She needs to see her doctor and for days has been anxious for their meeting tomorrow. Thank goodness. There’s the text confirmation from his office. All she needs to do is reply yes. But this text is highlighted in drab green and states: Due to COVID-19 precautions, we will email you a link tomorrow to access your tele-appointment. She calls to protest but is told the doctor won’t be able to talk to her today and no patients are allowed inside the office.
That seems inhuman. She can’t go to work because she no longer has a job and she can’t be comforted by her husband since she booted him for infidelity and he’s already engaged. She can’t go to the mall to shop and talk. She can’t eat out. She can’t go to a bar or nightclub for companionship. She can’t visit friends because they’re locked in and scared as she is. In the whole world all she can do is click the link in the morning.
The link works and possibilities appear. There’s the handsome young doctor about her age. He’s married but maybe he’s unhappy. She hopes he is, not because she’s cruel. She just knows they would be a great couple.
“Hello, Marilyn, how are you?”
“What’s the matter?”
“I’m so alone.”
“This is a difficult period,” he says. “Are you taking your medications?”
“Yes, but they’re not helping nearly as much. I need a higher dosage.”
“You know I can’t give you any more.”
“Because these are potentially dangerous medications and could be fatal if you take too much as you’ve sometimes done. We may need to change what you’re taking.”
Marilyn rises from her chair and says, “Please don’t do that.”
“I’m not going to do anything that would hurt you. But you need to keep in mind that several patients at this clinic die every year from overdoses of prescription medications.”
“I can’t take much more of this isolation, Doctor.”
Nodding, he says, “We definitely have to restart the economy soon or we’ll destroy what’s taken three hundred years to build. On the other hand, the pace of death still hasn’t slowed in the United States and if we open up too soon we could ignite a second wave even worse than this first pandemic.”
“That’s what’s going to happen,” she says. “It’s inevitable. I’ve got a choice to either die of loneliness in my apartment or have my lungs destroyed by the virus.”
“Marilyn, you’re young and strong and odds are overwhelming you’ll survive even if you contract the virus.”
“That’s not what my mind’s telling me. I keep thinking of the worst cough I’ve ever had and it keeps getting worse and I’m choking and there’s no one here for me and I’ll die alone on the floor.”
“We need to get you back in group therapy once we get this virus under control. You’re less obsessive when you spend time with people.”
“I can’t wait that long, Doctor.”
“I’ve got other patients waiting, Marilyn. We’ll talk again next month.”
“I told you I can’t wait.”
“You’ll have to.”
“I have to talk to you today, after work.”
Shaking his head, the doctor says, “You know that’s not possible. I only see patients in my office.”
She unbuttons and takes off her blouse and removes her bra and says, “Doctor, I need you right now.”
“Marilyn, put your blouse on immediately.”
She unzips her pants and steps out of them.
“Get dressed immediately or I’m terminating this session.”
“Do it and get your ass over here.”