The ride home was long, partly because of the distance, and partly because of the conversation. We (he) talked about masks, and about how, at the time, Uber wasn’t asking drivers to wear them. Then we (he) talked about how maybe the virus was overblown in the news. Then we (he) talked about how his entire family (wife and five kids) had been sick for the months of February and March. Then he said the thing that is still ringing in my ears.
“I’m pretty sure I’m an a-systematic carrier.”
I didn’t know what bothered me most: that I had just gotten out of the hospital and he was telling me he was an asymptomatic coronavirus carrier, or that he said “a-systematic carrier.” I wasn’t sure whether to snarkily ask him why he thought he had no systems, or to jump out of a moving vehicle and tuck and roll onto the asphalt.
Either way, I’m pretty sure the small confines of a car is not the place to tell a stranger that you are an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19. A stranger that you picked up at a health clinic.