I Love You, Please Don’t Touch Me

For health care workers, ‘the simple act of coming home from work is now a potential threat to our loved ones’

Dr Jeff Livingston
Elemental
Published in
4 min readMar 31, 2020

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A photo of two healthcare workers wearing masks standing at a counter against a teal background.
Photo: Prabin Ranabhat/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

II return home from the hospital and remove my clothing in the garage. I sprint to the shower in my underwear. I avoid touching anything in the house, including my wife and kids.

No welcome-home kisses. No hugs. Like the rest of the world, we are practicing social distancing. Except with an added gut-wrenching twist: My family must distance themselves from me.

Desperate for a moment of levity, I posted a question on Facebook: “Health care friends. Confession time. Who else disrobed in the garage then sprinted to a shower in your undies after work today?”

My friends’ responses made me laugh, smile, and cry. They describe various techniques of naked sprinting while avoiding the kids and getting clothes safely into the laundry. One employed a creative use of a garden hose, and another started the disrobing process in the hospital parking lot.

We try to find joy in the face of tragedy by tapping into camaraderie and unity. But it’s no fun to share in the harsh reality that the simple act of coming home from work is now a potential threat to our loved ones.

Like the rest of the…

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Dr Jeff Livingston
Elemental

Obgyn, Husband, Father, & Entrepreneur. Writing about Women’s Health, Parenting, and Self-improvement. CEO of MacArthurmc.com & founder of Medika.life