Fredericton — If you find yourself doing five or more errands in a single day, you need to get tested for COVID-19 immediately, says Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jennifer Russell. Adding to signs such as a fever, runny nose, cough and loss of taste or smell, at a press conference in the capital city Thursday, Dr. Russell confirmed this new symptom.
“If normally you’re a homebody or just generally follow the safety guidelines, but suddenly you find yourself at HomeSense, Costco, Home Hardware, McDonald’s, Princess Auto, the public library and NB Liquor in the course of a single morning, you probably have contracted the coronavirus and need to self-isolate until you can get tested,” Russell said. “If you do even more errands that day, such as going to Superstore, Shoppers, Irving and Dollarama, well, at that point just assume you have it. Don’t even bother with the test.”
A reporter inquired as to how the provincial authorities know the uncontrollable need to do errands is really a symptom.
“Well, it’s common sense,” Russell replied. “Just look at that crazy list of exposures! No one needs to go that many places! Have you people not heard of delivery? This is not the time to be shopping around for the best deals on sandals.”
Our reporter spoke with Kendra Lewis, 37, who just this morning managed to get a massage, fill her SUV up with gas, grab a coffee at Tims and pick up some gardening shears at Scott’s.
“That’s four stops,” she said, “so I’m not quite in the five-errand risk zone. My friends invited me out to a bar tonight so I’m not sure if that counts. Does socializing count as an errand? I hope not!”
COVID-positive Frederictonian Doug Hogan, 54, said he’s hated shopping and running errands his entire life, so he knew something was wrong when in a single day he had the irresistible desire to go to a chiropractic clinic, a pharmacy, a grocery store, a market and, lastly, the Brainfix Clinic, which he had never heard of until he found himself in the parking lot.
“It was the weirdest thing…doing all that seemed normal. After all this I realized I still needed to go to Princess Auto for the right screws, and Home Hardware for filters for my breathing mask. I guess my concern now is that strange errand urge won’t go away once I’m better. That’s no kind of life!”
Russell closed Thursday’s briefing with a warning:
“If you notice a loved one doing way more errands than they normally do, please, please urge them to get tested.”
She then bolted off-stage, citing a need to swing by The Joyce for a beer.