queen. And allergies.
Y’all keep washing your hands and masking up and I’ll see you next Tuesday at the polls! Only one more column and seven more sleeps!

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